Update from the Mental Health Support Team

Primary interest
Families and Parenting

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 is for those pupils on roll at 16 schools in West Reading. Depending on the age of the child or young person, we may work either 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.

For more information about the service offer and who the service is accessible to, please go to: www.brighterfuturesforchildren.org/MHST

Our current offer

Given the current government guidance on 23 March, 29 March and 17 April 2020 around Covid-19, this is the updated MHST position statement. The wellbeing of MHST staff and school staff, children and young people and their families is paramount.  The MHST is a consent-based, non-statutory service for children, young people and their families with mild to moderate mental health difficulties.

At the current time, as long as MHST staff are well and able to continue to work:
  • The MHST will not be carrying out face-to-face visits either at schools or to homes.
  • MHST workers will remain in weekly contact with their existing clients via text or telephone calls if clients wish and where staff are fit and well.
  • The MHST mailbox and online referral system continue to be monitored. If we receive any referrals in the next three weeks, the triage coordinator will contact the referrer and/or parent for further information and we will consider whether the MHST will be able to offer support.
  • Given the current waiting list for MHST support, and that we are unable to offer face-to-face contact at this time, it is unlikely that we will be able to offer support for new referrals until the next academic year.
  • We are unable to monitor the MHST telephone line (0118 937 6548) at the current time.
  • Children, young people and their families who have already been accepted onto the MHST waiting list will remain there. Once schools re-open, MHST workers will resume face-to-face contact with their existing clients. When they are able to begin work with new clients, MHST staff will contact those at the top of the waiting list.
Useful resources
  • For information about supporting children and young people’s mental health in response to Covid-19, please see the government guidance.
  • Further local information, support and advice on coronavirus can be found on the Brighter Futures for Children website.
  • For urgent support with a child or young person’s mental health please contact your GP, or CAMHS on 0300 365 1234.
  • For safeguarding concerns about a child or young person, please contact CSPoA on 0118 937 3641 (office hours) or 01344 786543 (out of hours).