Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Support
The mental health, mood and emotional wellbeing of children and young people is every bit as important as their physical health. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder are common. One in four adults will experience some kind of mental health problem over the course of a year and for some people they can be long term or recurring problems. There is a more complex relationship between poor mental health and special educational needs and disabilities. Children and young poeple with SEND can be at a higher risk of mental health difficulties than those without. They may also find it more difficult to express their emotions and communicate how they are feeling.
If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, please talk to the professionals involved with your child (school teachers and/or SENCO, social workers, GP, etc). If the difficulties persist, you could ask your child’s school, social worker or GP to make a referral to a service that can help you understand what your child might be going through and how best to support them. Here you can find out about some of the emotional wellbeing and mental health services available to support young people, their families and schools in the area.
If you are a young person and would like to find out more about services across Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster, please visit our new Mental Health Resource Hub via this link, or by searching wegotu.info.
Find information about the Dynamic Support Register and Care Education and Treatment Reviews here.
Westminster School Health Service staff are trained to identify risk factors for mental health and emotional well-being early in children and young people. This includes trauma-informed practice training, youth mental health first aid and internal mental health training offered by the Mental Health lead to all nurses in the service.
School Nurses will support children and young people who present or are referred with mental health and emotional well-being problems. Following assessment and package of care School Nurses will refer children and young people who present with more complex mental health and emotional well-being problems to the CAMHS Service.
School Nurses will support schools and assist to:
- Create an environment to promote emotional wellbeing and mental health and make services accessible and approachable within the school environment.
- Support staff emotional wellbeing and mental health training for staff
- Work with schools to develop a whole family approach to emotional well-being and mental health
The Westminster School Health Service includes Emotional and Mental Health Lead who provides training and supervision for School Nurses and the wider team.
Emotional and Mental Health Lead and Mental Health in Schools Nurse deliver emotional and mental health training and support to schools in the borough.
The Westminster School Health service receives all emergency department attendance for children in the local authority maintained schools between ages of 5 and 18. All A and E notifications are triaged and support is offered by the duty nurse and ongoing support and advice are provided by the named school nurse for the child’s school. A and E data is analysed by the Mental Health Lead and schools with higher levels of children presenting with mental health emergencies are offered support and training.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are for children and young people aged 0-18 and their families who are experiencing a range of emotional and behavioural difficulties or suffering psychiatric disorders.
Most of the services are provided in the community and are delivered by the Central and North West London NHS Trust.
You can find out more about the service by clicking here.
An online counselling and emotional wellbeing support service providing young people aged 11-25 with free, safe and anonymous online support. The service is run by a professional team of qualified counsellors, and requires no referrals and has no waiting times. Kooth provides counselling, advice, a peer support forum and has many articles on a range of emotional wellbeing issues
You can find out more about the service by clicking here.
The Mix has a free, confidential phone line, webchat and crisis text line, to help refer young people to the best possible help, whatever problem they are facing.
Tel: 0808 808 4994 , 3pm -12 am everyday.
Under 18s helpline, webchat and online support groups for people with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. If you call our Helpline you will speak to a trained support worker experienced in listening and talking to people in a similar situation to you. Our Helplines are open 365 days a year from 9am–midnight during the week, and 4pm–midnight on weekends and bank holidays.
Call on 0808 801 0677
Mind's infoline provides an information and signposting service. They are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).
Infoline: 0300 123 3393
Young Minds Crisis Messanger
- This is free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. If you need urgent help text YM to 85258. All texts are free and answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.
- Call our Parents Helpline for detailed advice, emotional support and signposting about a child or young person up to the age of 25. Call us for free on 0808 802 5544 from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Working with local organisations, Change4Life Westminster supports children, young people and families and aims to make it easier for children and young people to eat well and be active.
Change4Life Westminster supports organisations working with children, young people and families across the city to promote healthier lifestyle messages and introduce activities that make it easier for children and young people to eat well and keep active.
Children are recommended to be physically active for at least 60 minutes every day. It’s also important to eat healthily and to look after our own and others’ wellbeing. We know this can be hard as a result of COVID-19 and given the cost of living. Please see some useful resources to get moving, cooking and getting healthier in the Change4Life for families section.
The Single Point of Access provides one number (0800 0234 650) for self-referrals and professional referrals to secondary mental health services and support in a mental health crisis. The team consists of qualified clinicians who are knowledgeable about different services and options. This helps callers to be directed to the most appropriate service to meet their needs. The team provides advice and guidance through a triage process, where the urgency of care required is assessed. The team also have the ability to make appointments for new referrals to see one of our community mental health teams. Please click here for more information.
KidsTime Workshops are a fun, safe and supportive environment for families who are affected by mental illness.
We’ve found that when young people understand more about their parent’s illness, discuss it in the family, and have a supportive adult to talk to, this increases their resilience and ability to protect their own mental health. Parents say the workshops improve their confidence and sense of pride, and reduce their risk of relapse.
How does it work?
KidsTime Workshops are monthly two and half hour group sessions for up to 15 families. Where possible, the whole family is encouraged to attend, including the parent (or parents) with a mental illness. Workshops are ‘non-treatment’ educational sessions which encourage families to discuss mental illness and help to diminish the social isolation, stigma, confusion and fears which a child of a parent with mental illness may experience.
What do the Workshops offer?
The workshops offer a fun, protected space where young people can express themselves, interact socially, share experiences and learn about mental illness through discussion, games and drama. Trained staff explain mental illness and its effects to young people in a way they can understand and help them to articulate and tackle concerns or challenges. The workshops also provide adults with an informal, intimate space, where they have the opportunity to share experiences and discuss their role as parents rather than patients. You can find more information in our brochure.
Where do they take place?
We currently have a monthly workshop operating from St Vincent's Family Project and you can find more information and referral details below.
Who to contact
Name: Susan Vohman
Website: Ourtime Westminster
Westminster Mental Health Support Teams deliver preventative, evidence based, early intervention support to children and families in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea.
Our Westminster Mental Health support teams (MHST) works with 44 schools across Westminster. Additionally, we're delivering 'Be Kind' to 20 schools in Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea that don’t have MHST. We work in partnership with a Bi-Borough Educational Psychology Service to support children and young people with additional needs.
We also deliver a mental health youth worker service in 10 Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea youth clubs.
Talking Therapies is part of the national Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. It is a free and confidential NHS service for people aged 16 and over who are registered with a GP in Kensington and Chelsea, Queen’s Park and Paddington. You can ask your GP to refer you, or you can refer yourself easily online or by phone (details included in this leaflet).
Talking Therapies (IAPT) provides a range of support if you are:
• experiencing difficult emotions such as low mood, worry or stress
• feeling overwhelmed by anxiety
• struggling with depression, or
• having trouble sleeping because of intrusive thoughts. You can learn ways to improve your wellbeing and have the space to think about your difficulties and find ways to manage them better
Please click here to download our leaflet for more information.
The Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster KCW Under 5s Service offers specialist treatment and consultation to both parents and professionals aimed at improving the wellbeing of children under five years old.
The team consists of therapists who usually meet with families in children’s centres within Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster. Families can also be seen in their local clinic if this is more convenient for them. Sessions are also available remotely, by phone or video.
Many children will have difficulties as part of ordinary development, but if problems start to take over everyday life, or parents feel they are not enjoying parenting, or struggling to parent their child, then they may find it helpful to speak to someone from the Under 5s Service
Youth Mental Health workers from Mind offer preventative and early intervention support for young people to address mental health, friendship or issues relating to youth violence.
You can find us at the following youth clubs in Westminster: The Avenues Youth Project, Amberley Youth Club, Fourth Feathers Youth Association, St Andrews Youth Club and Churchill Gardens Youth Clubs.
For more information please click here, or contact: Libby, EWatts@bwwmind.org.uk
The Children and Young People's mental health and wellbeing plan for 2022-24 can be found on the following link.
We Got U, U Got This is a website where you can find support and services for mental health if you are a young person. There’s loads online that can help, but there are also services close to you that can support you no matter what you’re struggling with. We know you got this, just know that we’ve also got you.
Visit the page here.