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Government minister visits Feltham school supported by West London NHS Trust

14 Oct 2019

Springwest Academy in Feltham welcomed government minister, Nadine Dorries, to visit its new Mental Health Support Team on Thursday 10 October, as part of World Mental Health Day.  This team is one of three in Hounslow which will offer young people fast access to mental and emotional wellbeing support in their schools.

The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety, visited Springwest Academy to see the progress being made to develop the new team and to speak to many of the people involved, including Ben Aveyard (pictured, far left), the consultant lead at West London NHS Trust, who are playing a key part in this programme.

The Minister met with pupils, teaching staff responsible for mental health and support and members of the Mental Health Support Team, including the new educational mental health practitioner workforce. Practitioners are being trained up now and will play a big role in the team when it becomes operational early next year.

Dr Johan Redelinghuys, Clinical Director of CAMHS and Developmental Services at West London NHS Trust, says: “At West London NHS Trust, we feel it is vital that children and young people receive efficient mental health support in places most convenient for them, such as their school or college. In doing so, they are best placed to handle any challenges around their anxieties and behavioural issues with confidence. It is great that we have the Minister who has come to see for herself the incredible work being done to help those in need in west London.”

The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries, MP, said: “My visit to Springwest Academy on World Mental Health Day has given me valuable insight into the everyday pressures our young people face every day and allowed me the chance to see how the presence of dedicated mental health support staff is already benefitting their lives. I am grateful for the school’s tireless efforts in joining up with the local health service, to provide vital, timely care to pupils.”

Mental Health Support Teams are part of an exciting trailblazer project funded by NHS England, Health Education England and other partners, with the aim of improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in the community. Statistics from NHS Digital, released in November 2018, revealed that one in eight children and young people between the ages of five to 19-year-old are living with a mental health problem. In Hounslow this translates to around 8,500 children and young people.