Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

SEAL (Student Early Assessment and mental health Learning Service)

Significant numbers of students experience mental health problems and pressures of university life can trigger the onset of serious mental health concerns.

Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust has developed an innovative service that provides specialist mental health advice, information and care, working across primary and secondary care pathways. 

The service provides a dedicated mental health nurse, who triages referrals in primary care to provide advice and information. Assessments are fast, providing early access to relevant services when required.

The mental health nurse will continue working with any student triaged for specialist mental health services, which improves the quality of communication and liaison across university, GP and specialist mental health services, providing seamless care. 

Treatment is individualised and can include psychological and arts therapies.  A consultant psychiatrist can provide outpatient appointments in the university medical centre to support choice of location for care.  A support worker is also part of the service, providing additional support, assisting students to engage in community resources that support recovery. Students requiring specialist mental health care are supported by the SEAL nurse to create their own well being plan. The SEAL nurse liaises with other health care services as required for where the student may be living during holiday periods.

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