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Mental Health in Schools Support Services (MHISS)  

In 2018/19 NHS England launched the Mental Health Support Team Programme (MHST) which has been rolling out across schools in Devon since 2019/20. MHSTs cover clusters of schools with 7,000 pupils within each. There are currently in 7 sites across Devon with another 2 sites in development, giving pupil coverage of 63,000. The total pupil population of 5–18-year-olds in Devon is 138,706, so when all teams are functioning 29% of the school population will be covered. Future locations are being identified based on a matrix of need, and the MHST steering group oversees how decisions about further roll out are made and assures the quality of the programme. Working alongside the school, the role of the MHST Educational Mental health practitioner is to: 

  • Advise on sleep hygiene, problem solving, and panic attacks    
  • Provide education for managing anxiety and depression   
  • Promote approaches to improve emotional health and wellbeing   
  • Advise and signpost education staff to further information to ensure children and young people get the right support  
  • Provide support to children and young people on a one-to-one basis  
  • Support schools and colleges with whole-organisation approaches to mental health and wellbeing 
  • Liaise with parents and caregivers in primary schools or social, emotional and mental health or learning disability settings 
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