A new team is now helping school children with their mental health and wellbeing, after the CCG made a successful bid to the national Trailblazer programme in 2019.
Since then, the RISE team has trained 12 local people as education mental health practitioners, and helped over 600 children in 54 schools in Newcastle and Gateshead.
The team helps young people with a range of issues like difficult relationships, loneliness, school work pressures and coping with change.
Linking with school counsellors, nurses, educational psychologists and voluntary organisations, its focus is on supporting pupils with mild to moderate mental health issues, as well as helping pupils with more severe needs to get the right support.
The RISE team also works with other agencies to help young people build emotional awareness and resilience.
One in nine young people aged five to 15 has a mental health condition, and teenagers with a mental disorder are more than two and a half times more likely to have mental health problems in adulthood.
With the RISE team in place, we are in a stronger position to ensure that we support young people when they experience mental health difficulties, with that essential support available when the signs of mental health issues first appear.
Covid can’t stop us!
Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, the team quickly rose to the challenge, offering a whole range of new options for children needing their support.
Instead of assemblies, group work and one-to-ones in school, the team switched to telephone and online consultations, as well as keeping in touch with parents and schools to monitor the young people’s changing needs.
A new series of ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ videos and other resources are also helping families with children who may have worries.
Fiona Goldsmith, the RISE team’s clinical lead, said: “It’s always important to help children with their wellbeing, but it’s even more important in these changing times. We’re here to help anyone with worries, but a lot of our focus now is on prevention.
“Adapting to lockdown was a challenge, but returning to school will also cause anxiety for some children.
“We have always focused on the whole school, and this is more important than ever, as many teachers and school staff are also experiencing anxiety. So a big part of our work is to support staff through all the changes, help them to be resilient, and be there for their pupils.”
RISE is supported by Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Northumbria University, as well as Newcastle and Gateshead councils.
The team is aiming to expand and support a wider range of schools in the future.
You can find out more, including a list of schools currently supported by the team, on the RISE website.
If you or a member of your family need support with anxiety or mental health worries, you can contact the team at NGRise@cntw.nhs.uk.