Pupils at primary and secondary schools across Suffolk and north east Essex, in need of mental health support, are set to have easier access to help, thanks to almost £2m worth of funding.
The region was one of six that was selected to become a ‘trailblazer site’ to further develop provision for young people.
The money will pay for three mental health teams to be established across the system which will provide a range of mental health and emotional wellbeing support.
Dr Ed Garratt, Chief Officer for West Suffolk, North East Essex and Ipswich and East Suffolk clinical commissioning groups, said: “This funding is excellent news and really will help us to ensure young people across the area have access to help and support if they are in need.
“Mental health issues can significantly affect young people and can adversely impact their life and their health if correct and timely support is not available to them.
“By having these teams in place, we will be helping those young people to have access to help they need and deserve.”
The teams will comprise a mix of mental health and wellbeing professionals including clinicians, emotional wellbeing practitioners, family support workers and education psychologists.
Teachers will also be supported with advice and interventions to enable them to confidently manage challenging behaviour more effectively.
West Suffolk Mental Health Support Team (MHST) will provide support to 27 schools in the area, serving a population of approximately 8,399 Children and Young People (CYP).
East Suffolk MHST will provide support to 23 schools (serving a population of approximately 6,000 CYP) while North East Essex MHST will provide support to 17 schools in the Tendring area (a population of approximately 7,800 CYP).
Andy Brogan, Deputy Chief Executive of Essex Partnership University NHS Trust, is the Integrated Care System’s (ICS) Senior Responsible Officer for Mental Health. He said: “We are delighted with this funding announcement. It will mean more support will be available to local schools in helping them manage the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.
“Mental health services across Suffolk and north east Essex already have a fantastic working relationship with schools and will be use that as a springboard to grow services for children and young people in the future.”
Michelle Grant Richardson, Mental Health Programme Manager for the ICS, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to shift the dial through high quality early intervention for children, young people and their families.
“To be awarded three teams is fantastic and our broader ambition is to double the number of MHSTs in Suffolk and north east Essex.
“We have already identified a number of schools, including pupil referral units and special schools to take part in the next phase.”
Work to develop the initiative has started with the aim that it will be fully operational by January 2020.