New mental health support teams will be rolled out to a number of schools in Southampton following a successful bid for funding from the local NHS.
Southampton has been confirmed as one of 57 areas in England which will take part in the scheme.
Funded by NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group, two new support teams will be put in place to support 16,000 pupils in the city. Their focus will be on early intervention for mental health and emotional wellbeing issues for children and young people.
Each mental health support team will comprise of Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs), who will undergo specific training for the roles from January 2020. The training will help EMHPs to support schools and colleges identify and manage issues relating to mental health and wellbeing, as well as deliver interventions for a range of needs.
The two teams will cover a number of schools:
- Centre and West: covering two secondary schools (Redbridge and Cantell) and their primary feeder schools as well as Polygon, Vermont and the Compass special schools and Richard Taunton College.
- East and South: covering three secondary schools (Chamberlayne, Woodlands, Oasis Mayfield, their feeder primaries and Itchen College).
This national programme is being rolled out to improve partnerships between schools and professional NHS mental health services, as well as to raise awareness of mental health concerns within schools and improve referrals to specialist help when needed.
In Southampton our ambition is for children and young people to have access to this support through all of the city’s education settings, and we will also be applying for the next wave of funding.
Dr Mark Kelsey, Clinical Chair at NHS Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Local people have long asked for more mental health support for children, and I am really pleased we will be part of this new programme to support children and young people in Southampton. These new teams will work in partnership with Southampton schools and colleges, bringing mental health support services closer to where children and young people are in the city.”