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Most of us will have times when we experience periods of low mood, or anxiety which affect our general wellbeing, just like we will all struggle at times with our physical health.  The things we do every day and the choices we make impact our mental health and being aware of these can help keep us on an even keel.  

Here you can find information on the different types of mental health support for children and young people in Hertfordshire.

How to spot when your child needs support with their mental health

   Knowing when to ask for professional support for your child can be difficult, but as a parent or carer you will usually know when something is not quite right.  Some of the signs to look out for are:

  • persistent low mood or lack of motivation
  • not enjoying things they used to like doing
  • becoming withdrawn and spending less time with friends and family
  • experiencing low self-esteem or feeling like they're worthless
  • feeling tearful or upset regularly
  • changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • feeling nervous or 'on edge' a lot of the time
  • suffering panic attacks

Where should I start?

If you're concerned about your child's mental health, you might want to start by doing your own research into mental health support and learn about practical strategies and tips which might help you to support your child at home.  Our resource area has links to websites, and downloadable factsheets which can help you with this, including SEND specific information on mental health.

Mental Health support you can get at school or college

Firstly, speak to your child's school or college

If your child is at school or college, the first thing you should do is talk to your child's class teacher, or form tutor.  It is important that they are aware of the issues your child is experiencing.  Many schools will have professionals within the school who may be able to offer support in the first instance. Schools can also refer your child to other support services:

School nurse

If your child is 5 years old or over, school nurses can tell you about services for wellbeing, and can check on your child's wellbeing during school. 

Educational Psychology Service

You can ask your SENCO about the Educational Psychology Service. Educational Psychology don't work directly with families, but they do work with schools to provide support to their students. You can ask your SENCO to discuss your young person with them if you have a specific need to explore.

You can call the Educational Psychology contact line, to ask an educational psychologist for any advice you may need.

Wednesdays, 2pm - 4.30pm

01992 588 574

School counselling service

The Counselling in Schools service provides counselling, arts therapy and drama therapy to primary and secondary schools across Hertfordshire. schools can request school counselling or mentoring. Schools can request this from Safe Space.

Mental Health Support Team

The MHST is an early intervention service, working with children and young people aged 5 - 18, with mild to moderate mental health difficulties and challenging behaviours. The SEN MHST supports mental wellbeing in many SEN schools in Herts and West Essex.  They also support some mainstream schools in Hertfordshire: to find out if your school has a MHST attached, you can contact your SENCo.

The MHST helps to support mental health with workshops, group based work, and guided 1:1 self-help sessions, which are delivered by an Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP).  

You can be referred to this service by a Family Support Officer, your SENCo or Mental Health Lead.  To access this service, the young person must attend a Hertfordshire or West Essex SEN School which is part of the MHST.

You can read more about MHST on the PALMS webpage (under the 'How the Service is Provided' section).

Schools and colleges can now apply for the Health Young Minds in Hertfordshire (HYMIH) kitemark to demonstrate their commitment to supporting the mental health and emotional wellbeing of the staff and students.


Further support from health professionals

 

You can discuss your concerns with professionals, either by phone or live webchat using the Single Point of Access (SPA) service from HPFT. They can give you advice and support, and can signpost you to other services if appropriate. Call 0800 6444 101 or visit the hpft website for live chat.

Step2 is a children and young people’s mental health service working with 0-19 year olds in Hertfordshire. They offer brief, goal focused interventions to those who have mild to moderate mental health difficulties. Step2 will accept self-referrals via Hertfordshire’s SPA (Single Point of Access) Call 0800 6444 101 or visit their website for more info.

The Wellbeing Service offers free and confidential talking therapy and practical support for Hertfordshire residents (aged 16+) experiencing a wide range of mental health problems such as: worry, low mood, insomnia and stress. You can self-refer to this service.

PALMS is a multi-disciplinary team who provide individually tailored support to help families manage a number of concerns experienced by children and young people (ages 0 – 18) at home, including behaviours that challenge, sleeping, feeding, toileting concerns, mental health difficulties and sexualised behaviours. PALMS is available for children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or a global learning disability. You will need to be referred by a social worker, education or health professional.

CAMHS offer services for 0-18 year olds in Hertfordshire. They provide interventions for moderate and severe emotional and behavioural difficulties. For help and support and information on referral, phone the 24 hour Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0800 6444 101.

This service provides highly specialised mental health care to deaf children and young people (aged up to 18 years) and their families and hearing children of deaf adults in the community.

Help for older children and adults

Many of the services listed above offer support for children up to 18 years old but as your child gets older, the type of support they might need will also change.  The services below are specifically for older children and young people over the age of 16.

The Wellbeing Service offers free and confidential talking therapy and practical support for Hertfordshire residents (aged 16+) experiencing a wide range of mental health problems such as: worry, low mood, insomnia and stress. You can self-refer to this service.

Adult Community Mental Health Services work with service users to aid recovery and enable them to return to their full potential in day to day life. The service is for 18-65 year olds who have non-psychotic disorders including Personality Disorder and Neuro-Developmental disorders and those with a psychotic or mood disorder.


Transforming Care for children, young people and young adults

Dynamic support registers (DSR) and Care, education and treatment reviews (CETR)

The Dynamic Support Register and Care Education Treatment Reviews enable teams of professionals across all areas to identify people with learning disabilities and/or autism who are at risk of being admitted to a mental health hospital.

Should my child/young person be on the Dynamic Support Register?

Your child, young person or adult should be on this register if they: 

  • Are currently in a hospital setting;
  • Are referred for or accessing specialised services for challenging behaviour (e.g. intensive support services, specialist short breaks, special schools, residential care and supported living); 
  • Are subject to the provisions of the Mental Health Act or subject to Deprivation of Liberty safeguards; 
  • Have had a previous hospital stay (for example, within the last 5 years);
  • Are / were involved with the youth or criminal justice system (for example, within the last 12 months);
  • Are children in 52-week educational placements;
  •  Are in receipt of NHS Continuing Health care (CHC) funding;
  • Are in receipt of services from youth offending teams (YOT).

Should my child/ young person have a CETR?

Children and young people up to the age of 18 who need extra support have the right to a Care, Education, Treatment review (CETR). A CETR should start when a hospital admission is being considered. You also have the right to ask for a CETR for your child or young person at any time if you have concerns about a placement breakdown, if there is a crisis or if there is a risk of inpatient admission. If your young person is over 18, this will be called a Care Treatment Review (CTR). CETRs are for children and young people who have learning disabilities and/or autism and who have been, or may about to be admitted to a specialist mental health hospital (Tier 3 or Tier 4). The CETR makes sure that local services (social care, Special Educational Needs (SEN) Team and school or college) are involved so all issues can be addressed and solutions found.

Find out more about CETRs

DSRs and CETRs enable an intensive package of support to be provided, helping to prevent the young person's admission to a mental health hospital. Or, if it is felt someone does need to go into hospital, the aim is for it to be for the least amount of time needed. Watch this short animation to find out more:

Hertfordshire DSR & CETR processes for children/ young people (under 18's) YouTube

Hertfordshire DSR & CETR processes for adults (over 18's)  YouTube

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