As part of Children’s Mental Health Week  this week (5-11 February), Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s Mental Health Support Teams in Schools (MHST) are teaming up with a number of schools and two community radio stations to deliver “studio in a box” sessions.

Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust’s Jessica Aucott, who manages Loughborough MHST, stated: “Children’s Mental Health Week is always a busy week for our team, and this year will be no different. Our team will be out all week supporting sessions and workshops in lots of schools and colleges across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

“This year will be exciting as we are running “Studio in a Box” sessions. It will be a chance for the students to speak about what’s important to them and for us to produce a ‘podcast’ style recording to host on our Health for Teens website. This ties in with the ambition of the theme of this year’s children’s mental health week – My Voice Matters; empowering our children to speak up and express themselves in a positive way.”

During the sessions, the students will be interviewed in small groups by the presenters to get their views on a number of mental health and wellbeing topics such as the importance of listening, how friends support you, and if it is easier to talk online or face to face?

Julie Thomson, who manages the Melton and Rutland MHST stated “Mental health and student wellbeing is high on the priority list of all schools and colleges all year round, however, this week it’s important for us to show all the support that is out there. This year we will be co-facilitating workshops and we’re really looking forward to finding out what the children and young people have to say.”

Selina Tumani, All Age Mental Health & LD Transformation Lead, Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland (LLR), Integrated Care Board (ICB) who is the commissioning lead for the service said: “The mental health and wellbeing of children and young people is a key priority for all organisations working in health and care organisations across our patch.  MHST is a nationally driven initiative to reduce health inequalities and increase timely access to mental health support for children and young people through early intervention and prevention.  Since 2020/21 the MHST service has been commissioned with a commitment to expanding direct mental health support in local schools. They currently cover around 96,000 children and young people. This week is a great opportunity to hear from children and young people about how initiatives such as these are supporting them in school or college when they need it the most.”

There is a dedicated webpage for this week on the LPT website with a number of downloadable resources to support schools and families.