More help for mental health in Hertfordshire schools

Cllr Teresa Heritage, of public health.

Cllr Teresa Heritage, of public health.

Archant

Hertfordshire County Council has welcomed the Government’s plans to help schools tackle mental illness, after over 500 pledges were made to raise awareness of the issues throughout the year.

Throughout the year 510 pledges were made to the county council to raise awareness of mental health issues, 14 councillors signed up to become Mental Health Champions, 12 mental health focused events were held, and 53 new partnerships were made with mental health focused organisations.

Cabinet member for public health, Teresa Heritage, said: “The mental health of young people is of paramount importance and the earlier we identify any potential concerns, the better.

“We are working closely with schools to promote positive messages and practice around mental health to help young people develop their self-esteem and wellbeing.”

More than 400 Herts professionals, including school and college professionals, Youth Connexions staff, social workers and residential care workers, have been trained in youth mental health first aid (MHFA), which raises awareness of emotional health issues and teaches how best to support eight to 18 year olds experiencing difficulties.

The most common mental health issues affecting children include conduct disorders, anxiety, depression and hyperkinetic disorder (severe ADHD).

Initially 20 Hertfordshire schools joined last year’s national pilot scheme to improve links between schools and NHS mental health services, including child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Hertfordshire’s two NHS clinical commissioning groups’ (CCGs) CAMHS schools link managers are supporting schools, giving training, helping them develop pastoral work, improving processes and providing resources to help them respond better to pupils’ emotional wellbeing needs, as part of Hertfordshire’s five-year CAMHS Transformation plan. Some 203 professionals from 61 schools have attended dedicated training in the last eight months.


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