There are three ways for children and young people to access support for their emotional wellbeing and mental health in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan:

  1. Through your school
  2. Through your local early help service
  3. Through the Single Point of Access

These entry points are all connected.

If a child, young person or family seeks help through one pathway but another one may suit their situation better, we will make sure they are able to access this with no extra effort – we call this the ‘no wrong door’ approach.

No type of support is better than another – it all depends on what best meets a person’s needs and what they want to achieve.

While specialist services are important, there are many other places to go for support.

Everyone a child or young person interacts with – whether that be their family, teacher or other trusted adult – should be keeping their emotional wellbeing at the heart of everything they do.

There is a useful video explaining this below.

Support through your school

Teachers and other school staff in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan are being trained to understand mental health better so that they are able to support and listen to children and young people.

These individuals see children and young people every day and know them well, so they can support them on their wellbeing journey (if this would be helpful).

  • Every school has a school nurse. Children and young people can speak to their school nurse about anything they want – including their emotional wellbeing.
  • If you are aged 11-19, you can also text a school nurse on 07520 615 718 during school hours with Chat Health.
  • Every secondary school will also have a school counsellor.
  • Every secondary school will have time with a mental health practitioner every week. These practitioners provide advice to school staff but can also work with young people directly. This will either be a one to one or a group session depending on the needs of the young people in the school.

If families have any questions about receiving support through school, we recommend that they speak to their school’s Wellbeing Lead to find out more.

Please note: We are changing what our offer for schools looks like to better meet the needs of children, young people and school staff.

Support through your local early help service

Early Help services in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan provide children, young people, families and professionals with information and support on a range of topics that could affect families.

Examples include low self-esteem, relationships with your family and the loss of an important person in your life.

These are different as they are run by the two different councils – but they offer the same service.

Wherever a family lives, the early help service will listen to them and assess their needs. They will either support the family directly or point them in the direction of a service that can help with specific needs.

There are mental health practitioners working with early help staff to advise them and to provide children and young people with support for their emotional wellbeing if this is what the family needs.

Support through the Single Point of Access

The Single Point of Access is how children and young people can access specialist Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health services run by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

Currently, only certain types of professionals can make a referral to the Single Point of Access, including:

  • your GP
  • your family’s Health Visitor
  • your social worker

After we receive a referral, a team of professionals will meet to decide which team is best placed to give the child or young person the help they need. They may contact the referrer and the family to find out more about what is going on and what the child or young person would like to achieve to help make this decision.

There are many services across Cardiff and the Vale that support children and young people with their emotional wellbeing.

It may be that you can receive support better suited for your needs at your school, local early help service or with another organisation – if that is the case then we will provide you with information to contact them, or we will ask you whether we can make a referral to them on your behalf.

If your circumstances change, we will take this into account and ensure that the support you are receiving will help you to achieve your goals.