Mental Health Support Team (MHST) - supporting children and young people
Within Wokingham the Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust has launched a new Mental Health Support Team (MHST). The team will support children and young people with emerging, mild or moderate mental health difficulties which may be affecting day to day life.
The Mental Health Support Team (MHST) will support children and young people with emerging, mild or moderate mental health difficulties which may be affecting day to day life. The project initially is for those pupils on roll at 12 schools in Wokingham.
Depending on the age of the child or young person, we may work either directly with them or with their parents. We also work with school staff and offer support on different levels with the aim of developing and supporting a whole school approach to mental health.
The team consists of:
- Senior Educational Psychologist
- Primary Mental Health Workers
- A Specialist CAMHS practitioner
- An Outreach worker
- Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs)
Our service is only available to children and young people who attend, or are on roll at one of the following schools, and with emerging or mild to moderate emotional and mental health difficulties:
- The Forest
- The Holt
- Maiden Erlegh
- St. Crispins
- Foundry College
- All Saints Primary
- Hawkedon Primary
- Keep Hatch Primary
- South Lake Primary
- Winnersh Primary
- Loddon Primary
- Hawthorns Primary
What we offer
We deliver a range of evidence-based interventions focused on mild to moderate anxiety, low mood and behaviour management.
This may include interventions such as:
- Helping your Child with Fears and Worries programme: an individual guided self-help intervention for parents of anxious children aged 12 and under
- Webster-Stratton Incredible Years: an individual guided self-help parenting intervention for parents of primary aged pupils
- Worry management for children experiencing anxiety (Year 6 and above)
- Graded exposure (facing feared situations step by step) for children with phobias and other anxiety difficulties (Year 6 and above)
- Brief behavioural activation support for young people to explore and develop helpful coping strategies specific to improving low mood (Year 6 and above)
The Mental Health Support Team (MHST) also offers support to school staff by:
- Delivering training on various mental health topics
- Offering consultations (individual or group) where staff can think through their concerns or difficulties regarding students or class groups
- Working with staff to support students individually
- Supporting staff wellbeing
How to access the service
- Parent/Guardians can use the Wokingham Mental Health Support Team referral form (PDF document)
- Parent/Guardians can speak to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) at school and they will complete the referral form with you.
- Young people can also speak to a member of school staff, School Nurse, their GP or any other professional who works with them who could support them with completing a referral.
- Young people who are 16 years or over and on roll of a participating school can self-refer. Or as above, the referral can be supported with consent from the young person.
The MHST is unable to provide urgent or emergency support.
If you're concerned that the child or young person is at a high level of risk related to mental health difficulties call:
Children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) Rapid Response on 0300 365 1234 - 8.00am to 10.00pm Monday to Friday (Excluding Bank Holidays) or 9.00am - 5.00pm Weekends and Bank Holidays
Outside of the hours of 8am-10pm call:
Crisis Teams (CRHTT) on 0800 129 9999 (freephone).
This number is the 24 hour Berkshire Adults mental health crisis team. The team is designed to support adults in a mental health crisis, however they are able to take calls from young people and parents; and offer advice and direction to support you and your child) or NHS 111.
After the referral has been received
When referrals are received they go through a triage process to explore how the young person’s needs can be best met. We may contact you if we need more information.
If the referral is accepted, an MHST practitioner will be in contact to let you know. Depending on demand for our service, there may be a waiting list.
Once an MHST practitioner has been allocated, they will contact you and school to arrange a visit and an initial assessment to explore with you what intervention we may be able to offer.
If we are unable to offer you a service, we would discuss other options with you and look to signpost you to other services that may be able to meet your needs.
Contact details for MHST
Our service is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Advice on how to help someone you're worried about
The Samaritans offer advice on how to help someone you're worried about open up about their feelings.
Visit the Samaritians website
For parents of children at primary school
Anna Freud has produced a leaflet which provides simple advice and guidance to parents and carers about how to make conversations about their child's feelings part of everyday conversation.
For parents of young people at secondary school
The teenage years are both exciting and challenging to parent and carers. It can be hard to know whether your child's feelings and behaviour are normal or becoming a problem. Anna Fraud have produced a leaflet which provides simple advice and guidance to parents and carers about how to make conversations about their teenager's feelings part of everyday conversation.
For children and young people aged 11-19
Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional well-being support service providing young people aged 11-18 years (up to 19th birthday) in Wokingham with a safe and secure means of accessing support with their emotional health and wellbeing needs from a professional team of qualified counsellors.
On Kooth young people can:
- Chat to Kooth's friendly counsellors
- Read articles written by young people
- Get support from the Kooth community
- Write in a daily journal
For further information and how to access the service go to the Kooth website.
For parents, young people and professionals
There are a number of charities supporting parents, young people and professionals to help children and young people’s mental health. Visit our emotional and mental health support for young people web page for a list of national organisations.