A partnership improving mental health support for young people in East Cheshire schools will continue for at least another two years.

The Emotionally Healthy Schools programme has been bringing together the health, education and voluntary sector to support schools throughout the area since 2015 in their efforts to improve emotional and mental health for young people and their families.

It has now won the contract to continue until at least 2021.

Led by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and delivered with local charities Visyon, Just Drop In, Clasp, and Kooth, as well as lead school Middlewich High School, the programme provides support to all schools in East Cheshire.

The Emotionally Healthy Schools Links Team support school staff with direct mental health training and consultation. The School Lead Team demonstrates best practice and shared learning between schools.

Tools for schools provide dedicated resources around mental health, resilience and emotional wellbeing.

Clare Holmes, assistant headteacher at Middlewich High School, said: “Middlewich High School is proud to continue to be the lead school for this programme and to support this vital work; building on previous successes and further enhancing the work done with schools during the previous contracts.

“This new contract will enable schools to develop closer relationships with local health and voluntary services.

"I welcome the progression to a more joined-up approach to mental health service provision, with clear pathways of support for schools, young people and their families.”

Last year Emotionally Healthy Schools was highly commended at the national Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards and Local Government Chronicle Awards.

Ali Stathers-Tracey, Acting Director of Prevention and Early Help at Cheshire East Council said: “Young people’s emotional health and wellbeing is a priority for us, as we know that half of all lifetime mental health conditions develop by the age of 14 and affects up to one in four people.

“We’ve listened to young people and families and want to ensure a more joined-up offer for mental health access and information.

“Our aim is to build on the success of the Emotionally Healthy Schools project with more information available online and working closer with the health service, schools and the community.

“I welcome this new contract that will provide children, young people and their parents a single point of access to information, advice and guidance.”

To find out more about Emotional Healthy Schools visit cwp.nhs.uk