Children in Hertfordshire are to get improved access to mental health support at school.

The county has been named as one of just seven areas that will have the new Mental Health Support Teams this year (2019).

The teams – including youth workers and mental health practitioners – will provide early help to children and support school staff.

They will ensure children with the most severe mental health needs have access to the right support, by linking to specialist NHS Services.

As part of the new initiative, they will work with children from 40 schools in the county, as well as in community venues.

And the work of the teams – which are key to the government’s recent Children and Young People Mental Health Green Paper – was highlighted at a meeting of the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group board meeting last Thursday.

“This initiative will make a huge difference to the lives of children and young people across Hertfordshire,” says chief executive officer Kathryn Magson in a report to the board.

“It will further improve links between mental health services and schools to ensure children, parents and teachers know where they can get support and help for young people with mental health concerns.”

Already in Hertfordshire there are mental health leads in 400 schools.

And more than 500 professionals – including youth workers, residential care workers and school staff – have already been trained in youth mental health first aid.