Services for children

Ealing mental health support team (MHST) in primary schools

Mental health support team (MHST) offer to primary schools

Each primary school has been allocated to a cluster.

Each small cluster of primary schools in Ealing will be allocated a named practitioner who will work across the cluster to provide early evidence-based intervention for children and young people presenting with mild-moderate mental health problems such as anxiety and low mood. This will be equivalent of 1 - 1.5 days of practitioner time per week dependent upon pupil numbers.

The named practitioner will meet with the designated school link worker at each school once a term to discuss possible referrals, update the link worker on existing cases and to discuss other interventions such as groups and workshops that may be helpful to the school population.

The practitioner will organise a joint cluster meeting with the link workers from all schools in the cluster once a term so that schools can think about what interventions (groups, workshops, trainings) would be useful to plan across the cluster. These interventions will be open to all schools within the cluster.

The practitioner will have a small caseload across the schools. They will be able to see 3-4 cases per day. When schools bring referrals, the practitioner will discuss which are most appropriate and will signpost the link worker to more appropriate services when relevant. For appropriate cases, the practitioner will have a small waiting list where cases are held until they have capacity. They will be seen in order of referral, unless clinical need dictates that a case needs to be prioritised. If a group is planned, this will count as 2-3 cases (depending on the group and the amount of work that needs to go into developing and delivering this).

Each cluster will have one training session a term allocated. The topic for this training session should be discussed with the practitioner in the cluster meeting in advance so that they can prepare the material. Ideally this should be not already offered by another service or provider in Ealing although there could be an opportunity for working jointly with other services.

All primary schools that have MHST practitioners can access the MHST+ service. This is a service set up specifically to support those children with a diagnosis of autism or learning disability or who have been accepted on to a waiting list for an assessment.

School link workers can refer children to MHST+ who meet the following criteria:

  • Have a diagnosis of autism or learning disability (or children who have been accepted on the waiting list for these diagnostic assessments)
  • Present with mild to moderate anxiety, low mood and/or challenging behaviour
  • Are likely to benefit from CBT for anxiety, VIG intervention for attachment/relational difficulties or a challenging behaviour intervention

Specialist ASC/LC practitioners will offer an assessment to suitable referrals and may offer intervention packages where this is appropriate.

Please note: Practitioners will not make referrals for assessment of Autism Spectrum Conditions or Learning Disability.

Was this page useful? 
Last updated: 16 May 2022