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Bucks mental health teams supporting school children

Currently they work with 32 schools

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 2:34pm 25th February 2020. 3-minute read.

Bucks mental health teams supporting school children

School children in Bucks are being supported by mental health team. 

The Mental Health Schools Team (MHST) currently has two teams: one based in Aylesbury and the other in High Wycombe. 

Each team has 4 education mental health workers who together look after around 32 schools around Buckinghamshire, including primary and secondary schools.

Each worker spends around half a day at each school, speaking with students, parents and teachers about the child's mental health difficulties.

Following the MHST launch last year, Mix96 have been catching up with Laura Fields a clinical psychologist who works with the teams.

She says despite the age range the biggest issue is the same:

"Of the over 250 referrals we've received last year 3 quarters of those are for young people experiencing anxiety.

"We work with children who suffer with stress, difficulties with friendship, exam pressure and perhaps problems at home.

"We haven't seen a significant difference in primary school vs secondary school butthe nature of these difficulties can vary."

The teams are a partnership of mental health workers from the NHS, Bucks County Council and mental health charity Mind.

As well as working in schools the teams visit other places like youth centres, as this can be a more relaxed environment to speak to children. 

Laura believes it is important we look after young peoples mental health:

"What we do know is if children don't get the right support at the right time difficulties can develop into something that's much more significant. 

"Something that has a far more reaching impact on young people and something that becomes more all encompassing.

"The MHST focuses on early intervention support so that mental health difficulties don't escalate."

Although the reach of the teams is currently limited, there are hopes it will soon be available to all schools in Buckinghamshire.

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