Mental Health Support Teams
(MHST) In Schools And Colleges
The Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) In Schools And Colleges Programme supports the delivery of the core clinical programmes within the Long Term Plan and the Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20 - 2023/24 (the Implementation Plan) by connecting commissioners, providers, professionals, patients and the public across pathways of care with the aim of improving health outcomes. This is achieved by sharing best practice and innovation, assessing and benchmarking quality and outcomes and driving improvement where required, through targeted support. We aim to reduce variation, sharing best practice and innovation, assessing and benchmarking quality and outcomes and driving improvement where required, through targeted support.
What We Are Trying To Achieve
The Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network Mental Health Support Team (MHST) work programme is led by Natalie Fox, Quality Improvement Lead.
Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) have been set up to help increase access to mental health and emotional support for children and young people, strengthening existing support within schools and colleges.
MHSTs are being rolled out nationally in ‘waves’. The first wave, ‘Trailblazer’ teams, were commissioned in 2018/19 and by 2023 there will be 399 MHSTs, covering 3,000 schools nationally in England offering support to almost three million pupils. (see NHS England for more detail)
The Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network has recently supported the expression of interest process for multi-year site selection (2021/22-2023/24) focused upon ensuring MHSTs are placed where there are higher levels of need and disadvantage.
As of September 2021, Yorkshire and the Humber had the following teams in place/progress;
Wave 1 & 2
Wave 3 & 4
Waves 5 & 6
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Mental Health Support Teams help to:
- Provide support / interventions for mild to moderate mental health and emotional wellbeing needs
- Support senior mental health leads to develop and introduce the whole-school or whole-college approach to mental health and emotional wellbeing
- Provide timely advice to staff and communicate with external specialist services so that children and young people can get the right support and remain in education
Why It’s Important
MHSTs are intended to provide early support on some mental health and emotional wellbeing issues, such as anxiety. It is very likely that the pandemic will have led to an increase in mental health support required by children and young people.
MHSTs have launched across the region (and nationally) at different times (in waves. Initial sites were referred to as ‘Trailblazers’), see Local Services section below for the detailed map of teams and waves.
What We Have Achieved In The Last 6 Months:
- Held a face to face Shared Learning event in March 2023 to celebrate success and share learning across Yorkshire and the Humber to inform further development and support opportunities.
- Produced guidance and shared good practice on topics identified by sites (i.e. eating disorders, trauma informed care) as part of our MHST Learning and Development Forum.
- Supported Integrated Care System to identify future site allocations through the attendance at local panel reviews
- Expanded our Eating Disorder Champions to Mental Health Support Teams (see Eating Disorder pages)
Meetings & Events
- Yorkshire and the Humber, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Support Team (MHST) Learning and Development Forum (Bi-monthly)
- Peer Support Forums for Educational Mental Halth Practitioners (EMHPs) and Clinical/Team Managers and Leads (Quarterly)
- Shared Learning and Celebration Events (Bi-annual)
Professionals – dates and further details can be found on our Future NHS page.
A map of current Mental Health Support Teams, split by wave can be found here;
Schools/education settings are working hard to embed a ‘Whole School Approach’ to mental health and emotional wellbeing, as not all settings currently have access to MHSTs.
The Clinical Network will work closely with the National and Regional MHST Team to support the mobilisation of waves 7-10 (2022/23-2023/24)
What We Plan To Do In The Next 6 Months:
- Continue to support MHST sites to share learning and good practice through the continuation of the MHST Learning and Development Forum.
- Provide support to new sites including the continued development of a resource library on our Future NHS page for professionals and regular support meetings.
- Provide training opportunities to support continuous professional development (e.g. trauma informed care, eating disorders)
- Act as a link between sites and the Regional and National Team to share learning and best practice on a wider footprint.
- Produce an awareness raising video for use across Yorkshire and the Humber, outlining the role and purpose of Mental Health Support Teams and thier impact.
Helpful Resources and Links
National Guidance and Reports
Advice and Support
- Every Mind Matters – support and tips to improve mental wellbeing
- Kooth – free, safe, and anonymous online mental wellbeing community (not available in all areas)
- NHS App Library – mental health apps
- On My Mind – aims to empower young people to make informed choices
- Rise Above – inspiring articles and tips
- SHOUT – free, confidential, 24/7 text message support in the UK for anyone who is struggling to cope and anyone in crisis
- Student Minds – support and resources
- Talk Life – Peer support
- The Mix – free confidential telephone helpline and online service that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem
- Papyrus (Prevention on Young Suicide) – advice and support for young people who feel like they want to take their own life
- Young Minds – resources and dedicated crisis services
- Youth Wellbeing Directory – find free local services in your area