Hertfordshire to be a national trailblazer for mental health support in schools.

Updated: May 6, 2021

By Chloe Olivia Sladden

In a recent Comet article by Louise McEvoy, it was announced the mental Health Support Teams project has been launched to help support school children. A total of 25 areas, including Hertfordshire, were named by the government to help launch the project. The idea for this project was set in the Children and Young People, Mental Health, Green Paper.

A member of Hertfordshire’s Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Board; and Headteacher for Stevenage Marriott’s School, Beth Honnor, said: “Parents and pupils have told us they want more mental health support provided within schools and locally.”

Clinical Lead for Mental Health with Hertfordshire and West Essex, Sustainability and Transformation Partnership; Doctor Geraldine O’ Sullivan,  was also pleased with the news of Hertfordshire’s involvement with children and young people’s mental health, and commented how: ““Our plan will see 40 schools supported by two teams of support workers, which could include youth workers as well as mental health practitioners, providing evidence-based support in community venues, not just schools.

Dr Geraldine O’Sullivan spoke of how pupils will get better support with the project, regarding mental health. The Mental Health School Support project is the main focus for Hertfordshire in its five-year Mental Health and Wellbeing Transformation Plan.

“We are also planning on having parent education programmes provided by the voluntary sector. This initiative will make a huge difference in the lives of children and young people.”

“It will further improve links between mental health services and schools to ensure children, parents and teachers know where they can get support and help for young people with mental health concerns.”

Headteacher Beth Honnor also commented on the impact the project would have and has said: “School staff see young people day in, day out and are there for them at tough times, of course, but with these new teams we will be even better placed to help pupils in need.”

Dr Geraldine added, that the project will both help pupils and give support to parents and school staff: “[This will] ensure children and young people with more severe needs access the right support by providing a link to specialist NHS services.”

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