Emotional wellbeing support for secondary school pupils and staff launched in Richmondshire

Teaching staff and young people in secondary schools and further education in Richmondshire can now access wellbeing support and advice from a new service.

The service supports schools and colleges to evaluate and develop their current wellbeing provision, as well as delivering staff training, co-facilitating student/pupil workshops and assemblies and supporting student forums, campaigns and events.

The wellbeing in mind service is operated by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV), who provide mental health and learning disability services across the local area.

The team is made up of qualified healthcare professionals who can support staff to identify and respond to those who may be struggling – whilst also providing direct support to those that need it, by giving timely advice, consultation and where necessary, assessment and interventions.

Nichola Everett, TEWV service manager, said: “Poor emotional wellbeing can have a real impact on other areas of life, from the relationships young people form to their academic achievements.

“Having the right support available in schools and colleges helps to make sure problems are picked up at the earliest opportunity and young people are able to receive the right help at the right time; lessening the impact mental wellbeing difficulties can have, both now and in the future.

“In order to address wider wellbeing issues we are also introducing new occupational therapist roles to our services in Harrogate, York, and Hambleton and Richmondshire. The therapists will be able to assess activity levels and work with young people to develop opportunities for them to engage in activities that can have a positive impact on their mental wellbeing. This is quite a revolutionary approach and we are one of the first services to offer this in the UK, so we are hoping to see great results.”

The new services will cover 27 educational establishments across Harrogate, Hambleton and Richmondshire, including several primary schools in the York area.

TEWV wellbeing in mind teams have already been operating successfully in Scarborough and Ryedale and Selby since September 2020 and its expansion across North Yorkshire has been welcome by Emma Dunwoodie, senior assistant headteacher and mental health lead for Richmond School and Sixth Form.

Emma said: “Having the wellbeing in mind team based in the school means that mental health advice and support is readily accessible by teaching staff which really improves the timeliness of advice to support the mental health and wellbeing of our pupils.

“The team have also shared really useful information with school staff to support the general mental health and wellbeing of pupils, as well as that of individual students. Members of the team are becoming familiar around school and making themselves known to teaching staff which is really useful in providing the best support for our pupils.”

Funding for the teams was secured by TEWV, NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS North Yorkshire CCG and North Yorkshire County Council, as part of a national project to improve the wellbeing of young people within education.

The wellbeing in mind service helps teachers and other staff to better support children in school or college and supports a healthy environment where young people are encouraged to consider their emotional wellbeing and that of others.

To find out more visit https://www.tewv.nhs.uk/services/wellbeinginmind-parent/ or watch our video https://youtu.be/Hl3QMH-iWGw.