New Mental Health Support Teams set up in Central and West Lancashire
9th March 2022
A new contract to deliver the Central & West Lancashire Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in education settings has been awarded to Compass, a charity which specialises in services to improve health and wellbeing.
Implementation Manager, Saffron Mason said:
“We are delighted to be able to work with Central & West Lancashire schools and colleges.
“Our service model will ensure children and young people access the right early help, in the right setting removing duplication and preventing children, young people and families being bounced in between services.”
The service will do this by
· Delivering evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate mental health and emotional wellbeing needs
· Supporting the designated Senior Mental Health Lead in each school/education setting
· Providing timely advice to school and college staff
New trainee Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs) and Supervising Practitioners will support children and young people with their mental health and wellbeing.
The Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) will work with 58 schools and colleges across the Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire areas. They will help pupils with issues like anxiety, low mood, and behavioural difficulties.
Service manager Les Neal, said:
“We have a group of really dedicated professionals who we are currently supporting through further training at Edge Hill University.
“They all, without exception, share a determination to do the best they can for the children, young people and families of this area.”
The practitioners, who come from a range of professional health and education backgrounds, will work with pupils either face to face or in groups.
They will support and advise staff in schools by promoting mental health and wellbeing and will plan awareness activities.
Les said: “We very firmly believe we will be able to make a really positive difference not only for children and young, but also for their families.”
So far, twenty-five new members of staff have joined Compass’s new MHSTs and have completed an initial two-day induction event at a country hotel near Chorley.
Saffron said: “The induction event has been a real success. It’s really important that we build a cohesive team from the very beginning.”
Trainee Educational Mental Health Practitioner John (pictured on the left) said:
“The day has been structured really well. Everyone is on the ball. It’s nice to see the management and to see they’re approachable people. I can’t wait to get started.”
Trainee Educational Mental Health Practitioner Faaiza (pictured on the right) said:
“I’m really enjoying myself. It’s really nice that we’re all together. It felt like I’d found home.”
The practitioners are currently completing their comprehensive induction with Compass and settling into their new studies. They will begin making contact with schools and colleges in the near future to start to build positive working relationships.
To keep up to date with news about the new service please visit the information page on the Compass website.