No matter how your child is referred or directed to us, we will work with you, your child or young person and the people you work with to find the most appropriate service to meet your child’s needs.

Letter box in a house front door

Communicating with you

We will communicate with you and your family in a variety of ways, including letters, phone calls, text messages and emails.

We will either send you a letter or ring you with an appointment time.

We may send you an ‘opt in’ letter to check that your child or young person still wants an appointment and to confirm we have the right details for you.

It is really important that you or your child read all the letters and respond if needed so that there is no delay in your child’s journey.

It is also really important for you to keep your contact details up to date with us – including your address, phone number and email.

If you have any questions or need to update your contact details, you can ring us on 02921 836730.

If you are attending your GP appointment for a referral to the Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health Service, please ensure your contact details are up to date, especially your mobile phone number and email address.


This is vitally important as we are increasingly using digital technology to deliver your care and without these details, we may not be able to get hold of you.

Before the first appointment

Ahead of your child / young person’s first appointment with us, it may be helpful for you to think about the following together:

  • What challenges is the young person facing and how are they affecting their life?
  • How long have these challenges been going on for?
  • What would you both like to change? How would you know if things were different?
  • Can you pin point when these challenges began?
  • What has been helpful or unhelpful so far?
  • What support already exists within the young person’s family, friends and wider network?

It may be helpful to write these thoughts down to help your child to remember this at their appointment.

Your child’s first appointment

You and your child may feel nervous before their first appointment with us.

It is completely normal to feel like this when you are not sure of what to expect or you are going through a tough time.

Our staff will do everything they can to make you both feel comfortable.

Your child’s first appointment with us is an appointment called a ‘choice appointment’ or ‘assessment’.

This is basically a chance for us to get to know your child better so that we can make a decision on your child’s next steps.

This is a one off appointment – what happens next will depend on the support your child may need.

Your child will meet with one of our practitioners to talk about what’s going well, what is perhaps not going quite so well and what they want to achieve.

We may ask to speak to a parent or carer to help us understand how things are affecting your child, if they are happy for us to do so. We may also speak to the child or young person on their own.

We may decide together that your child would benefit from further appointments with us or that there is another service that is better suited to their needs.

Your child’s practitioner will listen to you and your child and make sure you both understand what will happen next.

pair of glasses resting on a calendar

Waiting list

There are many children and young people who are waiting to access our services. The COVID-19 pandemic has also affected how we can offer our services.

We hope that we will be in touch in 8 – 12 weeks with a date and time for your choice appointment. We know this feels like a long time when you are asking for help. We are doing our best to see you as quickly and safely as possible.

Due to the pandemic, we are offering virtual appointments via telephone or video conferencing as default.

Our expectations

Due to the high number of children and young people waiting to access support, we have some policies in place to ensure that we use both our time and yours as efficiently as possible.

An opt in letter is just when we check that your child still wants support from us. Things may have changed for your child and it helps us to confirm we still have your correct details.

It is important that you respond to the opt in letter within the requested time frame.

If we don’t hear from you or your child, we will presume that your child no longer requires support.

If you’re not sure whether your child still needs support, give us a ring and we can talk about it.

If you cannot attend an appointment for whatever reason, please let us know as soon as possible. We can then re-arrange you child’s appointment and offer the original time to someone else.

We will do the same if we need to cancel an appointment.

We  have an attendance policy to ensure the best use of our patient and staff time.

Young people being an active part of their journey alongside their practitioner and the people they care about is really important – this includes attending appointments. Missing appointments without letting us know in advance makes it difficult for us to offer this time to another child or young person.

As such, if your child misses their first appointment OR two appointments without letting us know in advance, we may discharge them  from the service.

This means that your child would require another referral to access support from us.