Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service for Children and Young People


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Information and Updates



Picture of young boy and girl with a bike




Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (EWMH) services are key to ensuring that Surrey’s children and young people are able to access help they may need when they need it.

Nationally it is recognised that the number of referrals to mental health services has increased significantly over the last few years. The publication of the ‘Future in Mind’ national guidance for children’s mental health and wellbeing sets out ways to make it easier for children, young people, parents and carers to access help and support when required.

In early 2019, following extensive engagement with stakeholders, Dartington Service Design Lab published a series of recommendations around how Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (EWMH) in Surrey could be reshaped.

These findings informed Surrey’s strategy for improving children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health. “A thriving community of children and young people in Surrey” sets out a clear vision for all partners working in this field to develop a culture of emotional wellbeing and mental health support that is based on strengthening early intervention to prevent deterioration in children’s and young people’s mental health and in building resilience. The strategy also includes a Children and Young People’s Charter, developed by young people in Surrey.

This contract seeks to deliver a transformative service. If we successfully respond to what we have heard is needed by children and young people, parents, carers, professionals and others with an interest in children’s welfare the following changes will be apparent:

  • Support can be accessed more easily with opportunity to make a direct request for support and quicker responses to providing support or signposting to support.
  • Young people and parents/carers will be aware of online support that is available to them which is ‘approved’ by clinicians for specific difficulties.
  • Young people and parents/carers will feel that communication is good and that they are well-informed about what will happen when a request for support has been made.
  • Young people and parents/carers will feel able to contribute to, and influence service provision and development.
  • Staff in schools/colleges and other professionals working with children and young people will feel that they are offered effective training, guidance and consultation.
  • Children and young people in identified vulnerable groups, such as Children in Care and Care Leavers, children who are identified as needing support for SEND (in particular where those children are struggling to access education), will feel well supported by the Service.
  • Young people aged 16 – 18 receiving emotional wellbeing and mental health support experience a smooth transition to adult services should this be needed.
  • Reduced waiting times for crisis support and specific treatments.
  • A reduction in teenage suicides in Surrey.


These changes will be brought about by:

  • More support linked to groups of schools and colleges so that help is offered in or close to those establishments as part of responding quickly to identifying need and enabling children and young people with emerging mental health needs to make good educational progress.
  • An effective single point of access to receive requests for support and offer a quick triage function, signposting, onward referral and ongoing support regardless of how the request is received.
  • A seamless transition between different service offers.
  • The launch and development of an Early Intervention offer involving links with voluntary and community sector organisations. These services will be available stand alone and whilst waiting for a CAMHS referral.
  • Continued delivery of the high level of CAMHS specialist services currently experienced by families in Surrey.
  • Technological solutions which will increase the breadth of support that can be offered e.g. online counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and the ability to offer virtual clinical appointments to children and young people who may live in a remote location.
  • A Neurodevelopmental Service providing more timely assessments for children and parents seeking a diagnosis for Autistic Spectrum Disorder / Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and enhanced family support.
  • Effective links with services delivered by partners within the county, such as Surrey County Council’s Children’s Services.
  • Effective links with acute hospital Trusts to improve support when children and young people attend A&E with potential mental health difficulties or are admitted to paediatric wards.
  • Adoption of the i-Thrive conceptual framework to create a coordinated system of support for children and young with a clear focus on all partners in the health, education, social care and wider system helping children and young people ‘to thrive’ and ‘to recover’.
  • 24 hours a day 365 days a year telephone support for professionals who are not experts in emotional wellbeing and mental health to support them in their interactions with children and young adults.

The new service recognises the limitations of a medical service model and will operate in a way that acknowledges children and parents are the experts on their own lives; fully engaging with them to find solutions that reduce the impact of mental distress in their daily lives.


Local help and support services







Further Information



Emotional Wellbeing Mental Health Service for Children and Young People - The Story so Far

  Emotional Wellbeing Mental Health Service for Children and Young People - Information for the Market



Review Date: 2020-12-22
Review Due: 2021-05-22
Model Publication Scheme Class: Class 6: How we make Decisions