Islington’s School Wellbeing Service (SWS) is a new NHS resource for all mainstream schools and colleges in Islington. We are working together with schools and colleges to build on the excellent mental health provisions already available in the borough.

The SWS aims to improve capacity for early intervention for mild to moderate mental health difficulties, as well as promoting a ‘whole school approach’ to emotional wellbeing and resilience. The service is split into two teams covering the north and south of the borough. The teams will be based in two secondary schools and deliver most of their work in a child or young person’s own school.

Who we support

The SWS supports children, young people, and families experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties. Examples include:

  • Worries / Anxiety / Stress (including exam stress)
  • Low mood / Depression
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Self-harm
  • Eating problems
  • Anger issues
  • Friendship / bullying issues
  • Challenging behaviour
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Transitions e.g. changing schools
  • Identity issues
  • Significant life events

How we work

The teams mainly offer guided self-help (GSH) interventions through 1:1 work, groups, and workshops. We also offer training for school staff. The focus is on early intervention to prevent difficulties from escalating. In primary schools, we mainly work with parents to enable them to support and manage their child’s anxiety or behaviour problems, as well as some group work with children. In secondary schools, we mainly work directly with children and young people.

Development of the service

The service is part of a national programme known as mental health support teams (or initially, ‘trailblazers’). This was developed in response to the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Social Care green paper: ‘‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health” (2017). This set out the government’s commitment to improve mental health support in schools and colleges.

The service is being created and developed throughout 2020 and will eventually work with all mainstream schools in Islington in 2021. We are working with all the secondary schools and eight primary schools initially, and gradually increasing the number of primary schools in the autumn term. Find out when your school can access the service in the list of schools from Attachments.

How we support

We offer guided self-help interventions for pupils presenting with anxiety and behaviour difficulties. We work with parents and run emotional regulation groups for children in schools.  

We can also deliver workshops and groups on topics such as: sleep, transitions, exam stress to teachers and parents.