Mental health support teams
The mental health support team offer is one that’s been developed through the Government Green Paper on Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision (December 2017) and with lessons learned from the Greater Manchester rapid pilot. The Greater Manchester mental health support teams will deliver:
- NHS led teams with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations and mental health practitioners embedded, broadening the support offer from a purely CBT-based model
- Physical health and mental wellbeing bespoke offers eg Manchester are teaming up with Manchester City and Heywood Middleton and Rochdale Link4life programme
- A fundamental whole school approach that aims to ensure that all members of the school can flourish and be mentally healthy thereby reducing the prevalence of mental ill health and the need for targeted interventions (PHE, 2015). It’s proactive rather than reactive and includes aspects such as leadership and management, school culture and ethos, curriculum, student voice, staff training and wellbeing, interventions and referral (PHE, 2015).
- Integration across the system with multiple organisations working together
- Low to moderate psycho-social support with one to one and group support and rapid referrals to the wider mental health system
Manchester, Oldham, Heywood Middleton & Rochdale and Salford are working to mobilise ten Greater Manchester blended model of mental health support teams. This model is made up of educational mental health practitioners and mental health practitioners. It brings together some key elements of the Greater Manchester mentally healthy schools and colleges pilot (eg one to one support through mental health practitioners) and introduces the newest element of the mental health workforce in the form of educational mental health practitioners. Teams started working with schools and colleges in these four localities in the Autumn term and are expected to be at full strength by January 2021. These ten teams will mobilise a workforce of over 70 staff and will provide support to over 16% of Greater Manchester’s 5-18yr old children and young people. The schools and colleges have been selected by the localities based on need.
The development and mobilisation of the Greater Manchester blended model for mental health support teams is important because they will be integrated teams that are able to not only treat but signpost quickly as they will be aligned to schools and colleges in each locality. This is the opportunity to increase capacity for low to moderate mental health support directly into schools and colleges. We believe we’re on track to achieve the national target of 25% of Greater Manchester’s 5-18yr old children and young people being supported by mental health support teams by 2023/24.