Proud to support Children’s Mental Health Week 6-12 February
08 Feb 23
The importance of talking and asking for help
The theme of this year’s national is “Let’s Connect”. The focus is on encouraging all children, young people (and adults) to understand the importance of having meaningful relationships in their lives that support their mental health.
Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) delivers a wide variety of specialist services to support children and young people with their mental health needs. It provides interventions for moderate/severe emotional and behavioural difficulties in children and adolescents and offers specialist interventions for other mental health difficulties. Specialist services include supporting children with eating disorders, home treatment teams, crisis assessments and treatment teams and working with children who are looked after.
HPFT works closely with partners including children’s social care, education services and other children’s health services in Hertfordshire, including teams providing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). One example of this work is the Mental Health Support Teams based in schools and colleges.
Mental Health Support Teams in Schools (MHSTs)
Hertfordshire’s MHSTs deliver support to schools and colleges across the county. They provide training for school staff and parents/carers, as well as individual and group interventions for children and young people with mild to moderate mental health needs, helping them to build their resilience and develop positive coping strategies.
HPFT host the MHSTs in Hertfordshire, together with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) who host the Special Educational Needs (SEN) MHST.
James is an MHST practitioner and describes how he “loves seeing the children develop and helping them to see a path for the future.”
Karen Taylor, Chief Executive at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We know that a good start in life, including positive mental health and wellbeing, sets up children and young people to live their best life.
“Children’s Mental Health Week is a time when we can reflect on how we support children and young people’s mental health across the Trust.
“We have many activities happening across the Trust and with our partners this week, and I want to use this opportunity to also shine a light on our teams in HPFT who go over and above every day to support young people and their families. We deliver a wide range of services that support children and young people including Forest House Adolescent Unit, the Children’s Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (C-CATT), The Targeted Treatment Team (supporting Children Looked After), Home Treatment Team, CAMHS Community DBT, CAMHS Eating Disorder Team and our core CAMHS Community teams. We also provide early intervention support via our mental health support teams based in schools and colleges, the number of which have grown year on year.”
HPFT have a Young People's Council who are a group of young people that have experience of using CAMHS and HPFT services. The Council aims to stamp out stigma, raise awareness, make young people who are experiencing mental health struggles know that they are not alone and make a difference.
The Young People’s Council describe the importance of being connected to people.
“It doesn’t matter what we might be struggling with, we are all looking for the same thing. If we feel like a healthcare professional is trying to get to know us and make us feel comfortable then it’s easier for us to talk, listen and be part of our recovery. It doesn’t matter what your role is, just how you are with us. The best staff make us feel like we are part of our care.”
You can find an up to date list of schools with an MHST here. If a school/college doesn’t currently have an MHST, HCT’s Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner Service may be able to help.
More information about what is available can be found at: Mental Health Support for Hertfordshire's Children and Young People (justtalkherts.org).