Let's Connect - children's mental health week

Posted: February 2 2023

Let's Connect - children's mental health week

We want to make a difference to the lives of children and young people living in Hertfordshire. Therefore we are proud to, along with the county council and other NHS organisations we work with, to be supporting Children’s Mental Health Week (6 - 12 February). 

This year’s theme is Let’s Connect.  We want to connect with children, young people, their parents or carers access to let them know about the emotional wellbeing help and services are available across Herts and West Essex.

Where to get help

There is a wide range of services to help young people with any concerns or worries they may be experiencing. Support is directly available either online, by text or phone - and you don’t always need a professional referral.

More information about Mental Health Support for Hertfordshire's Children and Young People

Why asking for help and talking is important

Let’s Connect is about helping all children, young people (and adults) to understand the importance of having meaningful relationships in our lives that support our mental health.

This is more easily explained by young people themselves. Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) Youth Council said:

“It doesn’t matter what we might be struggling with, we are all looking for the same thing. If we feel like a healthcare professional is trying to get to know us and make us feel comfortable then it’s easier for us to talk, listen and be part of our recovery. It doesn’t matter what your role is, just how you are with us. The best staff make us feel like we are part of our care.” 

Mental Health Support Teams in Schools (MHSTs)

Hertfordshire’s MHSTs are deliverng support to more schools and colleges across the county. They are providing training for school staff, parents and carers, as well as individual and group interventions for children and young people with mild to moderate mental health needs, helping them to build their resilience and develop positive coping strategies.

HPFT host the MHSTs in Hertfordshire, together with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT) who host the Special Educational Needs (SEN) MHST. 

Elliot Howard-Jones, Chief Executive at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and CYP lead for Hertfordshire and West Essex, said:

“All HCT’s mental health services aim to encourage children, young people, parents and carers to connect with others in a variety of ways to suit their particular needs. By working with our system partners and offering a range of community based mental health services we hope to better support those most in need. Post-pandemic we have seen a rise in referrals to our mental health services (currently up 8%), In December 2022 alone we carried out nearly 1,500 clinical contacts with children, young people and their families.

“Early intervention is key, it can make a big difference. For this reason many of our services focus on identifying and addressing problems before they become serious. Our Special Educational Needs (SEN) MHST provide guidance to staff at the mainstream school MHSTs, as well as helping to improve the emotional wellbeing of children, young people, parents, carers and staff at SEN schools/colleges across Hertfordshire. Our Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners and School Nursing Services are also available to help with low mood and anxiety. While our Step 2 and PALMS Services provide support for young people who may need more help.”

Find an up to date list of schools with an Mental Health School's Team (MHST). If your school or college doesn’t currently have an MHST, our Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner Service may be able to help.

If you are a journalist or media representative requiring further information contact our communications team on (01707) 388148 or via communications@hct.nhs.uk