Children in Blackburn with Darwen are receiving support for mental health concerns in schools as part of NHS Mental Health in Schools programme.
Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is part of NHS England’s Mental Health in Schools (MHSTs) programme, which is rolling out mental health support in schools to help both pupils and staff create an environment of mental wellbeing.
Together with Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the CCG successfully bid for funding to create new Mental Health Support Teams in schools, as set out in the Children and Young People Mental Health Green Paper and Long-Term Plan for the NHS in 2019.
NHS England has led on the establishment of Mental Health Support Teams to develop models of early intervention for mild to moderate mental health issues and to support young people and school staff to identify potential signs of mental distress before they escalate.
Pupils struggling with mental health will benefit from more joined up care and support across schools and specialist NHS services, in a national roll out of the £9.3 million training scheme.
Blackburn with Darwen were one of the 48 successful sites in the second wave of Government’s MHST programme to initially place two MHSTs in schools from January 2020. During 2020 Blackburn with Darwen CCG secured additional funding to create two further teams from January 2021. Therefore children and young people at primary schools, high schools, Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) and special schools will be able to access support for early onset of mental health that includes anxiety and low level depression. The MHSTs continue to support children during these challenging times using alternative methods of communication for example the Attend Anywhere digital platform. The MHSTs offer one to one and group therapy, give timely advice to education staff, as well as liaising with specialist services, to ensure children and young people get the right support and stay in education.
Due to the recent school closures the service has moved to a fully online model which is working well for both staff, pupils, parents and teachers, the teams will return to face to face provision once schools return.