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Mental Health Support Teams in schools and colleges

Mental Health Support Teams in schools and colleges
24 September 2020

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Barnardo’s and the Isle of Wight Youth Trust have collaborated to deliver two Mental Health Support Teams in schools and colleges across the Island early next year. 

This new service is funded by NHS England, Health Education England and partners. It will provide evidenced based care and early intervention support on mental health and emotional wellbeing issues, such as mild to moderate anxiety, for children and young people within schools and colleges. The Mental Health Support Teams are an exciting addition to the mental health service on the island and will improve mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in the community, working with their parents, carers and schools.  

The IOW NHS Trust will be the lead provider for the service. Barnardo’s will be recruiting a team to work in primary schools (under 11’s) and the Isle of Wight Youth Trust are recruiting a team to work in secondary schools and colleges (over 11’s). In addition to working with individual children and young people and their families the teams will also work with school staff, offering training, consultation and support to schools to develop a ‘whole school’ approach. 

Dr. Lesley Stevens, Director of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, Isle of Wight NHS Trust:

“Mental health and wellbeing is a priority for children and young people and recruiting these teams is an important step towards accelerating access to support in schools and colleges. We are working closely with our partners, the Isle of Wight Youth Trust and Barnardo’s, to meet the need for early mental health and wellbeing support. This is especially important at a time where the additional pressures of COVID-19, including social distancing and isolation, and a recent return to school after a long period at home, are impacting on children and young people’s mental health. We are delighted to be part of this national initiative to provide the best support we can for our children and young people and that we are able to expand on the support we already have in place.”

 IOW Youth Trust Mental Health Taskforce members:

“We are thrilled to receive the news that the Island will receive two Mental Health Support Teams to work in schools! As members of the Taskforce, we have been working hard to improve support for young people in schools through our Island Schools’ Mental Health Charter and see these teams as an exciting next step towards making sure young Islanders have access to the support we deserve, when we need it most. Under normal circumstances, we spend most of our time at school. School can be vulnerable place, with pressure around exams, friendships, schoolwork, our appearances and the added pressures of Island life. But with so much time spent in school, it can also provide the opportunity to get support for our mental health. As we find our feet in the new normal over the next year, these teams will be even more important. We are facing new stresses, with less connection to our friends, family and will need new support networks and services such as this, now more than ever.”

Emma Meek, Barnardo’s Children’s Services Manager:

“We are delighted to be working with local partners to deliver this much-needed, well being emotional and mental health  support to  children and young people in schools across the island.

“Teams will provide individual and group interventions and will support schools  to develop or introduce a ‘whole school approach’ which will also include additional training if needed. By working with children, parents, schools and the local community, we can help to ensure the right support is available at the right time, enabling young people to experience a positive education and fulfil their potential.”

Each team comprises:

• Team Manager
• Senior Practitioner/Clinical Supervisor in Training
• Specialist Practitioner
• 4 Trainee Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs)

 For more information about the new roles, please visit: 


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