Home Children and Young People Improving access to mental health support for children and young people
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Improving access to mental health support for children and young people

by Jonathan Kearney

Last year, funding was secured to support children’s mental health in schools.

With the challenges faced throughout the pandemic, including national lockdowns, access to mental health has never been more important.

Knowsley Council secured £356,379 of NHS England and Improvement funding, which has been used to create a Mental Health Support Team.

The team is working across 20 primary and secondary schools across the Borough, following a successful pilot in All Saints Catholic Primary School, Kirkby High School and Westvale Primary School.

The team are in place to support children’s emotional wellbeing by identifying issues at an early stage to ensure preventative measures can introduced to prevent issues from escalating.  The team are also strengthening links with schools and mental health services.

The team consists of Mental Health Nurses, Children’s Nurses, Therapists and Educational Mental Health Practitioners and can provide support on a range of issues including anxiety, low mood, coping mechanisms and behavioural issues.

The team is available both during term-time and throughout school holidays, providing all-year round support.

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.

“Ensuring children and young people have access to mental health support is a priority for us.

“Through the Mental Health Support Team, issues can be identified at an early stage which can be addressed through targeted support.

“I look forward to seeing this project develop over the coming months and to hear from our children and young people about the help and support they have received.”

You can read more about the Mental Health Support Team on the Mersey Care website.