Government minister visits Feltham school on World Mental Health Day

Springwest Academy in Feltham welcomed government minister, Nadine Dorries, to visit its new Mental Health Support Team yesterday as part of World Mental Health Day.

Published: Friday, 11th October 2019

Springwest Academy in Feltham welcomed government minister, Nadine Dorries, to visit its new Mental Health Support Team yesterday as part of World Mental Health Day.  This team is one of three in Hounslow which will offer young people fast access to mental and emotional wellbeing support in their schools.

The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety, visited Springwest Academy to see the progress being made to develop the new team and to speak to many of the people involved. 

The Minister met with pupils, teaching staff responsible for mental health and support and members of the Mental Health Support Team, including the new educational mental health practitioner workforce.  Practitioners are being trained up now and will play a big role in the team when it becomes operational early next year.

This is the first of several Mental Health Support Teams that the Minister will be meeting, after coming into her health minister post in July this year.

The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety said:

“Ensuring our children have access to vital mental health support is a key priority of this Government – backed by the £2.3 billion extra per year we are investing in mental health 2023/24.

“Today’s visit to Springwest Academy on World Mental Health Day has given me valuable insight into the everyday pressures our young people face every day and allowed me the chance to see how the presence of dedicated mental health support staff is already benefitting their lives. I am grateful for the school’s tireless efforts in joining up with the local health service, to provide vital, timely care to pupils.”

Local GP, Chair of Hounslow CCG and North West London Clinical Lead for Mental Health, Dr Annabel Crowe, said:

“We have been working hard with our local partners to develop and provide these Mental Health Support Teams and I am very pleased that the Minister had the opportunity to visit us on World Mental Health Day.”

Councillor Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities & Workforce, London Borough of Hounslow said:

“I am delighted the Minister has had the opportunity to visit one our top schools in Feltham for World Mental Health Day this week. We are very fortunate in the borough in that Springwest is one of several schools which support young people with mental and emotional wellbeing and they all do a brilliant job.

“I hope that this visit will serve as a catalyst for the government to announce targeted new investment for mental health services for children and young people.”

Dr Johan Redelinghuys, Clinical Director of CAMHS and Developmental Services at West London NHS Trust, says:

“At West London NHS Trust, we feel it is vital that children and young people receive efficient mental health support in places most convenient for them, such as their school or college. In doing so, they are best placed to handle any challenges around their anxieties and behavioural issues with confidence. It is great that we have the Minister who has come to see for herself the incredible work being done to help those in need in west London.”

Mental Health Support Teams are part of an exciting trailblazer project funded by NHS England, Health Education England and other partners, with the aim of improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in the community.

In December 2017 the Government set out in a Green Paper how they wanted to transform support for children and young people’s mental health.  Two government departments, Education and Health and Social Care, are now working together with NHS England, Health Education England and other partners on a programme of work which will help thousands of young people receive mental health support more quickly and easily.

Mental Health Support Teams are staffed by Education Wellbeing Practitioners, who are currently completing their training at the University of Reading and working two days per week in local primary and secondary schools in Hounslow.  The service will be fully staffed from January 2020.

World Mental Health Day is recognised on 10 October every year and is an opportunity to raise awareness of mental health issues and challenge stigma. This year's theme was suicide prevention.  Statistics from NHS Digital, released in November 2018, revealed that one in 8 five to 19-year-olds is living with a mental health problem.  In Hounslow this translates to around 8,500 children and young people.

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