Kirklees schools are to have extra staff to support children’s mental health, thanks to new funding from central Government. Kirklees was selected as one of 25 areas nationally to pilot mental health support teams in schools.
Funds are managed by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s). Carol McKenna, Chief Officer for Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs said; “I’m delighted that our bid for additional funding has been successful. We have a really effective partnership approach in Kirklees that is making a real difference to local services and to the lives of children, young people and families who rely on them. This extra money provides a boost to our efforts”.
The teams, known as Education Mental Health Practitioners, have been placed with Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust. The new workers aim to ensure children with conditions such as stress, anxiety and depression will get professional support quickly, helping them back to health. The workers will be trained by Manchester University so that they can provide mental health support to NHS guidelines and will be supported in their work by an Education Psychologist, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and a mental health worker from Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust. As well as directly supporting children, these professionals will help schools to better understand and support children’s wellbeing across the whole school.
The first two teams of four workers are now trained and ready to work in schools from September, focusing on priority areas in Huddersfield and Dewsbury. The new teams will work closely with groups of schools which work together as ‘community hubs’. There are over 40 schools in priority areas across Huddersfield and Dewsbury who will benefit from the new workers. The new service will be designed alongside young people and families to make sure it genuinely responds to their needs and priorities.
Young people’s mental health remains a local and national concern, with three children in every class requiring mental health support according to a recent study. Evidence shows supporting children quickly can make a real difference to their long term mental health – and so to their relationships, learning and future opportunities.
Northorpe Hall Child & Family Trust provides out of school mental health support to hundreds of young people and families every month through a team of staff, counsellors and volunteers. It has a feedback rating of nine out of ten from young people.
Tom Taylor, Director at the charity said “Young people in Kirklees need more trained, supported, compassionate people to talk to about their mental health, to prevent long term problems. We’re proud to be a Trailblazer in the national pilot – this work builds on the work we’ve already done training and developing staff, providing training to others and working with schools and partners to improve children’s mental health in Kirklees in recent years.”