Bloom teams up with the Mental Health Support Team (MHST) in Somerset

Bloom, Mental Health UK’s programme for young people, is now being used by Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) in England.


MHSTs are a government initiative, providing access to evidence-based support for mid to moderate mental health problems for young people in schools. They also work closely with school mental health leads to provide advice and support, ensuring each school is able to develop whole school approaches to mental health. MHSTs support an estimated 3.4 million children and young people with the aim to cover 35% of schools and colleges in England by April 2024.[1]

Recently we supported the MHST in Somerset, which is run as a partnership between Somerset NHS Foundation Trusts (SFTs), CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), and Young Somerset (a charity) as well as Somerset’s Education Psychology and Public Health teams and Exeter University.

Having first met at a conference, the MHST colleagues from Somerset were interested in the range of topics our workshops cover, including Friendships, Managing Studies and Making Decisions About the Future. These workshop topics were also coming up frequently for the Somerset MHST in schools. Rather than reinventing the wheel by devising new content to support these young people, the team were keen to explore how they might be able to partner with us to integrate Bloom content and tools into their work, supplementing the support their hardworking and multi-skilled team were already offering young people across the county.

Lily Hawkins, the team’s Whole-school Approach Coordinator, hoped that the programme would help young people build their resilience and thus better support their mental health.

After exploring together what a collaboration might look like, we agreed to provide training for the team, giving them an overview of our programme and content which they could then roll out independently in the schools they support, using Bloom as and when the need arose.

Training was provided for 24 delegates, including the staff from the MHST and some staff from different secondary schools in Somerset, including Whitstone School and Preston School Academy.

Feedback from the training was positive, Lily commented:

"Staff from my service and linked schools were trained all on one day and we found it helpful to sample some of the activities ourselves, which in turn supported with our delivery."

– Lily Hawkins, Whole-school Approach Coordinator, Somerset MHST

Since taking part in the training, the Somerset team have delivered the Bloom Resilience workshop from Bloom to 200 students. As Lily hoped, the young people communicated afterwards that the workshop had given them an understanding of their own ‘resilience resources’. The workshop also allowed young people to feel that they could open up about their own difficulties, even if they had never done so before.

The teachers involved are hoping to roll out Bloom sessions as part of their RSHE model and Whitstone School have already made plans to deliver the programme to students in the new academic year.

Professionals trained within the MHST team also shared that they feel confident they can deliver the programme independently, slotting our tools and resources into their existing offer:

“Bloom sessions are now a part of our service offer and we regularly signpost schools towards the training and resources.”

– Lily Hawkins, Whole-school Approach Coordinator, Somerset MHST

This has led to growth of the programme across Somerset and we look forward to seeing more young people in the south west benefit from Bloom over the course of the next academic year.

If your school or Mental Health Support team would like to access support from Bloom, please contact us via email at: [email protected]

[1] Schools Wellbeing Partnership and CYPMH Coalition

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