Brighter Futures for Children and Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust launched the Mental Health Support Team (MHST) in January 2020 with a second MHST being launched this September 2022

Our aim

We will support children and young people with emerging, mild or moderate mental health difficulties that may be affecting day to day life.

Depending on the age of the child or young person, we may work either directly with them or with their parents. We also work with school staff and offer support on different levels; with the aim of developing and supporting a whole school approach to mental health.

To learn more about what we do and how we may help you, see our guides:

More about us and our team

The teams consist of:

  • Senior Educational Psychologists
  • Primary Mental Health Worker
  • A Specialist CAMHS practitioner
  • Wellbeing Outreach Workers
  • Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs)
  • Administrators
  • Triage coordinator

Here’s more information about our service:

Our service is only available to children and young people who attend or are on roll at one of the following schools with emerging or mild to moderate emotional and mental health needs.

  • Alfred Sutton 
  • Battle 
  • Blessed Hugh Faringdon 
  • Cranbury College 
  • Christ the King 
  • Churchend 
  • Coley 
  • English Martyrs 
  • Geoffrey Field Infants
  • Geoffrey Field Junior 
  • Green Park Village 
  • Hamilton 
  • Holy Brook 
  • John Madejski Academy 
  • Katesgrove 
  • Maiden Erlegh Reading 
  • Manor
  • Meadow Park 
  • Moorlands 
  • New Christ Church 
  • Oxford Road 
  • Palmer Academy  
  • Park Lane 
  • Prospect 
  • Ranikhet 
  • Reading College, up to 18 years (whole setting approach only)
  • Reading Girls’  
  • Redlands 
  • Ridgeway 
  • St Mary and All Saints 
  • St Michaels 
  • Southcote 
  • The Wren 
  • UTC 
  • Whitley Park 
  • Wilson   

We deliver a range of evidence-based interventions focused on mild to moderate anxiety, low mood and behaviour management.

This may include interventions such as:

Helping Your Child with Fears and Worries programme: an individual guided self-help intervention for parents of anxious children aged 12 and under

Webster-Stratton Incredible Years: an individual guided self-help parenting intervention for parents of primary aged pupils

Parent workshops e.g. Understanding Emotions, exam stress etc

Story Links to build positive relationships between parent and child

Worry management for children experiencing anxiety (Year 6 and above)

Graded exposure (facing feared situations step by step) for children with phobias and other anxiety difficulties (Year 6 and above)

Support for young people to explore and develop helpful coping strategies specific to improving low mood (Year 6 and above)

Group work to support mental health including:

  • FRIENDS for Life
  • Therapeutic story writing
  • Mental Health ambassadors

The MHST also offers support to school staff by:

  • Delivering training on various mental health topics
  • Offering consultations (individual or group) where staff can think through their concerns or difficulties regarding students or class groups
  • Working with staff to support students individually
  • Supporting staff wellbeing.

Young people under 16 years old

Parent/guardians can refer using the online referral form – MHST referral form.

Parent/guardians can speak to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) or Senior Mental Health Lead (SMHL) at school and they will complete a simple referral form with them.

Young people can also speak to a member of school staff, school nurse, their GP or any other professional who works with them who could support them with completing a referral.

If you are aged 13 years or over and on roll of a school included in the MHST project

You can refer yourself using the online referral form specifically designed for young people.

Or as above, your parent of guardian can refer you using the main referral, with consent from you as the young person being referred.

When referrals are received they go through a triage process to explore how your needs can be best met. We may contact you if we need more information.

If the referral is accepted, an MHST practitioner will be in contact to let you know. Depending on demand for our service, there may be a waiting list.

Once an MHST practitioner has been allocated, they will contact you and your child’s school to arrange a visit and an initial assessment to explore what intervention we may be able to offer.

If we are unable to offer you a service, we would discuss other options with you and signpost you to other services that may be able to meet your needs.

  • The Family Information Service provides additional resources and information about how to access further support.
  • The Samaritans offer advice on how to help someone you’re worried about open up about their feelings – www.samaritans.org/shush.
  • For parents of children at primary school: This leaflet provides simple advice and guidance to parents and carers about how to make conversations about their child’s feelings part of everyday conversation. You’re never too young to talk mental health – Anna Freud
  • For parents of young people at secondary school: The teenage years are both exciting and challenging to parent and carers. It can be hard to know whether your child’s feelings and behaviour are normal or becoming a problem. This leaflet provides simple advice and guidance to parents and carers about how to make conversations about their teenager’s feelings part of everyday conversation. Talking mental health with young people at secondary school – Anna Freud

We welcome your feedback

If you have received support from the MHST, we would welcome your feedback via this online survey. Thanks in advance.

Complete the survey

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