Sefton schools come together to talk mental health
School staff in Sefton are set to get more help and support around mental health and wellbeing for them and their pupils, through the launch of a new virtual network.
The Education and Mental Health Network hosts a virtual event each half term that teachers, schools’ support staff and representatives from mental health services can attend. Each event includes a presentation from a local school, offers of training and services, and a group discussion on overcoming mental health challenges.
The network is the latest in a range of mental health support initiatives for schools led by Sefton Emotional Health Partnership. The partnership also leads several Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in Sefton, who work in schools and colleges to deliver early intervention for young people with mild to moderate mental health issues.
The partnership has launched the new network after positive feedback from the Education and Mental Health in Schools Conference – an event they hosted earlier this year in Sefton. The conference was themed around ‘growing together’ and aimed to promote early detection and prevention of mental health problems within schools and colleges.
Jenna Crosbie is a project manager for the Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in Sefton and co-organised the conference.
She said: “We are delighted to launch the education and mental health network, after bringing together so many school staff earlier in the year.
“The conference in February proved to be so popular that our new network was launched only a few weeks later, to enable staff to continue to meet up and share their knowledge and experiences with other schools across the borough.”
All school staff who attended the conference said that they felt their knowledge of mental health support across Sefton had grown as a result – something that healthcare leaders are keen to continue with the launch of the education and mental health network. Attendees at the conference learned about the support available for children and young people in the borough from a variety of presentations given by local mental health support services, such as SWAN Women’s Centre, Parenting 2000, The Samaritans, Alder Hey Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and many more.
Attendees also took part in interactive workshops and breakout sessions to share ideas and discuss topics such as concerns about mental health in schools and overcoming barriers to getting mental health support.
Peter Wong, children and young people commissioning lead at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:
“We believe that mental health can be ‘championed’ and talked about in exactly the same way as physical health. Events like these aim to make sure that we can all learn from each other’s experiences, to ensure that we support the emotional wellbeing of every young person in Sefton.”
Staff from schools in Sefton who would like to join the education and mental health network can email Sharon Cotterall, children and families development officer at Sefton CVS and chair of the education and mental health network at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sefton Emotional Health Partnership brings together Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Southport and Formby CCG, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, schools and voluntary community and faith (VCF) sector colleagues.
To find out more about the MHSTs in Sefton, visit: www.alderhey.nhs.uk/services/sefton-mental-health-support-team-mhst
If you are looking for mental health support in Sefton for children and young people, you can find a list of services by visiting: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/mental-health-support-children