A multi-million pound project to help children with mental health problems has been launched in Salford.
Ten schools in the area will be given a single point of contact through working with the Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Salford City Council.
In Salford, hospital admissions for mental health conditions in children up to 17 and hospital admission for self-harm from 10-24 is significantly higher than the national average.
Anthony Hassell, Salford CCG’s chief accountable officer, said: “We know in Salford there is work to be done to improve our mental health services for children.
“This is why we are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as one of the pilot areas to trial this new way of the NHS working with schools.”
£3million funding from NHS England and the Department of Education pilot means children and young people in Salford have better access to specialist mental health provisions.
The scheme aims to improve joint working between schools and health services and will be evaluated nationally.
So far ten schools are taking part but over 20 others in the area are interested, and the pilot could be extended to those schools as well.
The contact person in the schools could be any member of school staff and is responsible for developing closer relationships with a counterpart in Salford Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
They are expected to ensure any referrals are timely and appropriate and will receive full training to support the work.
Councillor John Merry, executive lead member for children’s services, learning and skills, said: “Mental health problems affect school attendance and achievement as well as a child’s happiness and wellbeing.
“They can have long-lasting effects on their family and future if not tackled early.
“This is about treating mental health in the same way as physical health and offering children and young people the kind of support and help they need when they need it.”
The scheme hopes to build resilience in children by supporting them when they change schools, equip young people to deal with situations which may affect their wellbeing and put in place strategies.
Salford’s CCG was selected as one of 22 nationally and three in Greater Manchester to benefit from the scheme.
Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks