School Link Team

The School Link Team aims to prevent mental health difficulties developing for children and young people. Our school link practitioners support schools and educational staff in Wigan to develop knowledge, skills and confidence in identifying and supporting mental health in schools.

Our aim is to reduce stigma, develop whole school approaches to mental health, support early identification of mental health symptoms and raise awareness of self-help support and self-management strategies.

Our children and young people wellbeing practitioners (CYWPs) provide assessment and brief intervention (6 – 8 sessions) to young people experiencing low level and emerging mental health symptoms. 

These may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Worry
  • Stress
  • Exam stress
  • Low mood / Self-esteem
  • Confidence

Our CYWPs offer a range of low intensity interventions that are based on cognitive behavioural therapy and guided self-help. They aim to help young people and their parents/ carers in the self-management of their recovery.

Anxiety webinar for young people

If you feel as though you or your young person is struggling with difficulties provoked by anxiety, you may find the following video useful. The video offers a basic understanding of what anxiety is, why we experience it, what we can do about it, along with some useful services who can provide some support. Within the video, evidence-based skills and tools are provided regarding how to effectively work with anxiety, along with some useful exercises which can be practiced at home. The video is designed for young people of all ages to be able to understand.

The School Link team is part of the wider Wigan CAMHS team. CAMHS work within the THRIVE Framework which thinks about the mental health and wellbeing needs of children, young people and families through five different needs-based groupings: Getting Advice and Signposting, Getting Help, Getting More Help, and Getting Risk Support. The school link team provide advice, signposting and early help within THRIVE.

Who is our service for?

The service works with all schools within the Wigan area with the aim of supporting those under 18 years old who attend them.

If you are currently home schooled or do not feel you want to access support through school, you can still access mental health support through speaking to your general practitioner or contacting Wigan CAMHS on 01942 775 400.

Who do we work in partnership with?

The team believes that multi agency working is the best way to support young people. Some of the other services we work with as well as schools are educational services, social services, school nurses, health services, voluntary and third sector services, and GPs.

How to access our service

If you are a child or young person concerned that you may be developing symptoms of an emerging mental health problem please speak to a trusted adult, parent or carer. You and/or your trusted adult can then speak to your teacher, pastoral support team or head of year. School will want to support you by finding out more about your concerns and advising you about your options for support in school, this may initially include mentoring or school counselling. School might also discuss referral to our school link team, this will include completing a questionnaire to find out more about any anxiety, worry and low mood symptoms and discussing your hope for support.

When we receive your referral, we will book a consultation with your trusted adult in school, we will find out more about your concerns and how this is affecting you at school. We will also speak to your parent or carer to find out how you are feeling at home. Initially, we will provide school and your parent or carer advice on how they might be able to support you. Your trusted adult in school will then let you know our starting plan which may include referring you for counselling through Wigan Family Welfare, Willow project, Startwell or one of our CYWPs meeting with you to complete a suitability assessment for brief intervention. Once assessment has been completed you will decide together how you will be supported and the next steps.

Unfortunately, the school link team are unable to accept self-referrals or parent referrals. If you would like to access advice or assessment from the school link team please contact your/your child’s school to discuss options for support and possible referral.

If you work in a school, advice and support can be accessed through consultation with your school link practitioner. Please see our professionals page for more information.