A pilot service that currently supports the wellbeing of young people aged 5 to 19 in 8 Island schools, will expand to all schools from next year.

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Barnardo’s and the Isle of Wight Youth Trust have been working in partnership to deliver the new UK Government initiative in England, Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) in schools and colleges across the Island.

This MHST service was launched locally in January 2021 and in its initial development phase, it is working with 4 primary host schools and 4 secondary host schools.

Article continues below this advertisement

Primary host schools include Oakfield Primary School, Barton Primary School, Nine Acres Primary School and Medina House School. Secondary host schools include Cowes Enterprise College, The Isle of Wight College, The Bay CE School and The Island Learning Centre.

The development phase involves collaboration in designing the service with the support teams becoming accessible to children and young people from May 2021.

The practitioners offer early support with evidence-based interventions, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to treat mild to moderate mental health conditions, such as low mood, stress, anxiety and challenging behaviour.

From January 2022, this service will become fully accessible to all schools across the Island. Children and young people will be able to access support from Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs) to supplement the existing support already in place for children and young people aged 4 to 18 years old.

In addition to working with individual children and young people, their families and carers, the MHST service will also work with school and college staff, offering training and consultation to support and develop a collaborative ‘whole school’ approach to mental health and wellbeing.

Article continues below this advertisement

For children and young people in participating schools and colleges, they can access this service by referral from their school’s Mental Health lead.

The MHST service has 3 main aims, to:

  1. deliver evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate mental health issues.
  2. support the senior mental health lead in each school or college to introduce and develop their whole school or college approach
  3. give timely advice to school and college staff, working with existing services for children and young people to get the right support and stay in education. This will include working with CAHMS who support children and young people who have more severe, complex or persistent disorders.

Helen Figgins, Service Manager for Children’s Mental Health at Isle of Wight NHS Trust said,

“We are delighted that children and young people will benefit from this initiative to provide additional mental health and wellbeing support in our Island schools and colleges.

Article continues below this advertisement

“We are collaborating with existing service providers as part of an integrated approach to ensure the MHST service is responsive, fits local needs and is based on an understanding of the needs of the children and young people on the Island. We are also committed to engaging children and young people, their parents, carers in the development and setting up of this service to ensure it’s tailored to reflect their needs.

“This should lead to a more positive experience for children and young people, their families and carers with improved knowledge and confidence in dealing with mental health issues.”

The MHST service is funded by NHS England, Health Education England and partners and designed to improve children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

If you have any questions or would like further information about the service, then email the MHST at [email protected].

Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
isle of wighter
isle of wighter
2 years ago

MHST must also recognise and address any evidence of fragility promotion by anyone, anywhere as this is counter productive.

MHST must also respect the rights and development of people who are not claiming to have mental health issues, so that their enjoyment of their lives and education is not held back by others.

MHST must also ensure that they take a firm stance with those using the mental health line as an excuse to get out of school or work or to avoid doing things they cannot be bothered to do.

MHST must also ensure that whatever they do, it does not affect the regular daily routines, otherwise animosity will appear.

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  isle of wighter
2 years ago

anyone voting my post down is agreeing with…

making people weak by promoting a fragile existence- falls apart after being called a name.
impeding the development of those who are mentally strong because of others who are not.
pandering to the liars who game the system.
actively discouraging the element of competition – that is how it works in the adult world – teach them early or
they will suffer as adults and be walked all over.
hiding the fact that in life there are winners and losers and not everyone gets something for taking part.

creating a weak subsection of society that are dependent on the state and the system from cradle to grav

2 years ago

This is long over due it’s about time that there is a understanding, and money being spent where it is desperately needed most mental health problems can start from childhood not getting the help and support they need in school .A lot of children have emotional and education needs but it’s all down to money of who gets assessed ,a lot don’t get a diagnosis which they need so they can get the support then they get lost in the system and unfortunately this usually leads to getting into trouble at school and adult hood .A lot of children have been let down by the system which lets them down as adults as well


Join our daily newsletter