Brighter Futures for Children and Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust launched the new Mental Health Support Team (MHST) in January 2020.

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. The pupils we will support are on roll at 16 schools in West Reading.

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.

More about us and our team

The team consists of:

  • Senior Educational Psychologists
  • Primary Mental Health Workers
  • A Specialist CAMHS practitioner
  • Outreach workers
  • Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs)
  • Administrators

Here is our charter which sets out how we will work and what service users can expect from our team, and vice versa, what we expect from service users: MHST Charter November 2020

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.

  • Blessed Hugh Faringdon
  • Prospect
  • The Wren
  • Cranbury College
  • Battle
  • Churchend
  • English Martyrs
  • Manor
  • Meadow Park
  • Moorlands
  • Oxford Road
  • Park Lane
  • Ranikhet
  • Southcote
  • St Michaels
  • 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:

  • Overcoming Your Child’s 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
  • 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)

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

Our service is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Find out about how you can access our service from our MHST guides.

MHST – Information for Children

MHST – Information for Young People

For urgent support with a child or young person’s mental health please contact NHS111, or take them to A&E if they need urgent life-threatening emergency medical attention.

For safeguarding concerns about a child or young person, please contact CSPoA on 0118 937 3641 (Option 1 – office hours) or 01344 786543 (out of hours).

Young people under 16 years old

Parent/Guardians can use the online referral form at www.brighterfuturesforchildren.org/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 you.

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.

Young people who are 16 years or over and on roll of a project school

Can self-refer www.brighterfuturesforchildren.org/MHST-referral-form.

Or as above the referral can be supported with consent from the young person.

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 school to arrange a visit and an initial assessment to explore with you 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 look to 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.

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