New teams, run by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT), are set to launch in Spalding and the surrounding area from September 2023, and Grantham and Sleaford from January 2024. These are in addition to existing successful teams in Lincoln, Gainsborough, Boston and Skegness.
Lynne Tyblewski, MHST Team Coordinator, said:
“Mental Health Support Teams work with selected education settings to support children and young people to thrive emotionally and equip them with tools and strategies to deal with life’s everyday challenges. These can include the transition to new schools, exam stress, worries, angry feelings, low mood, or the emotional impact of bullying.
“Since our first MHSTs launched in 2020, our specialised, passionate and creative staff have developed workshops, assemblies, teacher training, and parent/carer sessions to help support children and their families in the community.”
The service works in collaboration with Lincolnshire County Council and the NHS Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) to promote positive mental health for children and young people and help them to get the right support whilst remaining in education.
MHSTs complement existing services for children and young people such as the Kooth Online Counselling Service, Healthy Minds Lincolnshire and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Eve Baird, LPFT Associate Director of Operations for specialist services, added:
“We recognise the importance of normalising different emotions and empowering young people to express themselves in a safe environment.”
“Our teams engage with schools and colleges to create bespoke plans to improve wellbeing support as part of the whole school approach. Engaging with parents, carers and students via questionnaires has also been an important part of the development of the service and has produced some fantastic positive feedback.”
A student who has accessed support from the MHST praised the team, commenting:
“It felt like a safe space to come to that I could rely on each week. It has given me a different way to look at things.”
Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, executive member for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said:
“Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the need for children and young people’s mental health services both nationally and locally. The council and its partners fund a wide range of services to promote and provide support for young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
“These additional Mental Health Support Teams will further improve access to support from highly qualified professionals, ensuring those with mental health needs get the right support, in the right place, at the right time.”
To find out more about MHSTs and NHS services for children and young people in Lincolnshire, please visit the LPFT website at www.lpft.nhs.uk/mhst