Leading the way in children and young people’s mental health support

Over three hundred teachers, headteachers and school governors from across Liverpool attended the city’s first education-focused mental health conference at ACC Liverpool.

Funded by the Liverpool Learning Partnership, Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, supported by Liverpool City Council’s Families Programme and sponsored by Educate Magazine, Education in Mind explored various key issues surrounding mental health and emotional wellbeing within a local education context.

Speakers included Sara Saunders, implementation lead (Green Paper), Children and Young People’s Mental Health Team, NHS England and Pete Latham, head of national team, Mental Health Delivery Division, Department for Education.

Outlining their joint work to improve and support children and young people’s mental health on a national and regional level, Sara praised Liverpool for the quality induction of the recently appointed Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs).

Speaking about the event, Sara said: “The scale of Education in Mind demonstrated how important children and young people’s emotional and mental wellbeing is to professionals working in education and health in Liverpool, the increasing level of join up between the systems is really exciting. From a national perspective, the local commitment to meeting the needs of more children and young people at an earlier stage is very welcome.”

Pete Latham said: “It was inspiring, meeting so many dedicated professionals from across Liverpool’s education and health systems, working together to support children and young people’s mental health. Liverpool is leading the way.”

Amongst the speakers, Kath Thompson, senior project manager of Liverpool’s Whole School Approach to Mental Health and Emoptional Wellbeing launched the Whole School Approach pathway for Child Adolecent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Liverpool. This pathway aims to support school staff to identify and engage with the right services or interventions for children in schools, based on their specific needs.

Delegates attended interactive workshops covering a range of subjects including youth suicide, bereavement, staff wellbeing, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and neurodevelopmental conditions, while a marketplace featured local organisations showcasing the services they offer and support available for local professionals and families.

Elaine Rees, the chair of the Whole School Approach Board and the CEO of Liverpool Learning Partnership said: “The Education in Mind conference showed partnership working at its best. It allowed schools and education settings to come together with health partners and the wider CAMHS Partnership to share best practice and celebrate all that is happening in Liverpool. Having been granted Trailblazer status, Liverpool is growing its whole school approach to best meet the needs of the children and young people in our care”.

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