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Mental Health Support Team

This Pathway helps children and young people in Devon (excluding Plymouth) who are experiencing mild to moderate common mental health difficulties (anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties etc).

Who are we?

The Mental Health Support Team in Schools (MHST) is a new NHS service commissioned to work with a number of schools across Devon and Torbay. We offer early intervention to help children and young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

We are part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) working within the NHS. The MHST team work alongside our team of Child Wellbeing Practitioners (CWPs) who also offer early intervention support but work within the community and not directly in schools. 

What do we do

We work with children and young people, aged 5-18, and their families who are experiencing mild to moderate common mental health difficulties (anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties etc). Our traffic light tool below details the types of symptoms we do/don’t work with. 

This is an early intervention service that provides clear and evidenced based Low-Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Li-CBT) interventions focused on guided self-help.

We additionally work collaboratively with schools to establish a ‘Whole School Approach’ to mental health & wellbeing, enabling mental health to be valued and become an intrinsic part of school culture. We offer schools:

The MHST and CWP team will predominantly focus on the first two quadrants of the I-thrive model:

Thrive Model

What is Low Intensity Li-CBT?

Low Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Li-CBT) is a short term 6-8 session intervention supporting a young person to achieve a clearly identified goal.  The practitioner will work with the child, young person or/and their family to work towards this goal together by:

How to access 1:1 or Group Support

If you attend one of our MHST schools:

If you are a Child/Young Person/Parent/Carer, please talk to the Designated/Senior Mental Health Lead in your school who can discuss your concerns with a member of our team at a regular mental health meeting held in your school. Alternatively, you can self-refer into our service if you attend a school working with the MHST service. 

If you are a member of school staff and think a child/young person in your class needs support, please talk to your Designated Senior Mental Health Lead who can bring the young person for an anonymous discussion to the regular mental health meeting held in your school.

If you don’t attend an MHST school please refer into CAMHS through your school, GP or via a self-referral. Your referral will then be screened and if appropriate, a Child Wellbeing Practitioner (CWP) will be in touch to offer LI-CBT.

Which schools are MHST working with

Here’s the list of schools that we are currently working with. We’ll be adding to this list on a regular basis. The MHST team are currently commissioned to work with between 7000 to 8000 children and young people at schools within the following areas:

Wave 1: Torbay 1 and Exeter 1 (Live from November 2020)

Wave 3: North (Live from November 2021)

Wave 5: Teignbridge and Torbay 2 (Live from November 2022)

Wave 7: Exeter 2 and East (Live from November 2023)

Wave 9: South Hams and Mid-Devon (Live from November 2024)

Wave 11: West Devon and Torridge (Live from November 2025)

We encourage you to speak with a trusted adult in your child’s school or the schools Designated Mental Health Lead to access support.

Exeter:

North Devon:

Teignbridge:

East Devon:

Torbay:

We are adding more schools that we support all the time – so please check with your school to see if we are already working with them.

Referral Criteria Traffic Light System (Who do we see/What can we support with)

GreenOrangeRed
EMHPs/CWPs can work with individuals/groups to provide interventions in cases of….EMHPs/CWPs MAY work with individuals/groups to provide interventions in cases of….
Discretion and close supervision required
EMHPs/CWPs CANNOT work with individuals/groups to provide interventions in cases of….
Significant levels of need. Complex conditions requiring ongoing referral problems – counselling is best practice for interpersonal dynamics
Behavioural difficulties – identification and support with CYP or brief parenting support. These include supporting regulation and understanding of irritability , anger, frustration. Behavioural difficulties, identification and support with CYP or brief parenting support, which may include Parent-Led interventions supporting moderate disruptive, confrontational, or controlling actions.Conduct disorder, severe anger presentations where there is complexity, risk to others and significant risk management.
Significant attachment difficulties or developmental trauma/PTSD.  
Training parents and teachers to support interventions with childrenTraining parents and teachers to support interventions with mild/moderate mental health needs.
Support staff to help co-facilitate a full parenting programme.
Training parents and teachers to support interventions with significant levels of co-morbidity, complexity or risk. Treatment of parental mental health/wellbeing.
Low moodIrritability/ anger as a symptom of depression. Promoting self-esteem, increasing motivation and engagement for children/young people.Chronic depression, severe depressive episodes.
Moderate to severe anger management.
Bereavement.
Anxiety, worry management and avoidance, mild social anxiety or health anxietyAnxiety disorder symptoms resulting in moderate impact on functioning or mild/moderate levels of risk.Chronic anxiety and severe anxious episodes resulting in severe impact on functioning or high levels of risk.
Emerging phobias and phobic responses displaying typical fight, flight, freeze adrenaline responsesComplex/specific phobias such as, agoraphobia, vomit or needle phobias.Phobias resulting in severe impact on engagement or participation. 
Hemophobia
Obsessive, intrusive or ritualistic thinking patterns that could be considered an emerging obsessive compulsive disorderMild/moderate obsessive and compulsive symptoms, not exceeding 1 hour/day.
Young people displaying obsessive and ritualistic symptoms that may be in the context of neurodiversity. 
Obsessive-compulsive disorder exceeding 1 hour/day or presenting with severe impact on functioning.
Panic-like symptoms or panic attacksYoung people displaying panic symptoms that may be in the context of neurodiversity or other mental health need.Chronic panic and anxiety episodes or high levels of risk.
Thoughts of self-injury, risk assessment. Support with alternative coping strategies.  Young people with history of self-injury but not active.Self-injury not requiring significant medical attention, e.g. first aid, safety planning and support with healthy coping alternatives. 
Suicidal ideation without clear intentions or plans to harm self.
Severe and active self-injury, requiring hospital assessment or significant medical treatment. High risk of serious harm to self,  others or serious intent or planning to end life.
Lifestyle management e.g. sleep hygiene, healthy eating etc.Sleeping difficulties e.g. in the context of anxiety or other mental health difficulty.Longstanding, debilitating sleep patterns or physical sleep abnormalities. 
Chronic fatigue syndrome, pain management or medically-unexplained symptoms.
Individual problem solving, improving self-esteem and motivation.Supporting mild to moderate emotional dysregulation, impacting on interpersonal relationships e.g. friendships.  
Systemic or relationship problems – counselling is best practice for interpersonal dynamics
Systemic or relationship problems – counselling is best practice for interpersonal dynamics

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