The Emotional Health and Wellbeing Offer
We have a strong reputation in Northumberland for having a collaborative and integrated local offer to support children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing across the county. This offer is delivered by a range of providers from both the statutory and voluntary sectors, in conjunction with services across health, education and children's early help social care.
In relation to access to emotional wellbeing and mental health support, a needs and asset-based approach has been agreed. Our aim is to ensure that all children, young people and the adults who support them, have easy access to a range of information and support services. We have developed a THRIVE model called: The Graduated Approach to Children's Wellbeing and Mental Health Provision. The foundation of this model rests upon the need for all children to access opportunities within universal settings and to develop positive wellbeing through early interventions and the preventative public health agenda.
Northumberland's plans for transforming support for mental health are set out in the transformation plan.
Below is an outline of the teams and services supporting wellbeing and mental health for children and young people in Northumberland. Levels of support are graduated and referenced as: coping, getting help, getting more help and accessing specialist help.
Mental Health Graduated Response
Kooth provides access to an online mental health and wellbeing community, giving free, safe and anonymous support for those aged11-25 years: https://www.kooth.com/
Chat Health (coping)
Chat Health offers a confidential text messaging service that enables children and young people (aged 11-19) to contact their local public health nursing (school nursing) team.
Advice for Teens in North Tyneside Text: 07507 332 532
Advice for Teens in Northumberland Text: 07507 332 258
School Nurses (coping)
School nurses promote and protect the physical health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people who are school age. They work in partnership with other agencies to ensure children and young people make the right choices about their health, in addition to safeguarding their welfare so they are protected from significant harm.
Every local authority school or academy has their own school nurse: speak to a member of staff in school to find out more or contact the school nurse.
North Locality School Health Team - 01670 761908
Central Locality School Health Team - 01670 564048
South East Locality School Health Team- 01670 629670
West Locality School Health Team - 01434 636939
Cygnus helps people in Northumberland to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Its self-help guidance and counselling services support people to manage their symptoms and prevent them from getting worse.
*Mental Health Support Teams
(currently in Blyth, Hexham, Ashington and Bedlington only: coping / getting help)
The Department for Education and NHS England have made funding available to develop a new programme to help improve children and young people’s mental health by creating new Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) within schools. These teams help children and young people with mild to moderate mental health needs and provide training and support for school staff.
Northumberland was chosen as one of twelve Trailblazer sites to pilot this new programme. Initially it was delivered in the Blyth and Hexham areas, which has now been expanded to include Ashington and Bedlington (2020-2021). The hope is that, funding permitting, there will be an opportunity to expand across the county.
Primary Mental Health Workers (PMHWs) (getting help)
This is a targeted, early intervention children’s mental health service for children and young people presenting with moderate mental health issues. PMHWs work with children and young people (0-18), parents / carers and professionals across Northumberland, providing:
- interventions on a one to one and group basis with young people and their families
- a telephone consultation line to provide advice, guidance and signposting to professionals, parents / carers and young people over the age of 15
- liaison with collegaues in universal, targeted and specialist services to help children and young people access the right support at the right time
- teaching and training to raise awareness of children’s mental health with colleagues in a range of universal services across education, health, social care, youth and community and voluntary services.
The team in Trailblazer schools includes:
- Educational Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs), who provide low intensity interventions for children and young people with mild to moderate mental health needs
- a Peer Mentor, who provides peer mentor programmes as part of the Be You team.
Contact the team Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Telephone: 01661 864588
Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS) (getting more help)
The Children and Young People’s Service provides a single service to all children and young people aged 0-18 years living in Northumberland who present with mental health difficulties. This includes children and young people who may have learning difficulties and those living in a range of difficult and challenging circumstances.
Referrals are accepted from any professional working with a child, young person or their family and self referrals can also be made. Referrals are accepted in written form by letter. Referrals can also be made on the telephone by calling 01670 502 700 or freephone 0800 652 2862.
Opening times: 8am - 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Universal Crisis Team (CYPP) (getting specialist help)
The Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team is a team of experienced mental health staff, which includes nurses, social workers, psychiatrists and pharmacy staff. It offers assessment and home treatment for people over 16 experiencing a mental health crisis, as an alternative to hospital admission.
- Telephone for GPs/Professionals making referrals 24/7: 0303 123 1146 or freephone 0800 652 2861
- Telephone for Young People/Carers making referrals 24/7: 0303 123 1146 or freephone 0800 652 2861
- For Deaf service users please text 07887 625 277
The team operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. However, the crisis team does not provide an ’emergency’ service such as a 999 response.
Education Graduated Support
Education services work with schools to develop their capacity to support children and young people, as well as working directly with the young people themselves.
Emotional Wellbeing and Behaviour Support team (coping / getting help)
This service provides support for those who are displaying challenging behaviour as a result of their underlying social and emotional needs. Requests for whole school and individual support are accepted from school staff only.
ASD specialist teaching team (coping / getting help)
This service aims to develop and enhance the skills and practices of school staff in order to improve educational outcomes for children and young people with social communication/ASD needs in educational settings across Northumberland. Requests for whole school and individual support are accepted from school staff only.
Psychological Services (Educational Psychologists - EPs) (coping / getting help / getting more help)
Northumberland's Educational Psychologists work with educational settings, children and families. They support children and young people who are experiencing difficulties or delays in their development: their communication, interaction, cognition, learning, social and emotional needs and mental health, for example. *They are also attached to the Mental Health Support Teams referenced above.
Northumberland Virtual School (coping / getting help / getting more help)
Promotes and supports the education of looked after and previously looked after children through effective collaboration with schools, social care, and other agencies/professionals. Supporting pupil emotional wellbeing using various interventions and therapies including Drawing & Talking Therapy, Lego Therapy, Thrive, Eye Movement Desensitising and Reprocessing (EMDR), and the delivery of whole school training by the Virtual School EPs. Virtual School support is provided to all looked after children including those awaiting a mental health and capacity assessment, inpatient support and when planning for discharge and reintegration into education.
The Education Welfare Service fulfils the statutory duties of the local authority for safeguarding children in relation to school attendance, elective home education and children missing education. The team offers advice and signposting to professionals, parents and carers.
The Education Other Than at School (EOTAS) Health Needs team provides small group and 1:1 education for those children unable to attend school full time because of a diagnosed health condition. Referrals must be made by the school with supporting evidence from the child's consultant.
Parents and carers with concerns about their child should discuss these with the school first. This will usually be with the school SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator).
If the school feels that a request for support from Psychological Services would help, the SENCo - with parental consent - will contact the school’s link Educational Psychologist to plan the work.