Meeting the mental health needs of our school children

Providing mental health support for our primary and secondary age children is a national priority. Cheshire and Merseyside is a trailblazer in addressing this, by establishing a growing number of new teams made up of dedicated mental health professionals, who are going into our schools to offer direct help.

Mental health support teams (MHSTs) promote early detection and prevention of emotional health and wellbeing problems across the whole school. They are one of the ways that we are working to increase access to mental health support for our children and young people.

We were amongst the first areas to develop and adopt MHSTs and we have been putting them in place over the past few years. We now have funding approved for a total of 26 service teams working in all areas of Cheshire and Merseyside.

How does this improve services for patients?

During 2022-2023 more than 4,000 children and young people were supported by our newly established MHSTs.

These teams help children develop important life skills and improve their educational potential by helping them deal with their various practical, emotional and mental health challenges such as bullying or exam stress.

As well as providing direct support to children and young people, MHST teams provide training, education and advice to school staff to help them better support their pupils around mental and emotional wellbeing.

Our MHSTs also work to strengthen links between our schools and wider mental health services to help children and young people get the right help and stay in education.

What's next?

We are continuing to invest in more MHST teams in 2023-2024 to ensure as many children and school staff as possible benefit from their support.

As a relatively new initiative working across a number of partner organisations we are also assessing the data behind the work of all our teams. This will help us to better understand how we can continually improve these services and their outcomes for our children and young people across Cheshire and Merseyside.

Find out more

You can find out more about the national MHST programme on the NHS England website.

Our MHST services are provided by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

You can find out more from the links below: