Mental health task force assembled to help kids back to school

HCC has proposed a £1.654 million funding boost for mental health services across the county. Pictur

A mental health recovery team has been set-up to help children, parents and teachers ahead of the return of schools on March 8 - Credit: Archant

A mental health recovery team has been set up by a collective of local groups and organisations, to help kids transition back to a full-time return to school next week.

The Hitchin Mental Health Recovery Team, formed of nine different North Hertfordshire community groups, has been working with primary and secondary schools in the area to help facilitate a safe return to full-time physical schooling for pupils.

The team is made up of the following charities and organisations: Hitchin Youth Trust, the Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse, Hitchin Partnership CIO, Grit, Stand-By-Me, Phase, Tilehouse Counselling, NESSie and The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living.

David McIntosh from the new group thanked all the organisations involved for their support to date, and said: “School leaders, teachers and support staff are doing an extraordinary job right now.

"While they are trying to catch up on lost learning time, they find themselves helping pupils, and some families come to term with the impact of the pandemic. Many may have anxieties and worries of their own, but they put them to one side and put the young people first. We want to say thank you to them."

The Mental Health Recovery Team has been working together over the last six months to ensure additional support is available to those children, parents, teachers and carers who need will need it most after a tumultuous period.

Feedback from school representatives guided the team to put together a staged programme to provide support to adults (staff and parents/carers) first to enable them to support the children.

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The plan includes short videos, webinars, virtual group programmes, safe spaces, group activities and mentoring, art therapy as well as one to one counselling.

Funding has already been secured from Hitchin Youth Trust, Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse, NHDC, local County Councillor Judi Billing and the Sir Tom Moore NHS Charities Together Fund. Initial support has already started with online groups and activities for staff and children.

But there is always more that can be done, and a JustGiving page has been set up so you can donate to help fund mental health provision. Search Hitchin Mental Health Recovery Team on

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