A PILOT scheme to improve mental health support for children is to be launched in Hexham.

NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is one of only 12 CCGs in the country to be awarded funding for the national trailblazer pilot schemes, which will focus on having support teams in schools and reducing waiting times for support.

Hexham and Blyth have been chosen as the areas in Northumberland to trial the new support teams.

The teams will support children with mild to moderate mental health needs, with the aim of making it easier to access help at an earlier stage, before problems develop to a higher level that might need support from secondary care mental health services.

An event at the Mart in Hexham will be held on Thursday to launch the new team, which has been named Be You by young people in Northumberland.

Parents and carers are welcome to attend to find out more between 12pm and 6pm.

Helen Bowyer, children and young people’s operational commissioning manager at the CCG, said: “We know there is a real need to support our young people, at an early stage, before problems escalate into more serious issues which is why we are so pleased to be launching our new Be You mental health initiative.

“The aim of Be You is to make sure that when needed, children and young people have access to the right support at the right time and adopt new early intervention and prevention techniques to help build their resilience.”

The pilot is also working towards reducing waiting times.

By December this year, it is hoped all of the county’s mental health services will be able to see children and young people within four weeks of referral.