Mental Health Support Teams in Schools (MHSTs)

MHST Logo v2

Schools play an important role in supporting the wellbeing of children and young people at a time when they are experiencing lots of physical, emotional and social changes.  The introduction of Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) working within schools is a new approach to provide an additional source of support to families.

We have been lucky to be awarded three sites for the MHST Pilots by NHS England which are North Dorset, Weymouth & Portland and Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole as part of an initial two year project.

MHSTs are working with a small number of schools across these three areas to tackle the challenges children and young people experience, by helping them to feel more resilient, arming them with techniques to look after themselves and strategies to help them cope better with life’s ups and downs. This includes support for things like mild-moderate anxiety or worries, exam stress and friendship issues through low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (LI-CBT), counselling sessions, themed group work or information workshops.

The teams will also support parents and teachers with information, advice and guidance about how best to help children and young people who are experiencing difficulties.

There are three main ways children and young people can access support from the MHST:

  • When a school staff member notices a child or young person is struggling with day-to-day worries
  • When a parent informs a school staff member about their concerns
  • When a young person asks for support for themselves.

We hope that following the two years, we will be able to expand into more schools within each area, so we apologise if your school is not involved at this current time.

MHSTs Pilot Sites

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

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Mental Health Support Teams - Primary



Mental Health Support Teams - Secondary


Bayside Academy

BCP Virtual School

Bourne Academy

Bournemouth and Poole College

Grange High School

Kings Park Academy

Kingsleigh Primary

Kinson Academy

LeAF Studio


Manorside Academy

Nigel Bowes

Oak Academy

Poole High School

Queens Park Academy

Somerford Primary School

St Aldhelms


North Dorset

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Mental Health Support Teams - Primary



Mental Health Support Teams - Secondary



Archbishop Wake, Blandford

Blandford St Mary, Blandford

Downlands, Blandford

Dunbury, Blandford

Durweston, Blandford

Gillingham Primary, Gilingham

Gillingham School

Mere Primary, Mere

Milldown, Blandford

Milton-on-Stour, Gillingham

Pimperne, Blandford

Spetisbury, Blandford

St George’s School, Bourton

St. Mary the Virgin, Gillingham

The Blandford School

The Forum Centre, Blandford

Wyke Primary, Gillingham

Weymouth and Portland

MHST Bear CroppedPrimary

Mental Health Support Teams - Primary



Mental Health Support Teams - Secondary




All Saints Church of England Academy

Atlantic Academy Portland

Beechcroft St Pauls Church of England School

Bincombe Valley Primary School and Community Nursery

Budmouth Academy

Chickerell Primary Academy

Conifers Primary School

Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School and Community Nursery

Southill Primary School

St Andrews Church of England Primary School

St John’s Church of England Primary School

The Compass Learning Centre

Westfield Arts College

Wyke Regis Primary Federation (Infants)

Wyke Regis Primary Federation (Juniors)

Video Resource Book

Chapter 1: Back to Basics

A house needs foundations to stand up safely and so does your wellbeing. Returning to school? Watch this short video to find out how to make going back a little easier. The film includes advice on sleeping, healthy eating and exercise and the benefits of a settled schedule, rhythm and routine.






Chapter Two: Getting to school

Watch this short video to see how to make this a little easier. This video is mostly aimed towards primary aged young people, but many of the ideas could be useful for anyone! It includes advice on leaving the house, worries around using the school bus, as well as walking to school by yourself or with others. There is also a useful section around getting to school during the current COVID-19 period.

Bonus Video: Transitioning to Secondary School

Are you in year 6 and moving to Secondary School? We have created this video to help and reassure you about this move. We know that things have been difficult and that plans about moving schools have not happened in quite the same way as usual, so we hope this may help with what may happen.

Returning to School - A Parent's Guide - Full Version

Is your child returning to school? The MHST's have put together a short video presentation to support parents and their children with the return. We hope you find it helpful.

Returning to School - A Shorter Guide for Parents

This is a shorter condensed version of our 'Returning to School - A Parents Guide' video which can be found above. This video is approx 8 minutes long.

Useful Information

Useful Links and Resources Young Minds have a really useful website with support and advice Young people can sign up and access online counselling and moderated forums by qualified and registered health professionals Information about the school nursing service and ChatHealth which is a text support service for young people between 11-19 and living in Dorset Information about the Discovery College. This includes links to podcasts, videos and worksheets. Its aimed at young people and their supporters. A website aimed at teenagers covering all areas of health and wellbeing. Run by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust with input from other trusts across the country.

BBC - Headroom - Your Mental Health Toolkit - BBC site with lots of podcasts, information and resources A website aimed at supporting you during a child's primary school years. There is an area for children and grown ups. Run by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust with additional input from trusts across the country.

For Professionals and Teaching Staff

General resources:

Tips for Teachers KS1 and 2 - The MHST's have produced this leaflet with some tips for teachers who are working with Key Stages One and Two. This Site brings together quality assured resources to help Primary Schools to promote children's mental health and wellbeing. During Covid-19 they have been producing fortnightly curated tool kits. The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families have a really useful section for schools and colleges. This includes links to 'mentally healthy schools', Corona Resources and 'schools in mind' Place 2 Be have put together a series of resources focused on community recovery, to help heads and school staff to bring their schools back together following the recent challenging times Young Minds have also pulled together a number of resources to support schools to support their pupils through the current pandemic The British Psychological Society (BPS) have created this document -  'A resilience and coping framework for supporting transitions back to school' Report from the Children's Commissioner on 'Stress in Children during Covid'.

Coronavirus support | Education Support Education Support - counselling and information for education staff in all settings Information about Operation Encompass, supporting school staff to support young people who are witness to Domestic Violence



Covid Resources for schools:



Letter for parents of primary age children in self isolation

Ideas for primary age children in self isolation

A guide for parents of primary age children who are being asked to self  isolate



A letter for secondary age pupils who have been asked to self isolate

Ideas and tips for secondary age pupils who have been asked to self isolate

A guide for parents of secondary age pupils who have been asked to self isolate


Mental Health Awareness information and resources

April 2021 is Stress Awareness Month. The MHST's have created a 30 day guide to ways to help reduce your stress levels, with one activity per day. We hope that you find this useful and that it gives you some new ideas or strategies to try out.

Stress Awareness Month - April 2021


Positive affirmations are phrases or statements we use to remind ourselves of our good qualities or encourage ourselves. Did you know that studies have found that with regular use, positive affirmations can be linked to greater self-esteem, reduced stress and improved sense of self? Having good self-esteem and a good sense of who we are makes us feel better in ourselves and makes us more resilient to difficulties when they arise. Here is a worksheet that you can use to try and think about the best things about me!

The Best Things About Me - Worksheet 


With the Summer Holidays coming up, we have created a Wellbeing Journal which you can use over the holidays. Hopefully it will give you some ideas about how to connect, get active, take notice, learn and give whilst you are off school as we know sometimes it can be difficult to think of ideas! Click on the links within the journal for more ideas and websites too.

Summer Wellbeing Journal MHST