Children’s Mental Health Week events showcase support available
08 Feb 2024
Northumberland celebrated Children’s Mental Health Week by launching its latest mental health support teams for schools
and shining a spotlight on the support available.
One in six children aged five to 16 were identified as having a probable mental health problem in July 2021, following research by charity YoungMinds. That’s five children in every classroom.
Known as ‘Be You,’ the county's mental health support teams support children and young people with mild to moderate mental health needs and provide training and support for school staff, parents and carers.
The aim is to spark conversations around wellbeing and mental health to make sure that children and young people get the right support at the right time and gain the skills they need to build their resilience.
Following their successful introduction in schools in Blyth, Hexham, Ashington and Bedlington, Be You is now expanding across the Alnwick and Coquet Partnerships of schools.
To mark the launch, events took place to share information with families and school staff about the wide range of services in Northumberland who are here to help.
As well as meeting the Be You team who will be working in the schools, they were able to find out more from Northumberland’s Family Hubs; school nurses from Harrogate & District Foundation NHS Trust Growing Healthy Northumberland 0-19 Service; Educational Psychologists and the Emotional Wellbeing Support Team from Northumberland County Council; the Children and Young People's Service (CYPS) from Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust; Northumberland Mind; and Thriving Together.
Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet member with responsibility for Inspiring Young People, said: “It’s our ambition that every young person in Northumberland will know where to go if they need support with their mental health. I am delighted to see Be You continuing to expand its excellent work.
“Over the last three years, the teams have developed fantastic relationships with students, staff, parents and carers, embedding mental health support into schools.
“Children’s Mental Health week is a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on all the different organisations all working together in Northumberland to make sure that young people get the right help at the right time.”
Funded by the Department for Education and NHS England, ‘Be You’ is a partnership with NHS North East and Cumbria Integrated Care Board; Northumberland County Council; Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.
The teams are made up of education mental health practitioners, primary mental health workers, educational psychologists and assistant educational psychologists, a peer mentor co-ordinator, senior mental health leads co-ordinator and occupational therapists. Working collaboratively, the different professionals take the lead for different activities available to schools, working from the individual to the whole school level.
The service was named ‘Be You’ following consultation with young people - a reminder to always be themselves and be the very be the best they can be.
Rachel Mitcheson, local director for NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), said: “It’s vital that young people and families get the right support at the right time.
“We want to equip children and young people with the tools they need to develop healthy habits surrounding their mental health and wellbeing so they can overcome the challenges they face, build resilience and thrive.
“During Children’s Mental Health Week, we really want to take the opportunity to encourage conversations about mental health and make sure everyone knows about where they can get support if they need it.”