New Trailblazer project offers young people mental health support


Trailblazer Project to Help City & Hackney Pupils

More pupils across City and Hackney will have access to NHS mental health support thanks to funding for a new programme.

The City and Hackney Integrated Commissioning partnership, including the City & Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), mental health providers and Hackney Learning Trust, have successfully bid for funding to be part of NHS England’s School Trailblazer programme.

It will see Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) working directly in schools and colleges across the borough by providing on-site access to early mental health support. They will help speed up access to specialist services and build on support already in place from school counsellors, nurses, educational psychologists and the voluntary sector, so that more children and young people get the help and support they need, when they need it.

The teams will provide early intervention for mild to moderate mental health issues, such as exam stress, low mood or friendship difficulties as well as providing support to staff. They will make referrals easier for schools and reduce waiting times for young people, and also act as a link with local specialist children and young people’s mental health services ensuring, if appropriate, that pupils can access more intensive support.

One in nine young people aged five to 15 had a diagnosable mental health condition in 2017 and teenagers with a mental health disorder are more than twice as likely to have a mental disorder in adulthood.

The programme will start in October. East London NHS Foundation Trust will be the lead NHS provider supported by the wider City and Hackney CAMHS Alliance.

“The Trailblazer programme offers a really exciting opportunity to work differently with young people, supporting their mental health needs at an earlier stage and in a familiar setting,” said Henry Iwunze, ELFT Associate Director for East London Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Rhiannon England, Clinical Lead for the Integrated Care Programme for Children & Young People, Continuing Healthcare and Mental Health, in City and Hackney, said: "It’s great that the Trailblazer programme is being rolled out across City and Hackney to help ensure children and young people are getting the best help possible when they need it. 

“Supporting positive mental health, especially in children and young people, is a key priority for us and having helped shape and commission the 'Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools' programme locally, we've already seen the positive impact of having specialist mental health support directly in the classroom. This type of project also demonstrates the incredible power and difference working in collaboration with local providers and authorities like East London NHS Foundation Trust, Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust, Hackney Learning Trust, London Borough of Hackney, City of London and the local participating schools can have."

Anne Canning, Group Director Children, Adults and Community Health, said: “We are delighted that Hackney has been selected to be part of the Trailblazer Programme. It will support us working with schools and partners in improving the life chances of every child, young person and learner, and build on the excellent work already being done in Hackney to promote wellbeing and mental health.”

The Government is creating 124 new MHSTs in 48 areas across the country. Each designated team will support about 20 schools and colleges in their area.

City and Hackney will start with 2 MHSTs introduced to schools already taking part in the locally commissioned Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools (WAMHS) programme.


26 July 2019                                                                                     [ENDS]


For more information, contact:

Glenn Mitchell

Deputy Head of Communications and Engagement

East London NHS Foundation Trust

9 Alie Street,


E1 8DE

Tel No: 07940 467055                     

Out of hours: 07941 538879