On Tuesday 14th May, Derby held its first Designated Senior Lead for Mental Health (DSLMH) Network Event at the Derby Conference Centre. It was attended by 65 Derby schools alongside professionals from local mental health services including the NHS and Public Health.

It was an important event to mark Mental Health Awareness Week and also the progress made by Derby’s schools to date following investment from the Derby Opportunity Area Programme.

This was the first of what will become regular events, with the purpose of bringing schools together and sharing best practice across the city, to improve the emotional health and wellbeing of all our children and young people. They will also serve to bridge the gap between schools and health services in order to improve children’s mental health and ultimately their life outcomes.

The agenda included a presentation from Scott Lunn, Children’s Services Divisional Clinical Lead for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and from Kooth, a newly commissioned online counselling service for children in Derby and Derbyshire. We also heard from local schools, who shared their own experiences in developing emotional health and wellbeing strategies for their schools.

It was an uplifting and positive event, clearly demonstrating the good practice that is already happening in the city, whilst providing plenty of inspiration and ideas for what more can be done.

Iain Peel, Local Programme Manager, Derby Opportunity Area said:

“It’s great to see to see all the planning and development come to  fruition and I hope this network can continue to grown. Supporting our children’s mental health and giving them the tools to cope is a vital part of improving the levels of social mobility.”