A new initiative offering specialist mental health support to pupils is being launched in schools in Burton and Uttoxeter.

The Trust’s Mental Health Support Teams are supporting a total of 28 schools in the East Staffordshire area as part of the national Trailblazer scheme.

It follows a successful bid from the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and MPFT to establish the team, which is made up of a number of Education Mental Health Practitioners.

The team is working with participating primary, middle, secondary and special schools to offer targeted support to children and young people experiencing low level mental health and emotional wellbeing difficulties such as low mood and anxiety.

A week-long series of events are being held online to mark the launch of the team, starting on Monday 28 September with an event on Zoom for participating schools to formally introduce the team and talk about their work.

The theme of the events held during the week will be the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ – these are ‘take notice’, ‘be active’, ‘connect’, ‘give’ and ‘keep learning’. As well as a workshop aimed at young people, the team will be posting daily activity ideas for parents and children around the Ways to Wellbeing via its Twitter and Facebook channels @BurtonUttoxMHST. A logo design competition is also being held for students, with the winning design to be adopted by the team.

Whilst Covid-19 has had an impact on how the team can provide support, they are working closely with schools on the best way to enable more face-to-face help to those in need. As well as the sessions with the pupils, they are able to offer training, assemblies, workshops and parent support.

The team will also work collaboratively with local authorities to ensure pupils are able to receive the help they need.

Claire Bailey, Managing Director of MPFT’s Children and Families Care Group, said: “We’re really delighted the Mental Health Support Team is formally launching its service for participating schools in Burton and Uttoxeter.

“We’ve worked closely with commissioners and local authority partners with the collective goal of providing more targeted support to pupils experiencing mental health difficulties. I know the team is raring to go and committed to making a difference and I know the service they provide will be invaluable.”

Rachel Gallyot, Chair of East Staffordshire CCG said: “Good mental health and wellbeing for children and young people is a priority for the CCGs and by working in partnership we have established this important new provision for East Staffordshire that will build resilience and improve the mental health and wellbeing of pupils across a range of education providers.”

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