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Government minister visits Feltham school on World Mental Health Day

Springwest Academy in Feltham welcomed government minister, Nadine Dorries, to visit its new Mental Health Support Team as part of World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10 October).  This team is one of three in Hounslow which will offer young people fast access to mental and emotional wellbeing support in their schools.

The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety, visited Springwest Academy to see the progress being made to develop the new team and to speak to many of the people involved. 

The Minister met with pupils; teaching staff responsible for mental health and support; and members of the Mental Health Support Team, including the new educational mental health practitioner workforce.  Practitioners are being trained up now and will play a big role in the team when it becomes operational early next year.

This is the first of several Mental Health Support Teams that the Minister will be meeting, after coming into her health minister post in July this year.

Ministerial Visit Photo 1

The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety said:

“Ensuring our children have access to vital mental health support is a key priority of this Government – backed by the £2.3 billion extra per year we are investing in mental health 2023/24.

“Today’s visit to Springwest Academy on World Mental Health Day has given me valuable insight into the everyday pressures our young people face every day and allowed me the chance to see how the presence of dedicated mental health support staff is already benefitting their lives. I am grateful for the school’s tireless efforts in joining up with the local health service, to provide vital, timely care to pupils.”

Local GP, Chair of Hounslow CCG and North West London Clinical Lead for Mental Health, Dr Annabel Crowe, said:

“We have been working hard with our local partners to develop and provide these Mental Health Support Teams and I am very pleased that the Minister had the opportunity to visit us on World Mental Health Day.”

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities & Workforce, London Borough of Hounslow said:

“I am delighted the Minister has had the opportunity to visit one our top schools in Feltham for World Mental Health Day this week. We are very fortunate in the borough in that Springwest is one of 21 such schools which support young people with mental and emotional wellbeing and they all do a brilliant job.

“I hope that this visit will serve as a catalyst for the government to announce targeted new investment for mental health services for children and young people.”

Dr Johan Redelinghuys, Clinical Director of CAMHS and Developmental Services at West London NHS Trust, says:

“At West London NHS Trust, we feel it is vital that children and young people receive efficient mental health support in places most convenient for them, such as their school or college. In doing so, they are best placed to handle any challenges around their anxieties and behavioural issues with confidence. It is great that we have the Minister who has come to see for herself the incredible work being done to help those in need in west London.”

Mental Health Support Teams are part of an exciting trailblazer project funded by NHS England, Health Education England and other partners, with the aim of improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in the community.  In November 2018 Hounslow was chosen as one of 25 pilot sites across the country and in July 2019 we were awarded additional funding for a third site.

Mental Health Support Teams are staffed by Education Wellbeing Practitioners, who are currently completing their training at the University of Reading and working two days per week in 21 local primary and secondary schools in Hounslow.  The service will be fully staffed from January 2020.

Ministerial Visit Photo 2