Transforming children and young people’s mental health

Following the successful submission of a bid to NHS England, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees have been selected as a trailblazer site for a national pilot to develop Mental Health Support Teams for children and young people.

Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), supported by Alliance Psychological Services and Mental Health Trust Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Foundation NHS Trust (TEWV), is working with Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Councils and local schools, colleges and parent carer forums to raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing and improve support to children and young people.

The new Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) is a joint initiative between NHS England and the Department for Education to develop models of early intervention on mild to moderate mental health and emotional wellbeing issues, such as anxiety, behavioural difficulties or friendship issues, as well as provide support to staff within a school and college setting. The teams will act as a link with local children and young people’s mental health services and be supervised by NHS staff.

Neil O’Brien, Chief Clinical Officer at County Durham and Tees Valley CCGs, said, “We are delighted that Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees have been chosen as a trailblazer area for this national pilot.

“Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees have higher than national average incidence rates of children and young people living in areas of economic deprivation and poverty, hospital admissions for self-harm, youth and adolescent suicide rates, and levels of school exclusion.

“The Mental Health Support Teams aim to improve the emotional and physical wellbeing of our children and young people, deliver a robust, effective and community-based framework and collaboration in the long term, and ensure children and young people can get the right support and remain in education.”

Mental Health Support Teams will be recruited from October 2019 to work with schools and colleges from January 2020 onwards in identified cluster areas within each local authority – Billingham in Stockton and the Central 2 and South clusters in Hartlepool.

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