More mental health support workers to be rolled out in local schools and colleges

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Children and Young People in Mid and South Essex will be among the first to benefit from the ambitions of the Government’s Green paper for Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health.

The Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) area has been selected to be one of the NHS Trailblazer sites to receive additional investment to develop Mental Health Support Teams for Schools and Colleges.

Teams will work closely with a selection of schools in Thurrock and Southend and colleges across mid and south Essex to provide early intervention for concerns such as anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties as well as strengthening links with more specialist services.

Mark Tebbs, Lead Commissioner for Mental Health across Mid and South Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) said:

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to collectively build strong partnerships between mental health services and schools and to expand resources so that we can support our children and young people to achieve their full potential. Half of all cases of diagnosable mental illness begin by age 14 and three-quarters by the age of 25. Early intervention and prevention is crucial to prevent problems escalating further into adulthood.”

“For Mid Essex this provides additional resource to support young people who attend Chelmsford College with the early intervention and support required to meet their needs.”

Marco Iciek, Director of Learner Development and Inclusion at Chelmsford College said:

“Chelmsford College has always been committed to supporting our learners to overcome obstacles and enabling them to progress onto healthy lives and successful careers. We are very excited to be working with NHS Mid Essex CCG to be able to provide the additional support that will transform the lives of many young people in our community. This extra support will produce a real step change in the support we can provide for our learners.”

The Link Programme led by the Anna Freud Centre and funded by the Department for Education and Skills will further strengthen this opportunity across the STP by working with all local schools and mental health services so that children and young people can get the help they need, when they need it.

The NHS Long Term Plan will build on the achievements of the £1.4bn transformation programme to improve NHS mental health care for children and young people. The NHS is on track to provide mental health support for 70,000 more children and young people by 2021 and aims to ensure that by 2023/24 at least a further 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 can access support, including via NHS funded mental health services and school or college-based Mental Health Support Teams. Over the coming decade the goal is to ensure that 100% of children and young people who need specialist care can access it.

The specific schools that will be covered by the Mental Health Support Teams will be announced later this year.