New funding will provide extra mental health support in Morecambe Bay schools

Young people in Cumbria and Morecambe Bay will soon benefit from funding for new teams, to work with primary and secondary school pupils to support their emotional wellbeing needs.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 12:30 pm
Two teams that have been providing mental health support to children within education settings have been praised for breaking down barriers and providing vital support.

There are already two teams in Cumbria – one in the Carlisle area and the other in Barrow-in-Furness. Morecambe Bay also has an existing additional team working in Morecambe.

The latest funding support from NHS England and Improvement and the Department for Education means three more teams will be developed: two teams in north Cumbria and one in Morecambe Bay.

The teams are made up of mental health professionals trained to deliver an early intervention response directly with pupil populations, and also alongside school staff to develop a whole school approach. Around 8,000 pupils can be supported by each team.

Dr Lauren Dixon.

The teams also include the new role of emotional wellbeing practitioners. This new national role has been developed for this approach and means teams will recruit and train individuals to provide this specialist support.

Dr Amanda Boardman, GP Lead for Safeguarding, Mental Health and Children for NHS North Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The team being developed in Carlisle is working with children and young people in primary and secondary schools, special schools and the Pupil Referral Unit.

“We are delighted about the opportunities this will bring, and we are pleased that we are helping to develop and shape these new roles. When we have our three teams up and running, more than 50 per cent of school age children in north Cumbria will have access to these teams. It is a fantastic development.”

All the new teams will be in place from autumn 2023.

“For many children, lockdown restrictions have been particularly difficult, so providing support for their mental health is vital and we would encourage them and their families to seek help if needed."

In north Cumbria the second team will work with schools in Allerdale and Mayfield special school, while the location of the third team will be decided working with partners in Morecambe Bay.

In Morecambe Bay the teams will be working in the remaining special schools that are not covered by the original teams that are already in place, as well as a new cohort of schools.

Dr Lauren Dixon, Barrow GP and GP Executive Lead for Integrated Care at NHS Morecambe Bay CCG, said: “We’ve already seen the positive impact that Mental Health Support Teams bring to schools in our local area so the news that we’ll be able to recruit another team into Morecambe Bay is brilliant.

“For many children, lockdown restrictions have been particularly difficult, so providing support for their mental health is vital and we would encourage them and their families to seek help if needed.

“Having Mental Health Support Teams in schools means that children with mental health needs get help at a much earlier stage and our CAMHS services can then focus on those who need the specialist input they provide.”