New mental health support in schools and colleges for pupils in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen
East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been successful in bidding for additional funding from NHS England to support school student mental wellbeing.
The successful bid follows on from similar success last year when Blackburn with Darwen CCG bidded for mental health support in schools to help both pupils and staff create an environment of mental wellbeing. Now, additional funding has been provided to expand this across the whole of Pennine Lancashire.
NHS England is leading the establishment of Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) to develop models of early intervention for mild to moderate mental health issues and to support young people and school staff to identify potential signs of mental distress before they escalate.
Last summer, as set out in the Children and Young People Mental Health Green Paper and Long-Term Plan for the NHS, Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was one of 48 successful trailblazer sites in the second wave of the Government’s Trailblazers programme to put experts in schools and other education establishments recruiting 120 new MHSTs from September 2019. This programme has now been expanded across Blackburn with Darwen but also across the whole of East Lancashire.
In addition to the two MHSTs already working across secondary schools, special schools and pupil referral unit in Blackburn with Darwen, there will be an extra two MHSTs covering primary schools in Blackburn with Darwen, two MHSTs covering primary schools in Burnley and Pendle, and two MHSTs covering secondary schools, special schools, Pupil Referral Unit in Hyndburn, Ribblesdale and Rossendale, as well as Accrington and Rossendale College.
The Support Teams will provide one to one and group therapy for mild to moderate mental health issues, give timely advice to school and college staff, as well as liaise with specialist services, to help children and young people to get the right support and stay in education.
Dr Aliya Bhat, a GP in Hyndburn, and the GP lead for paediatrics at East Lancashire CCG, said: “We are absolutely delighted that our CCGs have been successful in their latest bid for additional funding to support young people suffering with poor mental health within East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen. Offering more support to young people in schools at a much earlier stage, will help them to achieve the best educational outcomes and reduce the chance of them developing more serious mental health issues in later in life.”