Mental Health Support Teams in London

Half of all cases of diagnosable mental illness begin by age 14 and three-quarters by the age of 24. Helping children and young people at an earlier stage can avoid them falling into lifelong struggles with poor mental health. In 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care and Department for Education announced plans to expand access to mental health care for children and young people. Supported by partners, NHS England is leading the delivery of two the programme’s main commitments:

  • Establishing new Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) to develop models of early intervention and support staff in school and college settings;
  • Trialling a four-week waiting time for access to specialist NHS children and young people’s mental health services.

The first Mental Health Support Teams will be set up in 25 trailblazer areas of which 12 trailblazers will also trial a four-week waiting time across England. In London, there are seven trailblazer areas, supported by Healthy London Partnership, of which four are also trialling the four-week waiting time pilots.

The London trailblazer areas

The 2018/19 London trailblazer areas include Hounslow CCG, South West London Health & Care Partnership and West London CCG for the Trailblazer sites and Bromley, Camden, Haringey and Tower Hamlets CCGs will be Trailblazer and Four Week Waiting Time Pilots. These areas will be supported academically by King’s College, University College London and the University of Reading who will be supporting Hounslow CCG.

Since these first seven areas began working on the trailblazer programme, two further waves have been announced for 2019/20. For London these new areas are:

Wave 1: Enfield, City & Hackney, Greenwich, Kingston, Richmond, Hammersmith and Fulham, Central London (Westminster).
Wave 2: Barnet, Ealing, Islington, Lewisham.’

Healthy London Partnership will be convening and linking system partners, enabling shared learning within and beyond the Trailblazer and four week waiting time sites.

Reading and resources

Mental Health in Schools 2020/21 Trailblazer Expression of Interest Resource Pack

Read our latest Trailblazers bulletin

Toolkit: Healthy London Partnership and Greater London Authority Schools Mental Health Toolkit

Report: insights on young people’s perspectives on school mental health support in London

Poster: 10 ways young people in London want schools to support their mental health

Presentation: Mental health in schools trailblazer event February 2019

Useful links: An introduction to the NHS, NHS acronym buster, education sector glossary

Self-Assessment Questionnaire

CYPMH Green Papers FAQs

Information pack for schools and colleges working with 2019-20 MHSTs

More information

For more about this programme, please contact for more details.