Our Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) working in 74 schools across Oxfordshire are some of the latest frontline staff who have had their flu jab.

The specially trained staff assist young people with mild to moderate mental health and emotional well-being issues, whilst being a vital link to Oxford Health’s specialist children and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) which can provide more concentrated support.

Jamie Douglas, locality area manager within the Oxfordshire MHSTs, commented: “It’s really important the MHST staff get their flu jabs to help protect the children and young people we work with. Our team work with schools in the community so it is great we can minimise the risk of spreading flu.”

Halina Simm, occupational health nurse, is giving vaccines to health care professionals as well as the nasal spray to children and young people in schools.

Halina said: “As a peer vaccinator I’m pleased I can have a positive impact on the community by giving flu jabs to our staff who are working in schools. I would encourage everyone who is able to have a flu jab to make sure they do. You can protect yourself, families and patients or service users by doing so.”

Our MHSTs began work this year with schools to help children and young people across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and BSW (BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire) to receive access to mental health services. The service has been operational in Buckinghamshire since June 2019 and Oxford City launched in May 2019.

The MHSTs are part of the trailblazer initiative which ensures better support can be given to some of the vulnerable in the community. The service has received two waves of government funding, North Oxfordshire and BSW (BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire) received almost £2 million in the second wave of funding.

A total of seven teams are operating in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and BSW supporting 32 schools in Buckinghamshire and 74 schools in Oxfordshire. The service, provided by 50 staff members, is available to nearly 49,000 children and young people in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. By getting vaccinated against the virus staff members are helping to protect those vulnerable children and young people they care for.

You can protect yourself against flu by getting a flu jab at your local pharmacy or you may qualify to receive it at your GP surgery.

If you would like advice on mental health for children or young people, please contact the school for more information on their mental health services available.