Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools (WAMHS)

The Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools (WAMHS) service aims to improve mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people in schools, colleges, specialist and alternative provision education settings in City & Hackney. With an initial 40 schools proving the success of the pilot in 2019, a total of 69 schools from the 80 schools in City & Hackney will be part of the WAMHS service by 2020. This innovative service is led by the CAMHS Alliance with the support of the Children and Young People’s Integrated Commissioning work stream in City & Hackney.

WAMHS focuses on building academic, social and emotional resilience and coping skills in students and helping them to identify and access additional support if needed. The service is also based on further developing knowledge and skills in education staff so that they are more confident and feel more able to support students, and their families, who may be experiencing mental health difficulties.

How is WAMHS set up?

Working with a senior member of school staff a skilled education professional from Hackney Learning Trust supports each school and education setting to review their current wellbeing and mental health provision and develop an action plan across a number of areas to improve the support systems for mental health and wellbeing in school. A mental health professional (CAMHS worker) is deployed to work in the school setting supporting the action plan for a number of days a month. As part of this they:

  • Attend regular planning meetings in schools to support holistic thinking around student wellbeing, mental health and need
  • Provide training to increase staff awareness and knowledge in the early identification and support of students’ mental health difficulties
  • Support the development of skills in managing the impact these difficulties can have in a school setting
  • Offer consultation to support further understanding of need in students and advise and support schools’ staff in how best to respond to student need

Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs)

Also in September 2019, City & Hackney became a Trailblazer site for a new initiative from the Government Green Paper on children & young people’s mental health. The MHSTs started working with some of the first wave of WAMHS Schools and are currently expanding the number of schools where they are set up.

The Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) support whole-school approaches to mental health by providing workshops about mental health related issues for children, young people and parents/carers, to help to reduce stigma and increase mental health awareness.

They offer focussed evidence-based support to young people and their parents/carers when young people are experiencing mild-moderate difficulties with their emotional wellbeing that might best be managed within a school setting.

They deliver the interventions to groups of young people and to their parents/carers alone or with their children.

Access WAMHS?

If you are a parent or carer and your child attends a state-maintained school in City & Hackney it is likely that they are already or will be part of WAMHS from September 2020.

You can find out more by asking your school directly and getting in touch with the school’s Designated Mental Health Lead.

If you are a professional you can contact our WAMHS Programme Manager with your query and we will aim to respond within 5 working days: