Support with mental health and wellbeing for children

Parenting can be the most rewarding and the toughest of jobs.  We all want our children to be healthy and happy.  Thinking about your child’s mental health and helping them to develop their ability to cope with life’s challenges is one of the most important things you can do, but for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND), it can be even harder.  Sometimes more support and more time is needed to help your child through this stage. 

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Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH)

Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs is a term used to describe children and young people who are unable to control their emotions and who can show inappropriate responses to situations.

These children and young people can often feel anxious and misunderstood, struggle to cope with mainstream education and find it difficult to make and keep friends.

They can:

  • display disruptive, anti-social or uncooperative behaviour
  • have temper tantrums or meltdowns
  • show frustration and anger as verbal or physical aggression
  • become anxious, withdrawn or depressed
  • self-harm
  • behave inappropriately by stealing property, damaging the environment, taking drugs, being truant from school or setting fires. 

What you can do to help with your child’s mental health and wellbeing

Our “Mind you” website is available to help children and their families with their wellbeing the website includes local information about mental health and wellbeing and an A-Z of information.    

The Young Minds website has produced a parents survival guide if you are worried about your child.

Information websites about mental health and wellbeing

“Mind You” website for children and young people

Mind You is South Gloucestershire’s mental health and emotional wellbeing hub for young people.  The Mind You website can help your child to look after their mental health and provides information for parents.

Happy Maps

A website of information to help you if you are worried about your child's behaviour or mental health.  You may be waiting for a specialist service but there is a long wait or perhaps you've been told the problem isn't quite serious enough to be referred to a specialist. Happy Maps will provide you with information to help you support your child.

“One You South Gloucestershire” service for adults

Our One You website includes a wide range of free mental health and emotional wellbeing support and information available for those aged over 18.

The NHS website 

The NHS website provides young people with advice and help on mental health problems including depression, anxiety and stress.  This includes the moodzone page,  links to NHS-approved online mental health treatments and articles covering a wide variety of subjects.

Mental health and wellbeing services in South Gloucestershire

We have a number of services that can help your child with their mental health and wellbeing that they can self-refer to, they are: 


Kooth is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people between 11-18.  It is free to use and can be accessed by mobile phone, tablet or a desktop PC.

Off The Record (OTR)

OTR is a mental health social movement by and for young people aged 11-25 living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The OTR website gives information on how to get support.

Talking Therapies South Gloucestershire

This service from 16 allows you to access NHS talking therapy services within South Gloucestershire, in partnership with other providers.  You can self refer to this service by completing an online form on their website

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Bristol and South Glos CAMHS work with children and young people, up until their 18th birthday, who are experiencing moderate to severe, complex and enduring mental health difficulties.  This means that their difficulties are having an impact in more than one area of their life (eg home, school, hobbies, friendships) and have been present for over 3 months and have been getting worse despite other interventions being tried eg school counselling, Off The Record, Family and Young People Support

If your child is referred to us with severe or life-threatening mental health conditions they are seen urgently within 7 days. For example anorexia, psychosis or severe depression with thoughts and plans to take their life.

The assessment and treatment of neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism or ADHD are ordinarily done via paediatrics but may come to CAMHS if they additionally are struggling with any of the above.

Currently, a referral to CAMHS is by a professional who knows and has recently seen your child. Often this may be the GP but increasingly schools will make referrals or speak with the CAMHS primary mental health specialist for advice if they are concerned about one of their students

After 18 if it is required your child may transition over to adult mental health or to their GP.

The Community Children’s Health Partnership website has further information on the CAMHS service.

South Gloucestershire Mental Health and Wellbeing Directory of Services for Children and Young People 

The South Gloucestershire Mental Health and Wellbeing Directory of Services provides a place for children and young people, their families, and professionals to get quick, easy and direct access to up-to-date mental health and wellbeing information in South Gloucestershire.


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