Published on: 19th May 2021
We have launched brand new services in Oldham and the Rochdale borough to make sure children with low-level emotional and behavioural difficulties receive the right help, at the right time, in the right place.
We run the young people’s mental health support teams in partnership with local charities Place2Be and Tameside, Oldham and Glossop Mind.
In Oldham we also work in partnership with Oldham Council’s mental health in education team. And in Rochdale we work with colleagues from Early Break and Link4Life.
Our aim is to help young people, from four to 18 years, to thrive in education and beyond, so they can reach their full potential.
Providing early support reduces the risk of issues becoming worse; so the teams also aim to reduce demand on our higher level child and adolescent mental health services, freeing them up to care for those with more complex needs.
The service is provided in 32 schools across Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale and 29 schools in Oldham.
A young person can be referred by their school mental health lead or link worker if they are experiencing issues such as worry or low mood.
A package of support will be developed based on the young person’s individual needs. It may be provided in school, or another community-based venue and is available face-to-face, by video or telephone, depending on the needs of the young person.
Our teams also work closely with school staff and parents, to make sure young people can benefit from joined up support.
Our clinical lead Karen McElroy (pictured above), said: “The number of children experiencing mental health issues is increasing – particular after the challenges of the last year. It’s vital to identify difficulties early and provide the right support.
“We are passionate about supporting children and young people and making a positive difference to their lives and are looking forward to working with young people, education colleagues and parents across Oldham and the Rochdale borough.”
Michelle Barker is the mental health lead and assistant special educational needs and disability co-ordinator at Broadfield Community Primary School in Rochdale. She said: “Working with the team has allowed us to reflect upon our strengths and opportunities for supporting special educational and mental health needs at our school.
“Our mental health practitioner has been so supportive and knowledgeable; supporting our current systems and becoming an active member of our school.
“We are proud to be pioneers for this new programme and really excited to see the positive impact it will have on our children and families from the diverse communities we serve.”
These brand new services have been possible thanks to funding from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership. Part of the Greater Manchester mental health in education programme, the funding aims to develop early help for mental health issues within schools and colleges; enabling staff to support students’ wellbeing and good mental health.
Parents and carers in Oldham or the Rochdale borough who would like you know more should speak to their child’s teacher, or the school mental health lead or link worker.
Watch the video clip below to hear a short introduction from Karen.