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Coronavirus mental health support

Funding secured to support mental health in schools

by Jonathan Kearney

Partners in Knowsley and St Helens have come together to secure £753,000 of funding to support children’s mental health in schools.

 Knowsley Council’s allocation is £356,379, which will be used to create a Mental Health Support Team, supporting children’s emotional wellbeing across a number of primary, secondary and special schools in the Borough.

Work is already underway on recruiting the team and it is hoped the team will be operational from next month.

The team will work directly with pupils in schools and also with the wider community to identify issues that are impacting on a child’s emotional wellbeing at an earlier stage and ensure that support is put in place sooner to prevent issues from escalating.

Issues could include mild to moderate anxiety as well as helping staff within school settings.

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “The pandemic has created a range of challenges for our children and families and it is crucial that the impact on their mental health and emotional wellbeing is prioritised.

“Lockdown has meant that for many children, they do not have a regular routine or they don’t have social contact with their friends, which we know has an impact on mental health and wellbeing.

“We want to ensure that children and families have access to mental health support at the earliest opportunity. I’m delighted that the Mental Health Support Team will shortly be working across our schools and within our communities and I look forward to seeing this project develop over the coming months.”

The funding bid, submitted by Knowsley and St Helens Clinical Commissioning Groups, in partnership with Knowsley Council and St Helens Council and North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Trust, was submitted to NHS England and Improvement.