Sheffield named as trailblazer for supporting young people’s mental health in schools
02 August 2019

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Learn Sheffield are working in partnership to develop and pilot mental health support teams in schools to support young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

NHS England have announced that pupils struggling with mental health are to benefit from more joined up care and support across schools, colleges and specialist NHS services, in a national roll out of a £9.3 million training scheme.

Locally, Sheffield has been awarded the status of "trailblazer" following a successful bid to NHS England for a share of the national funding. The funding will enable the piloting of two new mental health support teams in a number of Sheffield schools. The teams will be operational by January 2021 and work to support children and young people’s mental health by delivering interventions in schools and working to identify need and support as early as possible.

Brian Hughes, Director of Commissioning at Sheffield CCG, said: “Becoming a “trailblazer” is fantastic news for Sheffield, we are one of a few areas in the country to be offered this status for the work we are doing.

“We will work with our partners to deliver this scheme and continue to improve mental health support for children and young people in Sheffield.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “I’ve campaigned for children and young people’s emotional and mental health services for a long time, and this programme is a wonderful example of what partnership working can do, colleagues from health, education and the council coming together to improve services for young people. It’s great that our city has been recognised as a trailblazer, highlighting these excellent support services available for children and young people in Sheffield.

“Young people face so many challenges and pressures so it’s vital that they receive the right emotional and mental health support at the time they need it. I am very proud of the progress we have made in Sheffield, and with the addition of the two new support teams I’m confident that we can help more young people tackle issues at an early stage and go on to lead happy, healthy lives.”

Work already underway in Sheffield includes the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Healthy Minds Programme, led by Sheffield Children’s, which is currently being rolled out across Sheffield’s primary and secondary schools. Healthy Minds focuses on providing a whole school approach to mental health through staff training, support for pastoral teams, development of student Healthy Minds champions and implementing school-based activities to support emotional wellbeing the mental health support teams is the next step as this will enable direct interventions to take place in school.

Alongside Healthy Minds, in Sheffield there is also the Door 43 Service for 13-25 year olds based at Star House in the city centre. This service takes a youth work approach to supporting young people’s emotional wellbeing, young people can access services such as counselling, social prescribing, employment support and group interventions. There is also the online counselling service Kooth, which any 11-18 year old can self-refer to.

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