Mental Health Support Teams in Schools (MHSTs)

mhst logo

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 and schools.

In 2020, we were awarded funding from NHS England to set up 3 pilot teams in BCP, North Dorset and Weymouth & Portland. Over the last 24 months, we have been supporting our staff through their training at Exeter University and working alongside the schools who signed up for the initial project. We are pleased to say that we now have teams covering some of the schools in Weymouth, Portland & Dorchester, East Dorset (Ferndown/Wimborne) and within BCP. Please see the tabs below for the up-to-date lists of the schools we are currently working with.

MHSTs are working with a small number of schools across these 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 6-8 sessions of low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (LI-CBT), counselling sessions, themed group work or information workshops. We have also been supporting the transition between schools and have been working with the year 6 classes going up into year 7. If we feel that more support is required than we are able to offer, we will help signpost the school/family to the right service to help. This may be through Early Help Hubs, Core-CAMHS or other health services or the charitable sector.

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  new or emerging difficulties. The teams also offer support to teachers through inset training, workshops and consultation.

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

  • 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 in time, we will be able to expand into more schools within the county, so we apologise if your school is not involved with an MHST at this current time.

Which schools are we in?

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole


Avonbourne Academy

Avonwood Primary School

Bayside Academy

BCP Virtual School and College

Bourne Academy

Bournemouth and Poole College

Christchurch Infant School

Christchurch Junior School

Elm Academy

Grange High School

Glenmoor and Winton Academies

Hamworthy Park Junior School

Hillbourne Primary School, Poole

Hill View Primary School

Iford Academy

Kings Park Academy

Kingsleigh Primary

Kinson Primary

LeAF Studio School (incorporating Bournemouth Academy of Modern Music, Rockley College and Dorset School of Acting)

Livingstone Road Infant

Livingstone Road Junior

Longspee Academy Junior

Longspee Academy Senior

Manorside Academy

Nigel Bowes Academy

Oak Academy

Oakdale Junior School

Parkstone Grammar School

Poole Grammar School

Poole High School

Queens Park Academy

Queens Park Infant Academy

Somerford Primary School

St Aldhelms Academy

St Joseph's Primary School

Twin Sails Infant School

Twynham School

Winton Primary School, Bournemouth

North and East Dorset


Allenbourne Middle School, Wimborne

Archbishop Wake Primary, Blandford

Blandford St Mary Primary, Blandford

Downlands Primary, Blandford

Dunbury Primary, Blandford

Durweston Primary, Blandford

Ferndown Middle School, Ferndown

Ferndown Upper School, Ferndown

Gillingham Primary, Gillingham

Gillingham Secondary School

Lockyers Middle School, Upton

Milldown Primary, Blandford

Milton-on-Stour, Gillingham

Pimperne Primary, Blandford

Queen Elizabeth Secondary, Wimborne

Spetisbury Primary, Blandford

St George’s School, Bourton

St. Mary the Virgin Primary, Gillingham

The Blandford Secondary School

The Forum Centre, Blandford

Wimborne First School, Wimborne

Wyke Primary, Gillingham

Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester


All Saints Church of England Academy, Weymouth

Atlantic Academy Portland

Beechcroft St Pauls Church of England School, Weymouth

Bincombe Valley Primary School and Community Nursery, Weymouth

Budmouth Academy, Weymouth

Chickerell Primary Academy, Weymouth

Conifers Primary School, Weymouth

Dorchester Middle School, Dorchester

Dorset Studio School, Dorchester

Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School and Community Nursery, Weymouth

Southill Primary School, Weymouth

St Andrews Church of England Primary School, Weymouth

St Augustines Primary, Weymouth

St Georges Primary, Portland

St Osmunds Middle School, Dorchester

St John’s Church of England Primary School, Weymouth

The Compass Learning Centre, Weymouth

Westfield Arts College, Weymouth

Wey Valley Academy, Weymouth

Wyke Regis Primary Federation (Infants), Weymouth

Wyke Regis Primary Federation (Juniors)

MHST YouTube Videos

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

Helpful Organisations and Websites 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.

BBC - Headroom - Your Mental Health Toolkit - BBC site with lots of podcasts, information and resources

Under 21s information - Sexual Health Dorset - information from Sexual Health Dorset for young people over the age of 21

Healthier Together - Information for young people and parents in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Covering everything from parental mental health, to physical wellbeing, to sexual health to mental health and more.


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


Resources for Children, Young People and Families

Parenting a teen - in this guide we talk you through teenage brain development to understand why teenagers make decisions, need more sleep and may make riskier choices. We offer advice about how you can help your teenager while looking after yourself in the process.

Parenting a Teen


Affirmations - Sometimes stating positive phrases to yourself can make you feel better. Have a go at saying these and see how they make you feel



The Worry Tree - a simple handout to help with worries

The Worry Tree


Our (S)Elf- Care Advent Calendar - Do you like what we did there? Check out our Advent Calendar for ideas to try as we approach Christmas

(S)Elf-Care Advent Calendar


The MHST has created a worksheet to get you thinking about all the positive things about you! You are unique and brilliant, and sometimes it can be hard to think about all the good things about ourselves. Download and print this worksheet, and see you how you feel afterwards

Best Things About ME


We have created a wellbeing toolkit which you can complete in your own time to help you with staying well. Please click to download as a pdf

Wellbeing toolkit for children and young people


With the Summer Holidays coming up, we have updated our Wellbeing Journal for 2o22 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 2022

Summer Wellbeing Journal MHST


We know that Exam Stress can be a worry for many young people. We have created a handy guide with some top tips to help you manage this:

Guide to managing Exam Stress


April 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. We have a new guide for 2022!

Stress Awareness Month - April 2021

Stress Less Calendar MHST 2022


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 


Parent's week:  We have created a parent/carer workbook around managing anxiety for anyone to have a look at and read. Click on the link below for more information.

Helping manage my child's anxieties