Healthy Minds

Healthy Minds and Mental Health Support Team (MHST) offer in Sheffield

Healthy Minds is a whole school approach to emotional wellbeing, developed by Sheffield Children’s NHS FT CAMHS service in collaboration with Sheffield schools. Following initial investment by NHS England and the Department for Education it is now locally commissioned by Sheffield City Council and Sheffield NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and it has reached two thirds of the mainstream schools in Sheffield.

Healthy Minds offers an integrated approach to mental health. It works on the principle that schools are in an excellent position to not just teach about mental health and signpost but to provide environments which enable children and young people to experience emotional wellbeing and thus build their emotional resilience.

Feedback indicates that this model makes great sense to school staff who have then been able to utilise these principles across school and develop further interventions and resources to better support children and young people, staff and parents. When schools address emotional wellbeing, they also provide the ideal conditions for the whole school community to engage in learning. It's win-win!

Healthy Minds has now reached over 80% of mainstream schools in Sheffield.

Core Activities

Healthy Minds Surveys

We have heard from over 30,000 children and young people, over 9,000 parents and carers and over 4,00 school staff. The overall response from children and young people when asked “what more they would like from their school to support their emotional wellbeing” was a school culture in which staff have the time to care, ask and listen. The top five issues students report as having a significant impact on their emotional wellbeing are: low mood, anxiety, friendship difficulties, sleep and worries about school work.

We have used these findings to agree individual action plans for schools and develop further ways of working – for example: working with the specialist sleep clinic at SCH, MAST parenting and Sleep Charity to develop sleep hygiene workshops for school staff to enable them to support students and parents; developing whole school approaches to supporting children and young people’s friendships; development of sensory breaks to enable children and young people’s emotional regulation; and training in active listening skills for school staff.

Healthy Minds are now an approved Dept for Education Senior Mental Health Lead training provider.

Healthy Minds Framework

Whole school approach to emotional wellbeing

Whole School Training Evaluation

The Healthy Minds whole school staff training focuses on the core psychological processes which underpin children and young people’s learning and wellbeing: The importance of relationships • Emotional regulation • Brain development • Vulnerability and Adverse Childhood Experiences • Whole school activities.

  • 96% of staff rated the training as relevant to their role
  • 98% of staff rated it as excellent or very good
  • 91% of staff stated that they would be confident utilising the strategies with vulnerable students

Evaluation of SAFE training

Key strategic lead school staff attend the three-day SAFE training event in order for them to develop their school’s whole school approach to emotional wellbeing.

  • 99% of staff stated that the information was presented coherently and at the right level
  • 99% of staff were happy with the balance between information giving and discussion
  • 100% of staff would recommend these sessions to colleagues

Other feedback

  • Fantastic course – excellent delivery and follow up
  • The training has been fantastic. So many practical ideas as well as theory have been shared. Thank you
  • Thank you so much I have learnt lots from these sessions and I’m excited to be part of the project
  • Thank you – fantastic training, info, ideas – very knowledgeable trainers

Sheffield Mental Health Support Team Offer

Since Jan 2020 Sheffield has received NHSE and DfE funding for three Mental Health Support Teams. From September 2021 this service will work with forty schools. From Jan 2022 Sheffield will receive Wave 6 funding enabling the service to work into fifty schools and by Jan 2025 the service will be able to work with 50% of schools in the city. This forms part of the Government’s plans to transform children and young people’s mental health through the NHS Long Term Plan.

Nationally Mental Health Support Teams are intended to:

  • Deliver evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate mental health needs (e.g. guided self-help or parent-led CBT for anxiety / low mood).
  • Support senior mental health leads in education settings to develop their whole-school approach to mental health and emotional wellbeing.
  • Provide timely advice to staff and liaise with external specialist services so that children and young people can get the right support and remain in education.
  • Sheffield MHST is developing a trauma informed offer to provide schools with specialist mental health assessment and formulation of vulnerable children and young people to provide a school-based intervention care plan, regular reviews, and reflective practice.

The Sheffield MHST will be delivered by the CAMHS Healthy Minds team and includes senior mental health clinicians and Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs). All MHST schools should have an identified Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL).

Co-production: Sheffield MHST will build on the work of Healthy Minds and the national proposal above to meet the needs of local schools. It is key that schools involved in the pilot phase have capacity from their SMHL and SLT to help co-produce the service.

Making Every Interaction Count

To maximise the impact and sustainability of this service the MHST will be embedded within participating schools, so any direct work with individual children and young people is complemented by the whole school offer and a focus on supporting school staff skills, in order to maximise the effectiveness for individual children and make a difference beyond the identified child.

MHST Vision

Healthy Minds MST Logo