Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) are a new service designed to help meet the mental health needs of children and young people in education settings.

They are made up of Children and Young People’s Mental Health Practitioners and also Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs).

Cheshire CAMHS has been successful in a bid for two years funding which will enable us to develop and roll out MHST’s across some of the local primary and secondary schools in Cheshire. The new service is currently still being developed and some staff are continuing to undertake their Education Mental Health Practitioner training.

The service has three core functions:

  • To deliver brief evidence-based interventions to support children and young people with mild-moderate mental health problems
  • To support schools in developing their whole school approach to mental health
  • To provide timely advice to school staff and liaison with external services, to help children and young people to get the right help and stay in education.

The team will offer assessments and treatment for a range of mental health needs that may be less complex or may be managed by time-limited interventions. For example, children and young people who demonstrate anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties, which do not meet the diagnostic threshold for specialist clinical support. Interventions will promote resilience and support children and young people to develop the skills and techniques to manage their emotions. These will be delivered through a range of individual work and groups for both children and young people and parents/carers as well as through whole class room activities depending on the assessed needs.

  • A mild mental health issue is when a person has a small number of symptoms that have a limited effect on their daily life.
  • A moderate mental health issue is when a person has more symptoms that can make their daily life much more difficult than usual.
  • A severe mental health issue is when a person has many symptoms that can make their daily life extremely difficult.
  • A person may experience different levels at different times.

The teams will act as a link with the Specialist CAMHS teams who support young people aged 0-18 with moderate to severe mental health difficulties which are having a significant impact on daily functioning.

The NHS Long Term Plan has announced that by 2023/24 MHSTs will be rolled out to at least a quarter of the country. For more information about Mental Health Support Teams click here.

Please discuss your concerns with the identified Mental Health Lead within your child’s school. They will then be able to consult with our team to discuss what level of support would best meet their needs.

Welcome to our Cheshire Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) newsletters. This is our regular update from the local team, supporting Cheshire schools and colleges with all things mental well being.