Extra support being put in place by BeeU to more effectively meet the emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of children and young people

15 April 2024


Joint media release from Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Additional emotional wellbeing and mental health support is being put in place by an NHS service to more effectively meet the needs of children and young people in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

Delivered by Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT), BeeU provides emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people in the county, alongside autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments, and Community Eating Disorder Services.

Demand on the service has grown significantly in recent years, while the way children and young people access mental health services has continued to evolve. In recognition of this, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin has channelled additional investment into the service from April. This is being used to grow the BeeU team, with more registered mental health professionals able to respond to the increased demand; and enhance its prevention offer to schools and communities across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

The service is prioritising a reduction in the number of families awaiting an assessment, enabling more timely access to assessment and intervention for children and young people.

Additional support will be available to schools through BeeU’s successful Mental Health Support Teams (MHST), which co-operate with Mental Health Leads in schools to provide targeted support to vulnerable pupils, with the goal of addressing issues at an earlier stage and preventing them from becoming more serious.

MHSTs are already working with nearly 50% of schools throughout the county, facilitating swifter access to specialist services and building on support already in place from professionals, such as school counsellors, Public Health school nurses, Children & Young Peoples Social Prescribing, educational psychologists and the voluntary sector.

The most recent MHST launched in January focusing on South Shropshire, and a further team is scheduled to commence in January 2025 to extend available support.

Linked to this, BeeU is launching a new partnership with SYA, alongside a number of other voluntary and community sector organisations to provide emotional wellbeing services to children in schools and local communities across the county.

Children and young people can continue accessing online support and counselling without the need for a referral via Kooth, while 24/7 telephone support is available in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin through MPFT’s mental health helpline - 0808 196 4501.

Cathy Riley, Managing Director of MPFT’s Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Care Group said: “We understand the frustration of families who are experiencing longer waits to access services than we would wish. I’m really pleased additional investment is going into the service from April, which will be channelled into growing the BeeU team and reducing the waiting list. Importantly, it will also enhance the prevention offer the service delivers in schools and communities to ensure children and young people have access to emotional wellbeing support early on, reducing the likelihood of mental health issues becoming more severe. We know we have more work to do, and we remain committed to ensuring children and young people get the right help, in the right place, at the right time.”

Tracey Jones, Director of Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism, and Children and Young People for NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: “We recognise that there is an increase in demand on all our mental health services from children and young people, which has resulted in some people waiting longer than we would like. As an Integrated Care Board (ICB) we are committed to increasing equity of access, experience and outcomes for children and young people living in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and continue to invest in our services to ensure children and young people get the right help, in the right place, at the right time."

To ensure the BeeU service continues to serve the needs of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin residents and is fit for the future we remain committed to working collaboratively with all our partners, stakeholders, service users and the public. Our goal is to shape future services collectively, making sure that children, young people, and their families are central to the design and have a key role in decision-making.

If you would like to get involved or provide any feedback on the BeeU service, please contact stw.getinvolved@nhs.net

For more information on the BeeU service and how to access emotional wellbeing and mental services, contact the BeeU Access Team on 0300 124 0093 or visit the BeeU website.

Page last updated 15 April 2024