Manchester mental health support team

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There has been lots of excellent collaborative work between Manchester Health & Care Commissioning, Manchester City Council education team, population health (Manchester healthy schools), NHS MFT CAMHS, VCSE providers and education psychology to start mobilisation of the new offer – Manchester Thrive in education. MFT have been successful in recruiting to administrative and clinical staff, for the Manchester CAMHS team component of the Thrive in education mental health support team and hope to be fully staffed by Feb/March 21 for all clinical staff. The administrative post will be filled in December which means their single point of access development is moving at pace. Manchester Mind are also recruiting for an mental health practitioner post following a mental health practitioner leaving the team.

The five education mental health practitioners started in 20 Manchester secondary schools and colleges in November 2020 and they’ve received positive feedback from all schools who were chosen as priority this year. Most schools are keen to have the education mental health practitioners on site one day per week to offer therapy face to face.  The education mental health practitioners from their VCSE partners are also phasing into primary and secondary schools during this winter term.

There have been fast paced developments which are ongoing for the team to offer remote therapy by video and telephone where schools have asked for this due to COVID-19 restrictions and to offer continuity of care during  the ongoing situation where schools are having to send pupils home to self-isolate.  This will include remote support to parents which was found to be particularly beneficial during the previous lockdown when schools were closed. The Manchester Thrive in education team have continued to support the team around the school local process which supports school’s senior leadership teams as part of a multi-agency response following a critical incident.

The Thrive in education team delivered a webinar to Manchester schools’ staff in October 2020 which was attend by over 90 participants. The team have started to offer school consultation meetings with CAMHS school link clinician involvement to enable the flow of information and updates from schools to CAMHS for children, young people and families who are already involved in Manchester CAMHS services.

Manchester are planning to offer further planned consultation to schools with senior CAMHS clinicians in the spring/summer term, start to develop a transition programme for the summer holidays, develop links with the Manchester Thrive hubs which are in development across the city alongside the new mental health project being developed between CAMHS MFT and Manchester City Football Club.