We are delighted to announce that Northumberland has been successful in the 20/21 bid of Wave 3 monies for the CYPS mental health support team (MHST) in schools trailblazer initiative, one of only four areas in the region to gain additional funding. This will allow us to build on the excellent work that has been developed and implemented across our existing trailblazer sites of Blyth and Hexham.
Unfortunately due to a reduced centralised budget, the financial envelope released for Wave 3 will only be sufficient for the development of one additional mental health support team (MHST) in Northumberland and not the three new areas we had hoped for.
Whilst disappointing we are still pleased to have gained some funding when not all areas have and will continue to look at expansion in to new areas via future funding waves.
Feedback on our current trailblazer and the expression of interest we submitted from NHS England was very positive and the panel have stated that they would welcome and be keen to support us in further expansion moving forward. In order to ensure that this additional resource is directed most appropriately, collaborative work with stakeholders across health, education and social care has taken place around analysis of need. This has included data around levels of deprivation, open referrals for early help and child and family assessments completed over the last year where mental health issues have been specifically flagged for the child, as well and intelligence and referral numbers in to our core mental health teams. On the basis of this intelligence, it has been agreed that the new mental health support team will be focused on the Ashington and Bedlington areas.
The work undertaken by the MHST provides C&YP with tools to develop healthy mental health habits. They teach young people to use a combination of self-help techniques, building self-esteem and resilience to overcome difficult challenges, now and in later life and offer guidance at an early stage to prevent problems escalating. The MHSTs work closely with all stakeholders across the Northumberland system including our primary mental health workers, social services, voluntary sector, and secondary care services. The teams link into schools offering group work for CYP which includes:
- Understanding emotions
- Managing anger
- Falling in and out of friendships
- Managing school issues
The teams also offer whole school lesson plans which include:
- Assembly talks
- Resilience training
- Promotion of national health and wellbeing campaigns in conjunction with Public Health