Service description

The teams can help children and young people work through struggles with low mood, anxiety and worry. They can also assist you in putting strategies in place to help with these issues and support with practical steps to get better sleep and work on panic management.

The team will also work with school leaders and headteachers to promote better mental health for everyone as part of the school’s ‘Whole School Approach‘.

The teams are being introduced as part of a national programme to increase access to mental health support for children and young people, and is another way of supporting and helping you thrive in education.

Who are in the teams?

The teams consist of Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs) trained in Low Intensity CBT interventions, Clinicians and Senior Clinicians, as well as Service Managers. Between them, they have a wealth of experience in supporting children and young people with their mental health and navigating the local systems.

How can they help?

The practitioners will use evidence-based approaches to help you.

They can either work with you on a one-to-one basis or in groups.

They use approaches such as:

What is low intensity CBT?

CBT involves the practitioner working with you to focus on your problem and break it down into smaller parts. The practitioner will help you develop a toolkit of practical strategies and coping mechanisms so you can deal with difficult situations when they arise.

It is a talking therapy, based upon the understanding that your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations and actions are interconnected. It suggests negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a negative cycle and helps you to identify ways to break that cycle.

What does low intensity mean?

Low intensity treatment will involve a number of focussed sessions of individual face-to-face or virtual therapy.

Offering low intensity treatment first means we are able to:

  • offer help to more young people
  • offer help more quickly
  • offer early intervention, before problems build up.
  • provide practical homework and techniques that you can use at home, both on your own and with your family


Information for schools

We are currently expanding our offer and are inviting schools to express their interest in joining the programme, either as a training placement provide (from January 2023) or as a partnership school (from September 2023).

To confirm your interest in either option, please contact:lpt.llrmhstinfo@nhs.net by 24.6.22.

Agreeing to be a training placement provider

If you put your school forward as a training placement setting, your school would host one or more of the EMHPs during their training year. The commitment would last 9-10 months and would give the EMHP(s) the opportunity to deliver a range of evidence-based group and individual interventions in school to children and young people with mild-moderate mental health needs and/or their parents and carers in line with the course requirements.

We are looking for several schools to offer placements, as each EMHP will need to gain experience of working in both a primary and secondary school setting to meet the course requirements.

As is the case with initial teacher training, school placements are essential for ensuring that the EMHPs gain the necessary experience both to meet their course requirements, and to ensure they are in a position to be able to deliver high quality interventions as soon as they qualify. An important benefit of being a host school is that you will be able to offer extra support sooner for pupils beginning to experience mild to moderate mental health issues.

As part of the assessment for modules 2 and 3 of the EMHP training course, students are expected to provide a video recording of an intervention with a young person to the University of Northampton. Training placement schools will be expected to facilitate this, ensuring photo/video permissions are in place for the young person in question, in line with the school’s policy. More information about hosting an EMHP trainee is available in this guide.

The trainee EMHPs will be supported throughout their placement by trained supervisors for case supervision and clinical skill development.

Participating as a non-training place provider

After EMHP’s have qualified (Sept. 2023), teams are able to expand their capacity within each locality. If you are unable to participate as a training place provider, you are still able to express an interest in accessing the MHST service post training year. We envisage starting to work with you from the Spring Term 2023 so that we can begin identifying needs and planning the interventions that will work best for your school.

How MHSTs will support you (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 and families 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.  This will include a baseline questionnaire that our staff will support the mental health leads to complete, which will support in tailoring our offer to individual education setting needs.

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 and lessons learned and supporting the involvement of colleagues such as the SENCO, designated safeguarding lead and designated teachers for looked after children. 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 service evaluation and audits to continually improve our 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. This includes potential office space for the MHST.

Referral criteria

The team supports people with low level mood and anxiety concerns. They can only support young people in the schools they’re working in.

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