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Mental Health

CYPS Practitioner Advice Line
01452 894272
Guidance for professionals in Gloucestershire working with young people with mental health or emotional wellbeing concerns
CYPS Practitioner Advice Line
01452 894272
Guidance for professionals in Gloucestershire working with young people with mental health or emotional wellbeing concerns

Trailblazer Programme

What will they do?

The Mental Health Support Teams' (MHSTs') main role will be to provide earlier care for children and young people who may be experiencing mild to moderate or early symptoms of mental health problems, which tend to be outside the scope of traditional NHS services. Providing this additional resource to support early intervention, appropriate signposting and delivery of focused, evidence-based interventions will improve collaboration between schools and mental health services and enable earlier and more effective mental health support for children, young people, their families and carers.  The Trailblazer programme will link a number of approaches, including working across the system to deliver a comprehensive training programme to increase knowledge and understanding of mental health, trauma and implementation of restorative practice, building resilience. 

What are the core functions of an Mental Health Support Team (MHST)? 

Work with teachers and school staff to identify children and young people with emerging mental health needs, as part of a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing Build relationships across services to ensure joint delivery of care Pilot a cultural and arts led approach as an alternative and contemporary approach. Provide appropriate assessment of need, signposting and referral functions to a range of relevant services Provide evidence-based interventions for children and young people who present with mild to moderate mental health problems in a school or college setting Provide consultation and advice to other staff in schools and colleges around understanding children and young people’s mental health Form part of an integrated referral system with specialist NHS children and young people’s mental health services to support children and young people who may present with more complex needs or who require a more dedicated or intensive intervention 

What is a mild to moderate Mental Health Problem?  

A moderate mental health problem is when a person has more symptoms that can make their daily life much more difficult than usual. Examples of this can be, but not limited to: 

  • Low mood
  • Exam stress
  • Mild anxiety
  • Low Self Esteem
  • Friendship issues
  • Daily worries & upset 

Early Adopter Approach

We are working with 10 Schools who have agreed to trial the offer of support over the summer term, giving us the opportunity to amend the model based on feedback, increasing provision over the autumn term.

A referral pathway will be developed for this period, with our intentions to develop online self-referral ready for full roll out. This will empower children and young people to be more autonomous and provides transparency to parents and carers. This will also enable teams to be more responsive and see children and young people in a time and place that suits them. Other staff members able to refer will be, but not limited to, Mental Health School Leads, General Practitioners, Parents, SENCOs and other school staff.

A High Level Timeline

April 2018 - Dec 2019
Early Adopter ‘test and learn’ approach to inform full roll out.

Jan - Aug 2020
MHST teams fully staffed across three localities. Mid project evaluation

Sept 2020 - July 2021
MHSTS fully embedded into school systems.

What capacity will they have?

Each MHST will cover a population of 8,000 children & young people with the aim to support at least 500 per year as of Phase 2 (January 2020). On completion of training, EMHPs will have capacity to support up to 30 children at any time, including school holidays. The wider MHST team will also provide universal support via assemblies or PHSCE, targeted group work around specific needs and specialist CYPS assessments. Teams will also work with schools to support parents and offer a comprehensive support package to teaching staff, working alongside multiagency colleagues such as SENCOs, Police, Early Help, School Nurses, Education Inclusion Teams etc.

Team Configuration

  • Team Manager (Supporting 2 MHSTs)
    • Primary Mental Health Worker
    • TiC+ Counsellor (1.5 WTE)
    • Primary Mental Health Worker
      • Education Mental Health Practitioners

Team 'hub' Locations

We are grateful to our Early Adopter schools who will be providing temporary accommodation for the Summer term of 2019 whilst we test the model with a small group of schools. During the Summer holidays we will be securing, and refurbing where necessary, a permanent base to house each locality team. We will confirm the location of these in due course.

Although teams will be working peripatetically across each locality, we are keen that MHSTs are fully embedded within school systems, viewed as a part of the wider team. We hope that by allocating teams a central base within a school it will encourage multiagency working. Teams will then travel to other schools and preferred locations as required.


If you have any questions relating to the programme, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team and we will endeavour to help:

Parent Support/Health & Education Offer

We know that parents and carers play a central part in helping their children to develop and grow up well, and it isn't an easy job.  The table below details the range of support available in the county ranging from online resources, helplines or chat rooms, and support and information groups. Click here to download the table.



²gether Gloucestershire County Council TIC+ Teens in Crisis NHS Gloucestershire