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Hounslow chosen as a trailblazer for Mental Health in schools

20 Dec 2018

Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in partnership with the London Borough of Hounslow and West London NHS Trust, is proud to have been chosen as one of the pilot sites for new school-based Mental Health Support Teams.

Following the announcement today by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, Hounslow has been confirmed as one of 25 first wave pilot sites for this initiative, which aims to increase access to mental health support for children and young people and improve early intervention.

These Trailblazer sites will see significant new funding as part of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health green paper.

Two Mental Health Support Teams, one for the East and one for the West of the borough, will cover all of the primary and secondary schools in Hounslow and will be ready to start seeing children and young people by December 2019.

Each team will employ specially trained staff members who are trained to work on mental health and well-being issues. They will be recruited and trained during 2019.

The teams will provide young people aged 4 to eighteen years old with fast access to mental health and emotional wellbeing support in the school or college setting when needs first arise, offering evidence-based interventions, group work and guided self-help. They will also build on the existing support in the borough’s schools to take a proactive approach to mental health.

These new teams are part of the wider recommendations of the government’s Green Paper, intended to improve mental health services for children and young people.

The initiative builds on the work already underway locally through the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Transformation Plan, including the successful Mental Health in Schools pilot which ran in the 2016-17 academic year and the fantastic work that many of the borough’s schools are already doing to support the emotional wellbeing of their pupils. It provides Hounslow with a much-needed additional resource to meet the rising demand in the borough.

Dr Annabel Crowe, Hounslow CCG clinical lead for mental health and local GP said:

“This is a great opportunity to improve mental health care for our children and young people.
Young people often have to wait too far long to access support. Having Mental Health Support teams within schools will offer a more convenient way for young people to access mental health care when they need it.”

Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Youth Services, Hounslow Council, said:

“Given how young people have to wait too long to access services, this funding is a welcome first step.

Mental illness can be devastating for young people and their families, and it is essential that they get the best possible care at the right time.

Being part of this pilot will enable us to improve access to mental health services to meet the needs of our children and young people.”

Vijay Parkash, Clinical Director for CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) West London Health Trust said:

“Last week’s statistics from NHS Digital, which show one in 8 five to 19-year-olds is living with a mental health problem, underlines how important it is for young people to get quick and easy access to support.
We are delighted to be leading these teams and giving vital help to young people who are experiencing mental health issues in Hounslow.”

Hounslow CCG and London Borough of Hounslow (LBH) will work closely with schools and colleges to develop the pilot during 2019. The funding for this pilot will be ring-fenced and will be in addition to the current level of investment in Children and Young People’s Mental Health.

Hounslow CCG and LBH will also be working closely with NHS England (London) to deliver and evaluate this pilot. The bid made by the CCG was praised for its high standard and ambition to build on current transformation plans in a realistic and sustainable way.