Extension of Support into Greater Manchester schools and colleges

Additional mental health practitioner (one to one support) across Greater Manchester schools and colleges.

We know the Autumn term has been particularly challenging, firstly as students and staff will take time to become used to their new reality, secondly as the second wave lock down continues and school life is disrupted as bubbles have to isolate and lastly but just as importantly the economic impact of COVID-19 will be affecting families.

In recognition that all of Greater Manchester has been affected by the impact of COVID-19 we were keen to ensure all ten of our localities have mental health support during the 20/21 academic year. For the six localities (Bury, Bolton, Wigan, Trafford, Tameside & Glossop and Stockport ) that won’t have mental health support teams mobilised during 2020/2021 we’ve been liaising with commissioners and education leads to support them to assess their COVID-19 recovery needs with regards mental health in education.

We’ve also been working with the voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations that were part of the Greater Manchester mentally healthy schools and colleges rapid pilot to support them to retain the mental health practitioner staff working in these localities to provide a ready workforce to support the expected surge in mental health demand in schools and colleges and complement existing support and services.  We believe immediate support in the form of mental health practitioner resource, targeted at the areas of greatest need and working with and within existing locality systems would deliver the greatest benefits in outcomes for children and young people and the schools and colleges they attend.

The additional benefit of such a model of delivery is that this resource, over time could be transitioned into and form the nucleus of future mental health support teams within these six localities.