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.
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.
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
- 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. 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.
We can also deliver staff training, and run workshops and groups on topics such as: sleep, transitions, exam stress to teachers and parents.
Islington School Wellbeing Service: who we support
The SWS offers different evidence-based interventions for targeted individuals, groups or whole classes of children and young people. Most of our work in primary schools focusses on supporting parents to better support their child’s emotional wellbeing, but we accept referrals for work with individuals following discussion with the school’s CAMHS in Schools clinician. We also offer a whole class group intervention to improve emotional regulation, Brain Buddies. In secondary schools we focus on working directly with children and young people. We offer 1:1 guided self-help intervention for young people who are struggling with feelings of anxiety or low mood and a group IPT-A intervention, Teen Talk, which can help young people with low mood. We also offer workshops on a variety of topics including anxiety, sleep hygiene and exam stress as well as shorter assemblies.
For more information see our current offer for primary schools / current offer for secondary schools.
The SWS offers 1:1 guided self-help intervention for parents/carers of children who may be struggling with feelings of anxiety or challenging behaviour. We also provide psychoeducation workshops for both universal and targeted groups on a variety of topics including transition and anxiety. For parents of young people, we provided a targeted workshop which focuses on teenagers and sleep.
The SWS supports staff with promotion of a whole school approach to emotional wellbeing and resilience. We provide staff training on a variety of topics, including how to have meaningful conversations with young people, a narrative approach and facilitate a network meeting for school mental health leads.
SWS resources for secondary schools
Meet the Teams
The North Team
The North Team is based at Arts and Media School Islington
The South Team
The South Team is based at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School
To refer a child or young person to the service, please initially talk to your CAMHS in Schools clinician and then complete the SWS referral form below and send it to us by email:
Referrals for all other SEMH services should be made through the Children's Services Contact Team: