Mental Health Support Teams - Celebration Event
A government initiative to bring health and education together with the creation of Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) is now well underway. The three London boroughs of NELFT - Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Waltham Forest, who collectively are part of wave 3-6 and who have collaborated since their inception – came together this month at the CEME Conference Centre. The event was arranged in order for teams to celebrate with each other, school staff and other partners who were able to attend and discuss their work and achievements to date.
The event was opened by each team’s Clinical Lead/Service Manager who welcomed attendees and outlined how the morning would proceed. This was followed by presentations from each team, in which all attendees were able to note similarities and differences from ways of working in their own teams and glean initiatives to implement going forward. The presentations also included vignettes from children, young people, parents and teachers who gave feedback in relation to their experience of receiving MHST support.
In addition, Kirstie Stroud, Department of Education, Regional Mental Health Strategic Lead, South attended and gave an enlightening presentation on MHST achievements nationwide and initiatives which MHSTs are taking to ensure they are collaborating with service users to dovetail their offer into their communities’ actual needs, as opposed to adhering inflexibly to criteria.
We were fortunate to have a Head Teacher from one of the Havering schools share that a child expressed their confidence that the emotional health needs of peers would be picked up by the service, having received support from an Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) and witnessing how the service engages with the school.
It was a pleasure for the teams to hear Kirstie Stroud, in two subsequent events, describe her positive reaction in recalling what the Havering Head Teacher had said. All three boroughs have received many compliments from pupils, parents and staff, which have validated the work that they do.
We look forward to holding future tri-borough events and continuing to support service users in our communities.