Mental health support for children and young people

Positive mental health

Mental health is something that every single one of us have and different life events could have an impact on our mental well-being, the same as it might on our physical health. If we all have it, then hopefully we can all understand how important it is to take positive steps to look after it. 

We are working in partnership with a range of organisations to raise awareness of the importance of looking after your mental well-being and supporting your friends, family members and colleagues to look after theirs.

If you are a child or young person or a parent or carer concerned about a child/young person’s mental health, there is a helpline hosted by Swindon’s CAMHS Service provided by Oxford Health NHS Trust from 5.00pm to 11.00pm from Monday to Friday and from 9.00am to 11.00pm at weekends, the number is 01865 901000 and families should ask for the CAMHS helpline. After 11.00pm, please phone 111.

This is not an emergency service. In an emergency please phone 999.

Since 1 October 2023, mental health support teams, TaMHS and the online mental health service has been provided by ABL health. Their is no change in their provision. Further information about these changes can be viewed in the letters below:

There are also resources online to keep children active and support their mental well-being.

Tiny Happy People and Hungry Little Minds both offer activities for under 5's. have guidance on how to make your own sensory motor path.

Useful home schooling resources for parents, teachers and SENCos - has more mental health and well-being resources  

Community support for children and young people

Swindon mental health support teams

As part of the government's vision to expand mental health support for children and young people, Swindon has been chosen as one of only 25 sites in the country to pilot an exciting initiative. This initiative will see dedicated mental health support teams working directly with students in both schools and colleges across the town.

The project, which is being delivered collaboratively by Swindon ICB and Be U Swindon, has been awarded £2.3 million in funding by NHS England.

The role of the Mental Health Support Teams (MHST’s) will be to work with children and young people in schools across Swindon who experience mild to moderate forms of mental health and emotional well-being issues, such as anxiety, behavioural difficulties and friendship issues.

Additionally, the teams will also work with school and college staff to help them provide better support to students. Following the initial pilot, there are now three Mental Health Support Teams based in Swindon. Each team has links with between 10 and 15 of the 42 different schools and colleges, and will be made up of a lead Clinical Service Manager and a number of Educational Mental Health Practitioners, who will work directly with children and young people.

In addition to the MHST offer, Be U Swindon also provides a wider support offer to local children and young people who are struggling with their emotional well-being or mental health. This support can be accessed through a referral from a professional, parent/carer or a self-referral. Following triage and assessment the multi-disciplinary team which includes Clinical Practitioners and Outreach workers who are skilled in working with mental health, will offer short-term interventions tailored to meet the needs of each child, young person and family.

The service works on an individual basis, or with families, using evidence-based interventions. We also provide parenting support.

The service aims to work in settings that are easily accessible and familiar to children and families, such as schools and community bases or remote.
Access Be U Swindon and the single point of access for children and young people's mental health and well being, or call 01793 781484.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

CAMHS in Swindon is provided by Oxford Health NHS FT and works with young people and their families up to the age of 18 years.

CAMHS is a multi-disciplinary team which includes a range of therapists, mental health clinicians and psychiatrists. The service provides assessment and treatment of young people who are presenting with significant mental health difficulties. The service offers a range of choices of therapy and will work with you after assessment to help you choose the therapy which will be most beneficial.

We offer a choice of interventions that may be one to one but could also include families and sometimes groups. We may also work with the network around your young person and can offer consultation to those already working with your young person or family.

The service also has a service which works specifically with young people with mental health needs who also have a learning disability (LD CAMHS).

We work using the Care Program Approach which means that your treatment with CAMHS will be monitored and reviewed with you regularly to ensure we are meeting the goals that you have set. CAMHS works within the THRIVE model framework meaning that we provide a needs led service so that young people can access the right help at the right time and be able to make choices about the therapy and intervention they are having.

We are a community-based service which means we can offer appointments in our clinic at Marlborough House and in community settings for example schools, GP surgeries and homes. 

How to access CAMHS

If you think you or your child needs to see someone from TaMHS or CAMHS, the first step is to talk to a teacher, school nurse, social worker or your GP. They will ask you some questions about your situation and how you are feeling and if they decide that you should speak to mental health services they will write a referral explaining why they feel it would be helpful for you to have an appointment.

This referral will go to the Single Point of Access (SPA) which is jointly run by TaMHS and CAMHS. All referrals are screened and the most appropriate service is identified and you will be sent a letter detailing the next steps. This could include being invited for an assessment with TaMHS or CAMHS or signposting to a service which is better suited to meet the needs of your young person/family.

If your child is aged 16 or over, they may be seen on their own and we may write to them directly.

ChildLine is a free, private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen; you can contact a ChildLine counsellor about anything. You can call free on 0800 1111, have a 1:1 chat online or send an email.

Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people; they offer comprehensive and accessible advice and information about mental health. They also have a parent’s helpline. Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)

Papyrus provides confidential help and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person.

Swindon Samaritans: Free Phone-116 123 for support to talk about whatever’s getting to you in your own way. 

Online support for children and young people (0 to 18years)

NHS resources provides approved advice on all health conditions including mental health.

Books on Prescription Scheme understand and manage your health and well-being using self-help reading. The books are chosen by health experts and people living with the conditions covered. People can be recommended a title by a health professional.

Looking after our mental health is MAGIC is a video detailing the five steps we can all take to improve our mental health and well-being, to feel more positive and get the best out of life. 

Local support for children and young people (0 to 18year)

IPSUM (16+ only) is a local Mental Health Charity providing therapeutic creative arts, music and talking therapies. 

Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind (16+ only) in partnership with National Mind, promotes and empowers local well-being through a range of services including; Self Harm Counselling, 1:1 Support, Community based sessions including sports and crafts.  

Out of The Can is a local youth group and peer support for children and young people who are part of the LGBT community, including emotional support. 

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is a local health and well-being charity which provide nature-based activity as therapy, a range of provision available across Swindon. 

On Trak Youth Counselling provides free advice, support and services to young people in Swindon between the ages of 14-19 (at the time of referral), who are experiencing a mental health problem or emotional distress. An appointment can be made via phone by the person needing the service, or by parents and carers. Following the initial appointment when an assessment will be made, the young person may be offered short, medium or long-term one-to-one counselling, usually on a weekly basis. Where appropriate, they may also be referred or directed to other support services.


Cruse Bereavement Care provide support to all ages and provide services locally. They have put together resources to show how bereavement and grief may be affected by this pandemic. National helpline: 0808 808 1677

Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, and when a child is facing bereavement. Helpline: 0800 1111

Winston's Wish provide specialist bereavement support services. They have an experienced support team who provide bereaved children and families with the tools to come to terms with their grief. Freephone national helpline: 0808 020 021

Wiltshire Treehouse offer a wide range of post-bereavement support for young people.   

In an emergency

See the mental health emergency page for further details.

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