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.
We also have our NHS Futures site where we store more clinically focused information. You can request to be a member of our workspace. Please follow this link.
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)
As of September 2023, Yorkshire and the Humber have the following teams in place/progress. Waves 9 and 10 are commencing soon (2023/24).
Wave 1 & 2
Wave 3 & 4
Waves 5 & 6
|2022/23 Wave 7 and 8|
|North East and North Cumbria||7||6||4||4||5|
|Humber Coast and Vale||0||4||3||4||3|
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:
- Provided Education MH Practitioners (EMHPs) and Clinical Leads/Service Managers with regular opportunities for peer support and shared learning.
- Facilitated a face to face event in March 2023 to enable regional networking and shared learning across Yorkshire and the Humber, focusing on our identified priorities for 2023/24.
- Developed good practice guides to support national awareness campaigns e.g. Children's Mental Health Week, Mental Health Awareness Week.
- Supported Integrated Care System to plan for new waves (9 and 10).
- Expanded our Eating Disorder Champions offer to Mental Health Support Teams (see Eating Disorder pages) to enable earlier identification and support of eating difficulties.
- Provided opportunities for continuous professional development and upskilling in topics such as body image, neurodiversity, anxiety and disordered eating.
- Developed an MHST Awareness Raising Video in partnership with MHSTs, schools, and young people, families and carers.
- Supported a pilot being led by Kent Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) to measure the impact of the Whole School Approach (WSA).
- Provided shared learning opportinutues on topics identified by sites e.g. Emotional Based School Avoidance and New and Innovative Roles (e.g. WSA Coordinators, Assistant EMHPs).
Meetings & Events
- Yorkshire and the Humber, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Support Team (MHST) Learning and Development Forum (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 9 and 10 (2023/24)
What We Plan To Do In The Next 6 Months:
- Facilitate a shared learning event for North East and Yorkshire in September, which will focus on achievements and good practice in the delivery of the Whole School Approach.
- 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 further training opportunities to support continuous professional development (e.g. Tourette's, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dyscalculia.
- Expand our support offer to schools that do not currently have access to a MHST.
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