Mental Health

It’s important to ensure that there is advice and help available when a child or young person has emotional or mental well-being problems, although most will manage the ups and downs of life with the support of parents, family and friends.  If, however, your child or young person isn’t managing then there is a range of advice and support on offer.

Talk to your school pastoral leader or SENCO, as they will be able to consider ways to support your child. Pastoral staff can support children through group or individual interventions to address issues such as bereavement, attachment, anxiety, social stories, friendships, self-regulation/anger. They may include support through an Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) or Wellbeing Worker.

Local Area Teams:

Local Area Teams (LAT) are a key part of York’s early help response to working with children, young people and families from pregnancy through to adulthood. Early Help aims to support practitioners to work together to improve outcomes for children and young people. 

To find information on the Local Area Teams, follow this link.


Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA):

Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs) have been in place in York schools since 2010. The initial pilot was so successful that when central funding ceased, York chose to develop a mainstreaming strategy to sustain the model. York Educational Psychology (EP) Service delivers the 6-day ELSA course annually and offers access to geographical support groups on a termly basis.  ELSAs are school staff, typically teaching assistants/pastoral staff, who support children and young people with social and emotional difficulties and emerging mental health needs, which can create barriers to learning. The role of the ELSA is to deliver planned time-limited  interventions in schools and settings on an individual or small group basis. The training covers a range of topics including:

o    Emotional Literacy
o    Self-esteem and Resilience
o    Autism
o    Active Listening and Solution-focused Conversations
o    Early Trauma and Attachment
o    Understanding Anger
o    Loss and Bereavement
o    Therapeutic Stories
o    Anxiety
o    Nurturing Classrooms
o    Social Skills and friendship skills

Interventions usually last for at least half a term and focus on the achievement of specific outcomes. ELSAs develop nurturing relationships through typically weekly sessions with the child or young person, but often also work hard to engage the parent(s)/carers.  ELSAs often deliver an intervention in collaboration with the School’s Wellbeing Worker (SWW) or with their support.  The ELSA training course continues to be in high demand. York is now part of the national ELSA Network and has been instrumental in establishing the north east regional network.


School Well-being service:

The service works in schools with staff and also with pupils and families and also closely links to LATS and Lime Trees Clinic.  If there are concerns around school, talk to your child’s class teacher, pastoral lead or SENDCO.

The School Wellbeing Workers (SWW) are managed by the Local Authority (LA), clinically supervised by Child Adoloesent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and linked to a cluster of schools. Their focus is to work with children and young people (cyp) and school staff around emerging and developing mental health need. The SWW will provide:

  • Consultation, advice and support
  • Training and continued professional development
  • Facilitating pathways to different care and support- including specialist services
  • Working in partnership to deliver evidenced based direct work to children and young people
Who we work with

The service is targeted at emerging and developing mental health need. In particular at cyp who are presenting with mental health issues and concerns, that are below an intervention from specialist CAMHS and above what school pastoral structures can support.



Support services








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Support services







For more information about the School well-being service, please click here.


Counselling service for 16-25 year old people:

This is provided by Mind, and offers free sessions.

For more information and a referral form, please follow the link.

Lime Trees Clinic. CAMHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

You can contact a Single Point of Access (SPA) at Lime Trees to contact our local CAMHS service. You will be offered a 30 minute telephone conversation, during which you may be sign posted to a different appropriate service or you may be offered a face to face assessment at Lime Trees.

Tel: 01904 615345

This is the children and young people’s mental health clinic run by TEWV.  You may be referred here by your GP or on the advice of school, and you can also self-refer.

The clinic is at 31 Shipton Road and the phone number is 01904 615300.

Please follow the link to the TEWV website which sets out more information about the service

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa are best treated with specialist support; getting help early means a much better rate of recovery.  

There is a specialist eating disorder clinic at Lime Trees; if your child or young person appears to have an eating disorder, then your GP is likely to refer for assessment, or self referral may also be made, by calling 01904 615300.  If the circumstances appear urgent, then you should be assessed and able to start treatment within a week of referral.  If the circumstances seem less urgent, then treatment should start within a month.  

You should expect that your child or young person with work with a mental health worker, a dietician and also GP or paediatrician to ensure that physical health is maintained and improved.   

There are a number of organisations offering advice and information about eating disorders, including Beat, whose website is here.

There is also guidance and information on the NHS website.



If you have a concern that a child is vulnerable or at risk of significant harm please contact the Children's Front Door:

Phone: 01904 551900


Post: The Children's Front Door, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA

Outside office hours, at weekends and on public holidays contact the emergency duty team, telephone: 01609 780780

For more information on Safeguarding children, click here.


Crisis and Inpatient care

For a very small number of children and young people, inpatient  hospital care for their mental health condition is needed.  If it is thought that inpatient care is needed, by staff at Lime Trees clinic will discuss this with you.   

If a child or young person is in crisis, the mental health crisis team will be able to offer advice and support between the hours of 10.00 am and 10.00pm.  The service is for young people under the age of 18 years who present following an episode of deliberate self-harm, acute and uncontained emotional distress or display high levels of risk taking behaviour requiring immediate attention in the community. The children and young people’s crisis team is provided by TEWV, and their phone number is 01904 615348.


There is also a drop in centre at 31 Clarence St for those over 16, which is open from 6pm-11pm every day for immediate advice and help. 


For more information, follow this link.

Critical Incident

The Educational Psychology (EP) Service offers consultation and support to school staff when there has been a critical incident within the school community, such as the death of a member of staff or pupil. Research suggests that children and young people are best supported directly by trusted and familiar staff who can offer ongoing support, so the work of the EP Service is focused on helping Senior Leaders and key staff to manage the situation within school.

 For the Critical Incident Guide, click here.

Advice and information

There are many websites that can offer advice and information about emotional and mental well being and health, including:

  • Young Minds
  • Mindmate: this is developed for young people in the Leeds area, but has very helpful general advice and information and lots of links to other organisations.

  • Compass Buzz: this is developed for children and young people in North Yorkshire aged 11-18, and again offers advice and links to other organisations.

  • Early Advice and Self Help: TEWV (the local NHS children’s mental health provider) has developed the Recovery College Online.  In the Recovery College webpages, you can find out about approaches to self help and advice and information, and some films  about mental health support.  This information is useful for children and young people, families, and professionals who might be offering support to families.   Anyone can access the website: you have to complete a registration form first,  which includes the first part of your postcode, eg YO23.  Don’t worry, this isn’t used to track you, the Recovery College is only available in certain areas, and the website needs to know that users are from the areas it covers.    
  • There is also advice for parents around Internet usage, follow this link

Last Updated: July 2019