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Extra mental health support for district's children

Three-year pilot to be trialled in West Berkshire

John Herring

John Herring

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886633

Extra mental health support for district's children

A PROJECT to support and improve children’s mental health is being trialled in West Berkshire. 

Berkshire West has been selected by NHS England to pilot a three-year project to run two dedicated mental health and support teams.

One of only a handful across the country, the scheme will have more than £800,000 of government funds invested for each of the three years.

Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) interim director of joint commissioning Katrina Anderson said: “I have seen first-hand the excellent work already being done in schools to support children and young people with their mental health.

“These new dedicated teams will build on this, working closely with children, young people and their families, giving them vital support to help them deal with their mental health and wellbeing concerns.”

The project, which aims to initially support more than 500 children and young people, is a partnership between Berkshire West CCG, West Berkshire Council, Reading Borough Council and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Both local authority areas will have their own mental health support team.

The support teams, made up of professionals from the NHS and local authorities, will work in schools and help young people to improve their emotional or mental health.

Staff from the University of Reading will also provide training to raise awareness of mental health and reduce stigma.

A select number of schools will be invited to take part in the pilot, with work continuing at all schools to support children’s mental health.

West Berkshire Council executive member for children and young people Lynne Doherty (Con, Northcroft) said: “This pilot will extend the mental health support for young people in the area and we’re delighted to be taking part.

“Selection for the trial recognises the good work already going on across Berkshire West and we will begin in a very strong position.

“In West Berkshire, both our Emotional Health Academy and Educational Psychology Service have a good track record in this area and inclusion in the pilot will mean more young people will be able to benefit from their expertise.”

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