Teams across Rotherham and Doncaster which support the mental wellbeing of children and young people are using Mental Health Awareness Week (May 18-24) to remind pupils and students that help is at hand if they are feeling down, anxious or stressed.
The Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs), which are part of a national trailblazer pilot launched in February this year, aims to improve the overall wellbeing of around 32,000 children and young people in 50 schools and colleges in Rotherham and Doncaster.
A key part of the trailblazer is a new website called ‘With Me In Mind’ specially designed and produced by the children and young people themselves in collaboration with NHS organisations, councils and schools. The website contains a whole host of new resources to help children and young people with a range of mental health conditions. The website can be found here and at www.withmeinmind.co.uk
The MHSTs build on the support already provided by school counsellors, nurses and educational psychologists. The aim of the service is to treat pupils with mild to moderate mental health issues and to support those with more complex needs to access specialist NHS support. Throughout the Covid-19 situation the MHSTs have been supporting school staff, children, young people and their families online and WhatsApp technologies.
Christina Harrison, Director of Children’s Services at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), said: “This service which is one the first 25 across the country to be up and running. It provides early expert help and support to enhance and make a real positive difference to both the physical and mental health of children and young people.”
The service is run by the RDaSH, supported by clinical commissioning groups in Doncaster and Rotherham, Doncaster Council and Rotherham Council.
Dr Jason Page, Rotherham GP and GP lead for Children and Young People at NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people is extremely important, now more so than ever. Although the teams are currently unable to provide support in our schools due to the current pandemic, this awareness week provides a timely reminder that we all need to look after our mental health. I would encourage students and their families to seek advice from the With Me in Mind service if they need it during this difficult time.”
Lee Golze, Interim Assistant Director of Children and Young People Services at Doncaster Council and Joint Commissioning Lead at NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s really important for our children and young people to have good mental health and wellbeing, especially now considering the impact social distancing may be having. This new service enhances the support we already have established in our schools and it’s great to see this work continuing throughout the lockdown and for youngsters to know support is still available at this time.”
For the few children and young people currently in school, support and advice is available through their class teacher.
For further information, please contact the communications team, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust,
Tel: 01302 796204/ 6282/ 8134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org