Mental Health Support Teams in Schools (MHST) are part of a national programme to reduce inequalities and increase access to mental health support for children and young people.
The LPT service works with almost 100 schools across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
The teams offer support to children and young people who are experiencing:
- low mood
- anxiety and avoidance (eg simple phobias or separation anxiety)
- sleep difficulties
The team can provide techniques and strategies to children and young people, either on a direct 1:1 basis, or within school groups. MHST also work closely with parents/carers to help them understand and support their child’s mental health.
The team work collaboratively with the school’s mental health lead and senior leadership team to raise awareness and promote better mental health for everyone as part of the school’s ‘Whole School and College Approach‘.
The MHST is a multi-disciplinary team comprising Senior Clinicians, Clinicians and Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHP’s) who work directly with schools, parents, children and young people. EMHPs are trained to deliver evidence-based early-interventions, which includes Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Li-CBT).
MHST staff are trained to offer a range of interventions to support children and young people:
- low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- sensory strategies
- practical ideas
- creative problem solving
- thought challenging
What is low intensity CBT?
CBT involves the EMHP working with the individual to focus on their mental health concern, in particular their thoughts and feelings, and the impact it is having on them. The EMHP will work with the young person to develop a toolkit of practical strategies and coping mechanisms to help them deal with difficult situations when they arise.
CBT is a talking therapy, based upon the understanding that thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected. It suggests that negative thoughts and feelings can trap the individual in a cycle and helps to identify ways to break that cycle.
Information for schools
If your school would like more information on the MHST programme, please contact: email@example.com
How MHSTs will support your school (core offer)
We will deliver evidence-based interventions for mild-moderate mental health issues in one of the following ways:
- Individual face-to-face work: Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (LI-CBT) interventions for children, young people experiencing mild to moderate mental health concerns based on up-to-date evidence.
- Group work: Both targeted and whole school group work tailored to identified need.
- Group parenting classes: Currently offered virtually.
- Whole school approach: Including staff training, whole school assemblies, workshops and being involved in health fairs
- Working alongside education settings to ensure safeguarding procedures around the MHST are aligned with your school’s existing systems and support your needs as a school.
- Sessions provided in education settings with the option for virtual contacts outside of term time. MHST will ensure adherence to appropriate Covid-secure measures to maintain the safety of all concerned.
We will also provide you with a welcome pack to support ongoing collaborative working, explain about the EMHP role, remit, and training requirements, and set out the support that the local MHST will be able to offer.
As a participating school, you will be required to:
- Identify a named member of senior staff to be the Mental Health Lead. They will liaise with our EMHPs to discuss either individual student or whole school concerns. They will play an important part within school in sharing best practice, lessons learned and supporting the involvement of colleagues such as the SENCO or the pastoral team. This individual must have sufficient capacity within their role to take on this responsibility.
- Involve children, young people, and their families/carers from the school community in the ongoing development of the MHST.
- Supporting with creating a tailored MHST Supporting with service evaluation and audits to continually improve the service offer.
- Identify appropriate accommodation that could be used for group work and individual interventions where these can best be carried out in a supportive way with minimal disruption.
MHST provides support to children and young people aged 5-18 years (in education) who attend one of the participating schools. MHST is an early-intervention service for children and young people who are experiencing low to moderate mental health concerns.
Mental health concerns regarding specific children and young people are referred by the school’s mental health lead following discussion with the MHST team. Consent is obtained from parents/carers prior to consultation. Advice and signposting to other appropriate services can also be provided by MHST.