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About the Educational Mental Health Practitioner programme

This page is for services to learn more about the EMHP programme and its funding. 

If you are a prospective student, please view our Postgraduate Studies page.

What is the EMHP programme? 

In line with the government’s priority to increase access and availability of mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people, the Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) role is an exciting opportunity to deliver evidence-based early interventions for children and young people in educational settings such as schools and colleges.

This programme is part of the national Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) plan and is a joint initiative by Health Education England (HEE) and the Department for Education (DfE), funded by HEE.

On completion of this full-time employment training programmee, trainees will qualify as an EMHP. EMHPs will play a key role in promoting emotional well-being in educational settings.  They will work as part of the new Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) as outlined in Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: a Green Paper.

The programme trains practitioners to offer low intensity evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate mental health difficulties in educational settings. This includes group interventions and psychoeducational workshops.

CYP IAPT

CYP IAPT stands for Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. The CYP IAPT programme is a whole service transformation model that seeks to improve the quality of children and young people’s mental health services. As such, it is different from the adult IAPT model, which is focused on setting up new services. CYP IAPT seeks to improve services to children, young people, and their families through:

  • Better evidence-based practice - Increasing the availability and knowledge of best evidence-based interventions
  • Better collaborative practice - Goal focused and client centred interventions, using feedback tools to facilitate better working between mental health professionals and families and young people using feedback tools leading to more personalised care
  • Improved service user participation - Children, young people and their families having a voice and influence at all levels of the organisation
  • Improved Cross Agency Working - Encouraging and supporting cross agency collaboration between Health, Social Care and Voluntary and Independent sectors
  • More accountable services – through the rigorous monitoring of clinical outcomes to be able to share outcomes with young people and families and demonstrate effectiveness to commissioners
  • Increased awareness – working in partnership with organisations delivering mental health services, and those in other sectors working with young people and families to increase understanding of the importance of emotional well-being and decrease stigma.

What are Mental Health Support Teams?

These teams, originally proposed in Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision, will have the responsibility for delivering schools’ overarching approach to providing mental health and well-being support for children and young people since January 2019.  

MHSTs are designed to help meet the mental health needs of children and young people aged between five and 18. The teams work in primary, secondary, and further education settings and consist of:  

  • A team of EMHPs (usually four)
  • Higher-level therapists and senior staff, some of whom will undertake specific training to act as EMHP supervisors
  • A service lead or team manager, who may manage more than one MHST across a regional area
  • Administrative support  

MHST/EMHP Recruitment 

Participating services have received the commissions for the 2022/2023 academic year following the successful identification of sites to develop Mental Health Support Teams as parts of Waves Seven and Eight.

The workforce development team will support Service Leads and their teams during the recruitment process.  

If you are a service interested in the programme, please contact rojan.akturan@annafreud.org.

For general enquiries and questions about the programme, please contact emhp@annafreud.org.

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