Pilot mental health link workers have been working in schools in West Lothian since 2002. This article reports initial findings from semi‐structured interviews with pupil support staff in 11 secondary schools receiving this service. School staff reported an improvement in referral systems for children at the early stages of mental illness, including quicker access to specialist services, and an improvement in their own knowledge and skills. These benefits were associated more strongly with frequency of contact with the mental health link workers than with the physical location of the worker within the school. Link workers with a social work background were more likely than those with a nursing background to be asked to deal with children presenting with behaviour problems.
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