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Wellbeing support available in local schools

NHS staff are working in local schools and colleges to provide mental health and emotional wellbeing advice and support to staff and students.

Wellbeing in mind teams from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disabilities services across North Yorkshire and York, are working with education establishments in Scarborough, Ryedale and Selby to develop a ‘whole school approach’ to wellbeing.

As well as supporting staff to identify and respond to those who may be struggling, the teams are helping to raise student awareness around problems young people commonly experience. They are also on-hand to provide direct support to young people having problems; working together with pastoral support staff within each setting to help improve outcomes for those in their care.

The team also work closely with others involved in the care of young people, including local child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Their involvement is helping to bridge the gap between services; strengthening relationships and making sure children and their families get the right support, when and where it is needed.

Rob Berry, service manager for the wellbeing in mind teams, said: “Research shows that one in eight children have emotional and mental wellbeing difficulties.

“Poor emotional and psychological well-being can have a negative impact on many areas of a young person’s life, including the relationships they form, their academic achievement and their emotional resilience.

“Having the right support available in schools and colleges helps to make sure problems are picked up at the earliest opportunity and young people are able to receive the right help more quickly; lessening the impact mental wellbeing difficulties can have, both now and in the future.

“It also helps teachers and other staff to better support children in school or college and supports a healthy environment where young people are encouraged to consider their emotional wellbeing and that of others.”

Funding for the teams was secured by the trust, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG (one of three CCGs replaced by NHS North Yorkshire CCG) and North Yorkshire County Council, as part of a national project to improve the wellbeing of young people within education.

Denise Nightingale, NHS Vale of York CCG’s executive director of transformation, complex care and mental health said: “The Clinical Commissioning Groups work closely in partnership with schools and local authorities to develop a comprehensive offer to meet the needs of children and young people for advice and mental health support, and especially for early support in schools.  The CCGs already fund the successful Compass BUZZ and York School Well-Being Service and, where additional national funding can be accessed, will develop additional teams in schools over the next two years”

Phil Sayles, principal at Selby College, one of the local education establishments benefitting from the support of the wellbeing in mind team said: “We are delighted to have NHS colleagues working alongside our student support services to help address the emotional and mental wellbeing needs of young people in our College community. This is even more welcome as we return following lockdown.

“Together we can do a lot to support young people and I am delighted we are able to provide a physical base for the NHS team on our campus.”

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