This week I visited City Academy Bristol to meet the brilliant staff involved in Bristol’s Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) in Education initiative. We discussed their invaluable support for children struggling with their mental health, and their work with parents and local communities too.

The MHST provides one-to-one sessions and group mental health support, as well as raising awareness about topics of concern to pupils – such as online bullying and exam stress. Staff can also develop their skills on the job and gain qualifications while delivering vital early interventions.

Initiatives like this prevent children from developing mental health problems later in life. But central funding constraints mean the MHST can’t reach as many schools as staff would like, and its funding is uncertain after 2024. If we’re elected Labour will ensure access to a mental health professional in every school – but in the meantime I’ll also be raising this with the Government as it’s important we secure the future of this valuable service.

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