Sheffield launches emotional health support for 45 schools

Healthy Minds launch
22 June 2017

Following a successful pilot where mental health specialists from Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust worked with schools to improve emotional health, the programme is rolling out across the city and has been held up by NHS England as an example of good practice.

The Sheffield Healthy Minds programme is delivered by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) as they work with Sheffield NHS CCG and Sheffield City Council to supports schools in developing a whole school approach to student’s emotional wellbeing.

This is done through staff training, Healthy Minds surveys, developing Personal Social and Health Education materials, engaging Healthy Minds Champions and supporting staff in their understanding of good mental health and early help as well as developing stronger links with CAMHS services.

Mental health of young adults a growing concern

Ian Read, headteacher at Watercliffe Meadow School, one of the schools taking part in the Healthy Minds project said: “Without question, mental health and the emotional wellbeing of children and young adults in our schools is a growing concern. The roll out of the Healthy Minds Framework should put Sheffield schools in a much stronger position for dealing with these issues.

“Our workforce will have a shared understanding, language and common approaches to support children’s emotional wellbeing. This can only be a positive thing for Sheffield and it offers a great opportunity for closer links and joint working between schools and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.”

Working together to make a difference in Sheffield

Dr Girish Vaidya, Clinical Director at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are proud to be working with the local authority and the CCG in this collaborative way so that schools can identify and support emotional wellbeing and our children and young people are able to learn and achieve more.

“After running the pilot across Sheffield, young people have told us about the difference this has made to their lives in and out of school. Healthy Minds helps to address our young people’s emotional wellbeing before problems develop and offer early help to our students. This project helps to support our children in their school environment, allowing them access help on their doorstep in safe space.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “This project is a wonderful example of partnership working at its best with the CCG, Sheffield City Council, schools and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust all working together.

“This pioneering programme being rolled out to 45 schools across the city is part of our early help model helping to keep our young people emotionally well as well as spotting problems as they arise. It ties in with our other projects including the suicide pathway and our overall prevention strategy.

“I know it’s extremely stressful being a young person in today’s society with so many pressures around looking good and social media. Support for our young people has never been so important and I would like to see the Healthy Minds project rolled out to all schools across the city.”

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