More Sheffield schoolchildren to get mental health support through pioneering project

A emotional wellbeing project will be rolled out to a further 40 schools. Picture: Shutterstock
A emotional wellbeing project will be rolled out to a further 40 schools. Picture: Shutterstock
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A pioneering project to help schoolchildren with mental health and emotional wellbeing is being rolled out to 40 schools in Sheffield.

Ten schools have taken part in the Sheffield Healthy Minds pilot project which involves staff from Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service helping to develop a whole school approach to students emotional wellbeing.

As part of the pilot Tapton Secondary School, in Crosspool, ran stress busting support groups, created 20 mental health champions and developed advice on dealing with stress to go in every students' planner.

The school worked with Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust’s CAMHS team which also saw them provide staff training, hold assemblies on emotional wellbeing and mental health and create Healthy Minds champions.

The scheme, which has been praised by NHS England as an example of good practice, will now be rolled out to 40 additional schools from April.

Steve Rippin, assistant headteacher at Tapton School, said: “The project has been a great success. It’s great to see the project being rolled out across the city.

“With support from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, we have organised workshops to help students with exam pressures as well as run assemblies to help students recognise the signs of stress, create good habits to create healthy minds and manage their stress.

“My hope is that by working with our young people on their mental health we will help our students to make the right decisions and get things right for them.

"At Tapton we are passionate about changing the culture of mental health. Working to improve our young people’s mental health is a long term project for us and we will continue the work that this project has started.

“This whole school approach is not only benefiting our pupils wellbeing it is also having a positive impact in all areas such as our attainment levels and a more positive approach to learning.”

The programme has been commissioned by Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group and Sheffield Council and delivered by CAMHS.

Coun Jackie Drayton, the council's cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “The ‘Sheffield Healthy Minds Framework’ is part of our early help model and way of working which we have piloted in 10 of our schools.

"It’s great to see this pioneering programme being rolled out to an additional 40 schools across the city to promote and support children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

“This project highlights the importance of working in partnership with the CCG to make sure we look after our young people’s emotional health and wellbeing .”

Kate Laurance, head of commissioning of children and young people at Sheffield CCG said: “It is great to progress new ways of working to support children and young people's emotional wellbeing and mental health in Sheffield.

"By linking up the NHS, CAMHS and schools we can provide support earlier, ensuring schools can identify and support emotional wellbeing so that children and young people are able to learn and achieve.