Young people in Wirral will soon receive enhanced mental health and wellbeing support in schools.

A new service will be launched in Autumn 2020, with training of staff already underway.

The ‘Mental Health Support Teams’ will work within schools across Wirral to support the emotional health and wellbeing of the borough’s young people.

The service, backed by Wirral Council and NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group and provided by Cheshire and Wirral NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), has three key objectives.

These are to provide timely advice, support schools in developing a ‘Whole School Approach’ to mental health and to support young people to develop the skills and techniques to manage their anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties through individual work, groups for young people and parents/carers and whole class room activities.

Cllr Chris Jones, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health, said: “I’m thrilled that we’re able to shout about this upcoming project in Wirral, especially during Children’s Mental Health Week.

“The theme this year is ‘Find Your Brave’, which is fitting because opening up about your mental health is brave – but it’s a whole lot easier with the right support in place.”

The service will be provided by Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

The teams will act as a link with the Specialist CAMHS teams who support young people aged 0-18 with symptoms that are making their daily life more difficult than usual or extremely difficult.

Funded by NHS England and the Department of Education, it will build on and extend the support currently provided by Wirral’s existing mental health services. 

Plans are already being hatched to secure further funding to extend the service, in line with national ambitions for the project.

Angharad O’Neill, Clinical Lead of the Mental Health Support Teams, said: “Approximately 1 in 8 (12.8%) children and young people aged 5-19 in England have a diagnosable mental health problem, with half of all mental health problems emerging before the age of 14. There is clear evidence that early intervention can prevent problems escalating and improve future outcomes.”

“We held a workshop back in November linking directly with dozens of Wirral schools to look at how we could co-produce the project to really fit Wirral and its young people.

“We’re really excited we have the opportunity to develop this service and look forward to rolling out the new provision across our local schools.”

The teams, consisting of 12 Education Mental Health Practitioners, currently in training, and six Mental Health Practitioners will support 53 schools in Wirral with primary age pupils, including two special schools for additional needs, with plans to increase this provision in the coming years.

The service is currently targeted at the most deprived areas with the intention of expanding to all schools if funding allows.

The project has been a great example of partnership working with cross-agency support from Wirral Health & Care Commissioning (a partnership between Wirral Council and NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group), Wirral CAMHS (Cheshire and Wirral Partnership), the Local Authority’s Education team and of course the many schools involved so far across the borough.

For more information about the Mental Health Schools Teams, visit: