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Introducing the Devon Mental Health Support Team in Schools (MHST)

  • Date published:

  • Author: malloryfisher

Early intervention support for children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.


Who are we?

The Mental Health Support Team in Schools (MHST) is a new NHS service commissioned to work with a number of schools across Devon offering early intervention to help children and young people with their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

We are a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) working within the NHS and come from a wide range of training and experiences. Our teams are made up of Mental Health Nurses, Counsellors and Psychotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Teachers and Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHP’s).


What we do:

We work with children and young people with low-level/mild to moderate common mental health difficulties (anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties). Our traffic light tool below details the types of symptoms we do/don’t work with.

This is an early intervention service that provides clear and tailored Low-Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (LI-CBT) interventions focused on guided self-help.

We work collaboratively with schools to establish a ‘Whole School Approach’ to mental health & wellbeing, enabling mental health to be valued and become an intrinsic part of school culture.

 We also work collaboratively with young people (and their families, where appropriate) using solution focused approaches that require commitment and participation to be effective.  We offer 1:1 and Group work in which our staff will support children and young people to identify a current problem and set clear goals to help them overcome this.


What is Low Intensity CBT?

CBT involves the practitioner working with you to focus on your problem and break it down into smaller parts. The practitioner will help you develop a toolkit of practical strategies and coping mechanisms so you can deal with difficult situations when they arise.

It is a talking therapy, based upon the understanding that your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations and actions are interconnected. It suggests negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a negative cycle and helps you to identify ways to break that cycle.



What are Whole School Approaches?

We work in partnership with our schools to develop universal approaches promoting well-being and the prevention of mental health problems across the whole school community.

Each school has a Designated Mental Health Lead which is the key link between MHST and School.  Through partnership with this lead we hope to support our school colleagues to develop a mentally healthy school culture and ethos, and a supportive classroom environment.


How do we do it:

We meet regularly with Designated Mental Health Leads to discuss mental health issues related to the whole school community and for consideration of needs of individual pupils or groups of pupils.

We aim to develop targeted responses where these are identified with schools, including specific workshops, groupwork and 1:1 interventions.

Additionally, we offer workshops & training events to increase emotional health awareness, to teachers, parents/carers and young people. This may include:

  • Anxiety/ Low Mood
  • Bullying
  • Diversity
  • Developing student participation around a mentally healthy school
  • Tackling stigma and prejudice around mental health.
  • Staff well-being


How to access 1:1 or Group Support:

  • If you are a Child/Young Person/Parent/Carer please talk to the Designated/Senior Mental Health Lead in your school who can discuss your concerns with a member of our team at the weekly mental health meeting held in your school.
  • If you are a member of school staff and think a child/young person in your class needs support please talk to your Designated Senior Mental Health Lead who can bring the young person for an anonymous discussion to the weekly mental health meeting held in your school.


Which schools are MHST working with:

Below is a list of schools the teams are currently active in. We’ll be adding to this list on a regular basis:

We encourage you to speak with a trusted adult in your child’s school or the schools Designated Mental Health Lead to access their support.


Exeter 1:


  • St Peters C of E Aided School
  • St James School
  • St Lukes C of E School
  • Isca Academy
  • West Exe School
  • Cranbrook Education Campus (Secondary)


  • Cranbrook Education Campus (Primary)
  • St Martins C of E Primary School
  • Wynstream Primary School
  • Montgomery Primary School


Exeter 2:


  • Clyst Vale Community College


  • Bowhill Primary
  • Broadclyst Community Primary
  • Clyst Heath Primary
  • Countess Wear Community School
  • Exwick Heights Primary
  • Monkerton Community Primary
  • St Gabriel’s C of E
  • St Leonard’s C of E
  • The Topsham School
  • Trinity C of E
  • Westclyst Community Primary
  • Willowbrook School
  • Woodwater Academy




  • Axe Valley Academy
  • Colyton Grammar
  • Exmouth Community College
  • Honiton Community College
  • Sidmouth College
  • The Kings School


  • Axminster Community Primary
  • Marpool Primary
  • Offwell Primary
  • Seaton Primary
  • All Saints C of E




  • Dawlish College
  • South Dartmoor Community College
  • Newton Abbot College
  • Teign School
  • Coombeshead Academy
  • Teignmouth Community School


  • Haytor View Primary School
  • Highweek Community Primary School
  • Wolborough CofE Primary School
  • Bradley Barton Primary School
  • St Michaels C of E, Kingsteignton
  • St Catherine’s C of E School
  • Ipplepen Primary
  • Stokeignteignhead Primary School
  • Doddiscombesleigh Primary School




  • The Park Community School
  • Pilton Community College
  • The Ilfracombe Academy

Special Provision

  • The Lampard Community School


  • Petroc (North Devon Campus)


  • Ashleigh C of E (VC) Primary School
  • Bratton Fleming Community Primary School
  • Goodleigh C of E Primary School
  • Holywell C of E School
  • Ilfracombe Infant & Nursery School
  • Orchard Vale Community School
  • Shirwell Community Primary School
  • Sticklepath Community Primary Academy
  • Ilfracombe C of E Junior School
  • Fremington Primary School



You may also find it helpful to know that the team also work with the following schools in Torbay:

Torbay 1:                         


  • Paignton Academy
  • Brixham College
  • Torquay Boys Grammar


  • Kings Ash Academy
  • Curledge Street Academy
  • All Saints Babbacombe C of E Primary School
  • Roselands Primary School
  • Oldway Primary School
  • Shiphay Learning Academy
  • Torre C of E Academy
  • Watcombe Primary School
  • St Marychurch C of E Primary School


Torbay 2:                         


  • Mayfield School (specialist)
  • The Spires College
  • St Cuthbert Mayne School
  • Torquay Academy
  • South Devon College


  • Furzeham Primary School
  • Sherwell Valley Primary School
  • Homelands Primary School



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