Children’s mental health gets a boost in Milton Keynes
Friday 7 February 2020
A new service, focused around supporting children with their mental health has been launched in Bletchley. Four trainee education mental health practitioners will serve up to 20 schools in the region and 8,000 pupils. They will be supported by 3 trained practitioners who will work alongside the trainees.
The service is funded by the Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (MKCCG) and delivered by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL). It was co-designed with Milton Keynes Council who identified Bletchley as an initial priority.
The mental health practitioners will offer therapies, school wide strategies for approaching mental health issues and early access to mental health interventions.
Cllr Zoe Nolan, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “This is a really important initiative that focuses on supporting some of our most vulnerable young people. By getting into schools and working alongside teachers, these valuable mental health practitioners can better identify, treat and support those in need. Only by working in partnership can schools, families, health providers and the council offer the most secure and nurturing environment for our children.”
Vicky Hancock, Deputy Service Director, CNWL MK, said: “We’re really pleased to be launching the mental health in schools team, expanding the NHS support available to children and young people. It means we can focus on early intervention and prevent serious mental health difficulties developing, and that schools have a good understanding of their pupils’ mental health and how best to support them. We are proud to work with the CCG, Milton Keynes Council and these schools to support good mental health there.”
Across Milton Keynes, 98% of MK schools have a mental health lead, and nine in ten governing bodies have a mental health champion. A recent national inspection found that children in Milton Keynes have access to a wide range of effective mental health services.
Last year, a new anonymous and free service launched for young people aged 10-20 in MK. Kooth.com provides advice and access to professional counsellors as well as peer-to-peer support, with topics from exam stress and anxiety to eating disorders and grief.
CNWL is the provider of community mental health services in Milton Keynes. They work with many vulnerable residents who experience both drug or alcohol and mental health problems.