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Lewisham's Young People Will Benefit from Mental Health Support Teams

Lewisham has been successful in securing funding to implement two Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in schools and colleges, which have been designed to deliver interventions to children and young people in primary and secondary schools, with mild to moderate needs, with a focus on behaviour, anxiety, and depression to support during primary to secondary school transition. 

Lewisham's bid for Mental Health Support Teams was co-produced with a range of cross–sector leads, including children and young people, residents and practitioners. The teams will focus on the following three equality drivers, designed to promote equity of access to evidence based mental health support alongside our Early Help Strategy and wider Child and Adolescent Mental Health Transformation Plan.

They will work with Lewisham schools to:

  • Ensure children and young people reach their learning potential.
  • Tailor services when responding to the range of needs experienced by  vulnerable young people.
  • Mitigate the effect of poverty and disadvantage faced by Lewisham families.

Several Lewisham schools supported the bid and responded positively to the prospect of additional evidence-based mental health interventions in schools.  We are looking forward to jointly delivering on the expected benefits.

Managing Director of NHS Lewisham CCG, Martin Wilkinson, said: "Many people are affected by lifelong mental health challenges that often manifest themselves in childhood. That's why I'm delighted that Lewisham has been selected as a trailblazer site, giving us the opportunity to build upon the existing work that we're doing.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to make a tangible and positive difference to lives of Lewisham's young people. The benefits from good mental health and wellbeing will have an impact for many years to come, transforming lives for the better."

The four-year scheme is led by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, backed by the multi-million-pound government investment.  It builds on 1,500 schools and colleges that have already taken up this training during the pilot stage of the programme, launched in 2015.

For more information, visit the NHS England website.