Emotional and mental health support for children and young people

If you have any concerns about your child or young person's emotional and mental health and wellbeing, you should talk to your GP or school or education setting SENCO in the first instance.

Educational settings can do a lot to support children and young people with their emotional and mental health and wellbeing.

Many schools offer pastoral support, whole class, group and individual interventions and other approaches to developing the emotional wellbeing of children and young people, for example citizenship programmes and anti-bullying policies.

Some children and young people need more targeted or specialist support. There are lots of services available to support children and young people with their emotional and mental health and wellbeing.

Some of the services listed below can be accessed without a referral and others will need a referral from a professional who's working with your child or young person.

You can find out more about each organisation's referral processes on their websites.


Young people across Herefordshire have access to Kooth, a digital platform which provides support for their emotional wellbeing.

Kooth, which is provided by the UK's largest provider of online mental health services, XenZone, enables young people to access safe, free and anonymous online advice to support their emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, Kooth allows young people 24-hour access to self-help materials, mood-tracking and goal setting tools.

Users can also access moderated online forums and counselling sessions, delivered by a team of experienced counsellors.

Find out more about Kooth.


Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text support service for anyone in the UK who is struggling to cope.

To start a conversation, text the word HERE to 85258.

Shout's trained volunteers are there to listen at any time of day or night, and messages won't appear on phone bills.

Shout 85258 is a de-escalation, volunteer-driven service. Shout work with people in immediate distress to take them through text conversation to a calmer moment and empower them with support and techniques to take their next steps to feeling better and handle future issues, as well as possibly signposting someone to further support services or their GP so that they can get continuous and long-term support.

There is no limit on the number of text conversations.

Find out more about Shout.

Wellbeing and Emotional Support Teams (WEST) in schools

The Wellbeing and Emotional Support Teams (WEST) in schools service is designed to help children and young people ages 5-18 years to access early mental health and wellbeing support in educational settings.

It's all about ensuring children and young people can get access to the right help as early as possible.

The team offer short term support delivered by Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHPs) and senior practitioners, using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) methods to help with low mood, wellbeing, anxiety and behavioural difficulties. This can be on a 1:1 or group basis.

WEST also contribute to the whole school approach work that aims to promote good emotional health and wellbeing to the school community.

Find out more about WEST, including whether they are working in your child or young person's school or college.

The CLD Trust

If your child or young person is aged between 9 and 21, needs therapeutic mental health intervention and is registered with a Herefordshire GP then The CLD Trust can help.

Young people and/or their parent or carer can refer themselves or the young person's GP can refer you to The CLD Trust.

The CLD Trust's therapeutic team can help with a range of experiences including anxiety, low mood, relationship difficulties, low self-esteem, difficult or intrusive thoughts or feelings, bullying and cyber bullying, bereavement and loss, family, school or work problems.

Find out more about The CLD Trust.

Strong Young Minds

Strong Young Minds is a Lottery funded project delivered by The CLD Trust.

Their aim is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 10 to 26 years in Herefordshire.

Strong Young Minds work with young people to address issues which can have a negative effect on their mental health and wellbeing - such as anxiety, depression, eating difficulties, self-harm, bullying, relationship breakdown, education and employment, low self-esteem, body image and loss.

Find out more about Strong Young Minds.

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

The Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Herefordshire provides specialist mental health services for children and young people up to 18 years old and support for their families and carers.

To be referred into the Herefordshire CAMHS service, children and young people should live in Herefordshire and be registered with a GP in the county. This includes children and young people with a diagnosed learning disability.

CAMHS are an NHS service that supports children and young people who experience severe mental ill health and when all other interventions have been exhausted. CAMHS provide assessment and treatment for mental ill health such as:

  • Problems with relationships (with family, carers, or at school)
  • Depression, anxiety, self-harming
  • Eating disorders
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Neurodevelopmental disorder
  • Experiencing traumatic event(s) in their lives which is affecting them emotionally

Find out more about CAMHS.

Herefordshire Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Learning Disability Service

The CAMHS Learning Disability Service is made up of a range of professionals who specialise in supporting young people who have a diagnosis of a learning disability, and their families.

This includes, clinical psychologists, CAMHS practitioners with a background in different therapies, and learning disability psychiatrists.

Find out more about the CAMHS Learning Disability Service.