Children, young people and adults have mental health and it is important to look after it. It is no different from looking after your physical health. If you are having mental health problems, you're not alone. One in four of us will have problems with our mental health at some point in our lives. But there are lots of things that you can do to keep your mind healthy and well.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) provides child and adolescent mental health services for children and young people. They work with children and young people experiencing mental health or emotional problems. They work with young people up to the age of 17 and their families.
Does your child have a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD or a moderate to severe learning disability? If so, you can access mental health support from the Neurodevelopmental Service. This is available for children and young people up to 18 years.
Mental Health crisis
First Response Service (FRS)
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) have a First Response Service (FRS) for people of any age who are distressed, worried about their mental health or experiencing something that makes them feel unsafe. It provides 24-hour access, seven days a week, 365 days a year, to mental health care, advice and support.
Suicide - help for individuals and families
STOP Suicide is an award-winning suicide prevention campaign which reaches across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. It is led by the charities Mind and Lifecraft in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Fenland
Whatever the mental or physical health diagnosis, if the person you care for has talked about suicide it’s important you take them seriously. In a crisis, help is available 24/7 from the Samaritans on 116 123. In an emergency, call 999.
Grassroots is a suicide prevention charity.
CALM Helpline is dedicated to preventing male suicide and offers confidential emotional support for men through their helpline. Telephone: 0800 58 58 58. Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles. Webchat (5pm-midnight).
Papyrus Hope line UK is a national confidential helpline for young people at risk of suicide. Telephone: 0800 068 41 41
Maytree Sanctuary is open to anyone in a suicidal crisis for a one-off short stay in a safe place. The service is free, and it is open to anyone in the UK. It offers a quiet place to reflect and time to talk in confidence. Telephone: 0207 263 7070
LivingWorks, a leading provider of suicide-alertness training, advises following the acronym TALK:
T – TELL
Someone who is feeling suicidal will be telling you how they feel but perhaps not very directly so be aware of the signs and learn to read them. Do not dismiss them or trivialise them
A – ASK
If you think someone is considering suicide always ask them. You can’t give them the idea of suicide simply by asking, and it is important that you do ask. If they say ‘no’ you haven’t lost anything, and if they say ‘yes’ you have a chance to help.
L – LISTEN
Don’t rush them or judge. Tell them ‘this is important’. Don’t try to offer solutions, just listen. Listening stops people feeling alone, gives hope and provides emotional release.
K – KEEP SAFE
Don't promise secrecy, but don’t leave someone feeling suicidal on their own. Keep yourself and them safe.
Most people who feel suicidal simply want to end their pain, not their life. Many people who have had suicidal thoughts and/or made a suicide attempt look back later and say they are glad to have survived and that the right intervention at the right moment made all the difference. There is nothing inevitable about suicide. It is often a question of knowing how to help and supporting someone through a crisis.
If you have concerns about a child
Without a neurodevelopmental diagnosis
If the young person is under the age of 17 you will need to ask your GP to refer your child to these specialist services.
With a neurodevelopmental diagnosis
For youngsters up to the age of 18 years with a neurodevelopmental diagnosis you can seek a referral from their GP or school.
Over 18 years
If you are 18 or older then will need to ask your GP to refer you to adults’ services.
NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Talking Therapies (aged 17 and over)
More details can be viewed on the NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Talking Therapies webpage
This service provides help to people aged 17 and over who are experiencing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety disorders, including: generalised anxiety disorder (GAD); social anxiety; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); health anxiety; panic; phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). However, you do not need a diagnosis to access the service and we also see people with problems such as stress, low confidence, sleep disturbance and self-esteem issues. There is no upper age limit for people accessing our service.
How long are the sessions?
Sessions can vary from around 35 minutes to 1 hour, which will depend on the type of treatment that is offered. The total number of sessions will depend on your needs, however we are a short term therapy service and unable to see people for longer term therapy.
The main treatment we offer is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and a range of different therapy modalities are used in the service wellbeing workshops. The suitability and availability of the different treatment options will be discussed in your initial assessment if this is something you are keen to find out more about.
The service also works with people with long term physical health conditions (LTCs) including coronary heart disease (CHD), respiratory problems, chronic pain and diabetes. It is known that those with LTCs such as these are more likely to experience depression and/or anxiety. Please click here to watch a video on our LTC service.
NESSie Positive Mental Health
Nessie is funded by Cambridgeshire County Council & Peterborough City Council to support families of children and young people with emotional and mental health needs.
This project began with a specific focus on supporting families of children with self-harming behaviours in Cambridgeshire but we are pleased to announce that the funding was extended geographically in April 2023 to Peterborough to cover a range of emotional and mental health needs.
The aim of this work is to help parents/carers in developing a positive and more confident approach to supporting their young person, whilst offering a chance to gain peer support, useful strategies and practical tools.
Areas of support include, but are not limited to:
- Bereavement and Loss (including divorce and separation)
- LGBTQ+ and Gender Questioning
- School Avoidance
- Self Harm
- Managing Meltdowns
To book one-to-one support, please complete this form and a member of the team will be in contact to arrange a chat. Please note: there is an expectation that you will have attended relevant workshops before booking a 1-1 session.
They also offer:
- Free online and face-to-face workshops
- Parent Support line for parents/carers of young people with self-harming behaviours: 07932 651319 (open Wednesdays 9 am – 12 pm or by appointment)
- Private moderated Facebook support groups:
- Cambridge support group for parents of children/young people that self-harm or
- Nessie parent/carer support group for other emotional and mental health needs
- 1-1 targeted support sessions for complex parental or family needs
- Peer support groups
- ‘Drop In And Chat Coffee Mornings’ – an opportunity to talk about everything and anything
Keep Your Head
Information on mental health
Growing up and moving into adulthood can be challenging.
This can affect how you feel and have an impact on your well-being and mental health.
Visit the Keep Your Head website which brings together good reliable up to date information on mental health and well-being for children and young people, parents/carers and professionals.
You are not alone
Whether you're feeling sad, anxious, or finding life hard, know that you are not alone. Kooth is a community to support young people. Find out more here.
Supporting young people
Supporting young people up to the age of 25 with mental health, caring responsibilities, housing, sexual health and more. Find out more on the Centre 33 website,
Bitesize workshops for anybody working with young people in the Cambridgeshire or Peterborough area
Centre 33 Young Carers Service will be running the following bitesize workshops for anybody working with young people in the Cambridgeshire or Peterborough area.
These digital workshops address key topics in a focussed way. Lasting just 45 minutes to 1 hour, the live sessions will guide you through the common subjects young carers are telling us are important to them.
Promoting positive mental health in Peterborough
H.A.Y (How are you)
H.A.Y. (How are you) Peterborough are bringing together everything in Peterborough that promotes positive mental health. From a friendly ‘how are you’, to activity groups and much more – it’s all taking care of our mental wellbeing.
Mental health isn’t something that is good or bad; it’s a continuum, a sliding scale, a constantly shifting state for each and every one of us. We all have mental health and so we all need to take care of our mental health – we don’t wait until we’re physically under the weather to do things we know are good for keeping us physically healthy and the same should be true of our mental health.
H.A.Y. Peterborough put a spotlight on all those things going on in the community that are good for our mental wellbeing.
View the H.A.Y. Peterborough website to find more details
Emotional wellbeing and mental health
YOUnited offers help to all young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough aged up to 17 with the support of a professional.
Referrals can be made to YOUnited by a GP or any professional working with children or young people.
YOUnited is a partnership
YOUnited is a partnership between four organisations. CPFT for Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust for Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners, Centre 33 and Ormiston Families for counselling & guided self-help.
All referrals are triaged and assessed by specialist staff from YOUnited who then work with children and young people, as well as their family or carers if necessary, on the best pathway to support their needs.
View more details on the YOUnited webapge.
Helpline for people aged 18+
A mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18 and over living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is available Monday-Friday between 9am-2pm via freephone 0808 808 2121
Supporting individuals who are in mental distress
Lifecraft support those in mental distress are operate a helpline between 2pm-11pm and can be reached using the same freephone number as Lifeline on 0808 808 2121.
Qwell offers online wellbeing support, including educational and self help articles and peer to peer forums. For more information see their website
Additional resources and where to access services
This May Help
Being the parent of a teenager can be tough at times, particularly when it comes to mental health.
The mental health advice in these films is practical. These are things you can do that can help to improve the situation you may be in.
The films were developed by parents, carers and service users who got together to share their own experiences. They spoke to experts by experience, service and ex-service users, community mental health nurses, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) doctors and qualified professionals to work out the best and most helpful practical advice possible.
What helped others may also help you.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Children and Young People’s Mental Health Newsletter, April 2023
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System
This newsletter is produced by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System. This spring edition has articles about:
- The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough children and young people’s mental health strategy
- A Mental Health Primary Care Training Opportunity
- Funding to support Healthier Futures available to VCSE partners
- NHS 111 – Select The Mental Health Option
- The Keep Your Head Website
and many more.