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NHS England - Mental Health Support Teams (from 2020)

MHSTs in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Council is pleased to confirm that Wiltshire (with BaNES) has been confirmed as a trailblazer site for the delivery of Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) from January 2020. 

NHS England has allocated two teams for Wiltshire, which will support most of the primary, secondary, special schools and colleges in 2 clusters of approximately 8000 children: Trowbridge and Westbury, Devizes and Salisbury.

The schools and colleges in these areas, that will receive additional support from these teams, were contacted with further details in autumn 2019.   

Wiltshire Council will be bidding for greater coverage across the county at the next opportunity.

What are MHSTs?

The new MHSTs, which are jointly delivered with the Department for Education, will develop models of early intervention on mild to moderate mental health and emotional wellbeing issues, such as anxiety, behavioural difficulties or friendship issues, as well as providing help to staff within school and college settings. 

This new resource of additional staff will come directly into schools and colleges to support pupil mental health and wellbeing. It is additional support for education settings.

MHSTs will trial a four-week waiting time for access to young people’s mental health services, building on the expansion of services already underway.

What will the new practitioners do? 

The new Education Mental Health Practitioners will be undertaking training, provided by Exeter University, in Bristol  from January 2020. They will be getting to know their schools and will be ready to begin delivering interventions from September 2020.   

The practitioners will complement and work alongside existing mental health support and will provide:

  • individual face to face work e.g. to address anxiety, low mood, friendship and behavioural difficulties
  • group work e.g. to address self harm and anxiety
  • group parenting classes e.g. to address conduct disorder, communication difficulties
  • support Senior MH Lead to develop a whole-school approach to emotional wellbeing and mental health 
  • timely advice to help children and young people get the right help and stay in school, using an integrated referral system

What will participating schools have to do?

  • Provide a named contact to engage with the MHST
  • Raise awareness of the service among staff, pupils, parents and governors   
  • Integrate the new practitioner into the staff team  
  • Host the practitioner in their school or college, allocating them space to work 
  • Identify pupils who may need support 

Key contacts 

A new project leader has been appointed by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and starts in November 2019.

Until then more information is available from Judy Edwards (Children’s Commissioning, Wiltshire Council) judy.edwards@wiltshire.gov.uk

Further information and useful links

Information on MHSTs from NHS England 

Briefing on MHSTs from the British Psychological Society 

Wiltshire CAMHS