Barking & Dagenham Mental Health Support Team (MHST)
Who are we?
Barking and Dagenham Mental Health Support Team (MHST) is a new service which has been created to help meet the emotional wellbeing needs of children, young people and families within education settings. This support is aimed at children and young people who may be experiencing mild to moderate emotional wellbeing concerns.
We provide additional support working alongside other professionals who are already based in and around schools as part of the Whole School Approach.
MHSTs are a resource in addition to the already existing support in any particular education setting.
Currently, Barking & Dagenham MHST is available in six schools across the borough, which includes both primary and secondary schools, with the aim of branching out in more schools in the future. Please take a look at our current list of schools.
What are the three main functions of a MHST?
MHSTs have three main functions:
- To work in collaboration with education staff to develop and implement a Whole School Approach (WSA) to emotional wellbeing and mental health. This includes identifying priorities for WSA and supporting with the delivery of these (e.g., mental health awareness assemblies to reduce stigma, workshops for parents and carers, and supporting staff wellbeing).
- To offer support and guidance to schools, promoting joint working with other services to ensure that children and young people are able to receive the support that they need. This may include training and consultation with education professionals, joined-up problem solving, liaison with other services and signposting.
- To offer evidence-based, time-limited targeted support for difficulties such as low mood, worry and anxiety, low self-esteem/confidence, and to support understanding behaviour. This may be in a group or one-to-one. It may be with children and young people, or it may involve working with parents and carers.
Who is in our team?
The team is made up of Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs) & Child Wellbeing Practitioners, trained in Low Intensity support, based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) model, Senior Mental Health Practitioners (SMHPs), Senior Therapist’s, as well as a Service Manager.
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