Supporting young people in crisis
Mental health crisis and suicide
What is a mental health crisis?
Someone might be in crisis if:
- They are thinking of hurting themself or suicide seems the only option
- They have made threats to hurt you or someone else.
- They are experiencing extreme distress that seems overwhelming.
Who can help in a mental health crisis?
Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Specially-trained mental health staff will speak to you and discuss with you your mental health care needs – instead of you having to go to accident and emergency departments of local acute hospitals.
If you are over the age of 16 you can access the Sanctuary in Cambridge or Peterborough - People in crisis across the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be able to access Sanctuary support. Staffed by mental health charity Mind in Cambridgeshire, the Sanctuary offers people practical and emotional support between 6pm and 1am and is accessible by referral from the First Response Service. You can watch a tour of the Cambridge Sanctuary by clicking here
Other support available:
Support for schools and colleges following the death of a young person by suspected suicide:
A coordinated multi-agency response will be initiated following the death of a young person (under the age of 18 years). This response is outlined in the 'Supporting Schools and Colleges in responding to suicides in teenagers: A multi-agency guide for practitioners' document. If you become aware of a child death, but have not been contacted by a service to notify you of this, then please contact:
Chris Meddle – Senior Leadership Advisor
Sara Rogers – Education Safeguarding Manager
Gary Perkins – Head of Service
Sharon Bishop – Capital Projects and Assets Officer
Samaritans - In addition to local services, support can be offered via the Samaritans Step By Step programme which offers practical support and guidance in the aftermath of a suspected suicide. This service is free and can be accessed by email: or phone: .
In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough families who are affected by suicide will be offered support from the post-suicide bereavement service shortly after the death.
CAMHS Crisis information
CAMHS out of hours (Weekends, and after 17:00)
New presentations or existing cases known to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
Young People, Parents or Carers and professionals can call the First Response Team for support on 111 (select option 2), and access the Sanctuary in Cambridge or Peterborough. The Sanctuary offers anyone in crisis over the age of 16 practical and emotional support between 6pm and 1am. Referral in is via 111 (select option 2) only. To watch a tour click here.
If there is an immediate risk to a child or young person's safety due to a mental health issue, s/he can be taken to the local A&E department where it will be decided whether a specialist mental health assessment is required. If needed, this can be provided in A&E.
If they are already a patient of child and adolescent mental health services (CPFT):
- Between 9am-5pm, Monday–Friday: Contact your Care Co-ordinator or On Duty Clinician
- At other times call Out Of-Hours Service: A telephone support service, run by Lifeline, is available for CPFT’s service users who are experiencing a crisis in their mental health. The service is also available for carers who are concerned about the mental health of a service user. The out-of-hours telephone number is 0808 808 2121. This is available every day, including weekends, from 7pm-11pm
- Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis.
If they are not a patient of child and adolescent mental health services (CPFT):
- Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis.
- Your GP: If you are in crisis and need immediate help, then please contact your GP.
- Emergency doctor: All GP surgeries have an out-of-hours number that you can call in an emergency. The out-of-hours doctor may assess the situation over the phone, ask you to attend a clinic/service, or may come out to assess the service user. They will be able to arrange any necessary specialist assessments.
- Local walk-in centre: Most centres are open 365 days a year and outside office hours. Some newly opened centres may offer different opening hours during their first few months.
- A&E - call 999 or go to your nearest A&E department.
East of England Forensic Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (FCAMHS) will be offering a full clinical service across the East of England region from 1st April 2019. This constitutes the final part of a phased roll out of the service.
FCAMHS is a regional specialist service, hosted by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation NHS Trust, for children and young people aged 0-18 whereby:
- there is a concern about a young person's mental health (this may include neurodevelopmental disorder and/or learning disability)
- the young person presents with high risk of harm to others and about whom there is major family or professional concern
- the young person may be in contact with the criminal justice system or be likely to enter secure care.
FCAMHS accepts referrals from any professional working with children and young people.
For further information on how to make a referral and to view a copy of the FCAMHS leaflets and privacy notice, please visit our webpage at:
Please note our new regional telephone number: 0300 300 9300
Self Harm and Suicide:
For further information then please see our Children and Young peoples page HERE!
Mental Health Crisis
Who can help in a mental health crisis?
Call 111 and press option 2 for the First Response Service - a 24-hour service for people in a mental health crisis. This service is for anyone, of any age, living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough*. The phone will be answered by a trained mental health professional who will be able to listen to your concerns and help you get the support you need. They can offer advice over the phone, put you in contact with the crisis services or even refer you to a Sanctuary - safe places run by Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind (CPSL Mind). The Peterborough and Cambridge Sanctuaries offer short-term practical and emotional support between 6pm and 1am, seven days a week. You can watch a tour of the Cambridge Sanctuary. Please note, to access this service you need to call 111 and press option 2 before turning up.
Who can call?
If you aren't able to make the call yourself then anyone can call on your behalf, for example a friend, carer, loved one or even your GP. The service is available to anyone, of any age, currently living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in a mental health crisis.
For more information visit: http://www.cpft.nhs.uk/about-us/mental-health-crisis.htm
*People in Wisbech have not got the option 2 but can access the service via dialling 111. The call handler will then transfer them direct to the FRS (First Response Service) service.
*Some information gathered from www.nhs.uk and the services listed.
Early Help Hubs
The Cambridgeshire Early Help Hub provides a single telephone line, operating during office hours, providing advice and information for professionals about local services. They can offer guidance about accessing services, and signpost to self-help resources. Contact the team on: 01480 376 666 or email@example.com (open 9am – 5.20pm Monday to Thursday, Friday 9am -4:20pm).
The Peterborough Early Help Service provides a dedicated Early Help telephone line, operating during office hours, providing advice and information for professionals about local services. They can offer guidance about accessing services, and signpost to self-help resources. Contact the service on the Peterborough Early Help helpline number on: 01733 863649 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday).
Safeguarding concerns and referrals
If you are concerned that a child is at immediate risk of harm, please ring :
- Cambridgeshire: 0345 045 5203
- Peterborough: 01733 864180
- EDT (Emergency Duty Team): (01733 ) 234724
For Cambridgeshire Children
Tel: 0345 045 5203
For Peterborough Children
Tel: 01733 864180
For out of Hours (Emergency Duty Team)
Tel: 01733 234724
Completed referral forms can now be sent securely to ONE email address for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, this is email@example.com
Emotional Health & Wellbeing Service
Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service
The Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service (EHWS) launched in January 2018, and covers Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The service was created due to the recognition that there was a local gap in provision of service within the “Getting Advice” and “Getting Help” quadrants of the THRIVE model, adopted in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
Who are we?
The EHWS comprises of a range of staff from a variety of professional backgrounds.
- The Emotional Health and Wellbeing Practitioners (EHWP) are a multi-disciplinary team, coming from a variety of professions, including School Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Paediatric Nursing, Health Visiting, and Social Work.
- The Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners (CWP’s) have psychology related degrees and complete the post graduate certificate in Children and Young People’s Psychological Wellbeing Practice.
The EHWS is led by a Clinical Psychologist, and supported by an Assistant Psychologist and Administrative Assistant countywide.
What do the EHWP’s do?
The team operates a duty system, offering telephone support to professionals from education settings (primary, secondary, colleges, and special schools) as well as other professionals such as General Practitioners and Social Care. Part of the EHWP’s role is to support professionals to ‘system navigate’ around the complex network of support available for children and young people with emotional and mental health needs. They work with professionals, to signpost, advise and support referrals to the wider emotional health and wellbeing services. The teamwork closely with the Early Help Hubs and the CAMH Single Point of Access (SPA).
They can offer more in depth support, where they can visit staff at schools to provide consultation (with parent/carers consent) and training to support professionals develop their skills, knowledge, and understanding of emotional health and wellbeing issues to more effectively and confidently deliver support. They also now provide staff support to education establishments. This may be in the form of self-directed learning packages along with a reflective session facilitated by an Emotional Health and Wellbeing Practitioner.
How do you contact us?
Accessing either strand of the service is through the EHWS duty line, which operates Monday to Friday, 9:30 to 16:30. Please note this is only available for professionals.
If you are a parent/carer concerned about your child or young person and believe the EHWS may be a help to your family, please do speak to your school and ask them to contact us directly.
Contact to the service is by email only firstname.lastname@example.org
Local emotional Health Support and services
Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), a number of services have had to make changes to how they provide support to people, and therefore the information on this page may not be the most up-to-date. If you or someone you know are currently accessing support from a service they will be in touch or please contact them for up to date information about their services.
We are also compiling a list of local service updates and changes in response to the current situation, they can be found here, and service information specifically for professionals, here. (If you would like to update us about changes to your service please contact us on email@example.com)
See our resources page here for information about Coronavirus and tips on how young people can look after their mental health at this time.
There are a range of services that can provide support for young people in addition to core Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Many of them schools, health professionals, parents/carers and young people themselves can refer to. A comprehensive list of local and national services can be found below:
These are some of the free services available locally:
Kooth - A confidential and anonymous online service for young people, specifically developed to make it easy and safe for young people to access mental health support as and when they need it. Once signed up, Kooth users have access to BACP trained counsellors available until 10pm, 365 days a year, peer-to-peer support through moderated forums, and a range of self-help materials, co-written by other young people. Any young person aged 11 – 18 (up to 19th birthday) with a Cambridgeshire or Peterborough postcode can access the service for free. You can watch the new Kooth video here.
CHUMS Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service - Offers support to children and young people with mild to moderate mental health difficulties, such as anxiety and low mood, as well as those with significant emotional wellbeing difficulties arising from life events such as bereavement and bullying. Support will vary depending on the child's or young person's needs but may include 1-to-1 or group interventions, advice and guided self-help or parent/carer groups.
- Peterborough – Up to the age of 18
- Cambridgeshire – Up to the age of 25
Drop in sessions
Drop-ins for young people up to the age of 25 (Peterborough is only up to the age of 18)
- SAWTRY:- Wednesdays, 3pm – 5pm, Sawtry Youth & Community Centre (PE28 5UX)
- CAMBRIDGE:- Fridays, 3:00pm-4:30pm, Cambridge Central Library, Floor 3 - Grand Arcade (CB2 3QD)
- WISBECH:- Wednesdays – 3:30pm-5:00pm – Awdry House (PE13 2JD)
- HUNTINGDON: Thursdays – 4:00pm-6:00pm – Huntingdon Youth Centre (PE29 7AF)
- PETERBOROUGH (only up to the age of 18 starts on 26.2.19): Tuesdays – 3:30pm – 4:30pm, Youth Access Hub, 49 Lincoln Road (PE1 2RR)
You can make a referral via the website http://chums.uk.com/cambs-referral-forms and one of their triage team will contact you to discuss in more detail. You might also find some of the CHUMS downloadable information helpful - http://chums.uk.com/downloads For further information contact 0330 0581 657 (Peterborough) or 0330 0581 659 (Cambridgeshire)
Centre 33 offers a range of support for young people (up to the age of 25) in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Centre 33 can help with all sorts of issues from housing, sexual health and money worries to family problems and bullying, no matter how big or small the problem is.
‘Someone to Talk To’ drop-in sessions and a helpline operate across the county 5 days a week. They also provide a schools counselling service and a young carers’ project. Centre 33 have an open access policy and young people can refer themselves to the service by calling or popping into the drop in sessions. For more information on the Centre 33 service visit their website or call (0333 4141809) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Shelf help - A range of books that have been recommended by young people and health professionals about mental health will be available in public libraries. The books are aimed at 13 to 18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and difficult experiences like bullying and exams. A similar service, called 'books on prescription' is already available for adults. For more information on what local libraries can provide visit - Cambridge and Peterborough
For more information on local support and services please see our Children's and Young People's page HERE !
School Nursing - The School Nursing Service provides confidential advice and support to all children, young people, and their carers in a variety of settings. Every School has access to a named practitioner within the school nurse team who work in partnership with children, parents, carers, health professionals and teachers, promote and maintain good health of all school children, support a child’s specific health needs, enable all school children to reach their full potential.
Cambridgeshire - 0300 029 5050 or email@example.com
Peterborough - 01733 746822 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ChatHealth -Text Messaging Service for 13-19 year olds (currently only available in Cambridgeshire)
ChatHealth is an alternative way for young people to engage with experienced school nurses who will answer texts from 9.30am-4pm Mon-Fri on a range of topics including anything from healthy eating, smoking, self-harm and bullying.
Watch this video to find out more http://bit.ly/chathealth-cambs
Young people (13-19 years) can text 07480 635 443 to start a conversation.
Citizens Advice provide a wealth of advice on housing issues (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/)
Local Citizens Advice Offices can also provide information and advice:
Housing and Homelessness
Shelter provide information on getting help from councils. The district and city councils in Cambridgeshire have statutory responsibility for housing and homelessness and are known as housing authorities. Their duties include the provision of housing for rent and working with housing associations to supply housing for general and special needs. They can also give information and advice on accommodation queries for a range of housing:
Peterborough Rough Sleeper Referral Form - https://www.peterborough.gov.uk/residents/housing/homelessness/
Money worries can take a toll on your mental health. There are a range of local and national services that can provide support if you, or a patient/client you are working with has money worries including:
- Cambridge & District Citizens Advice Bureau (Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire) - provides information, advice and support to help local people overcome their problems. The CAB help people with a wide range of issues, including benefits, debts, housing, relationships, employment and other questions. The service is free, impartial and confidential. Advice Line: 0344 848 7979.
Rural Cambridgeshire Citizens Advice Bureau (Huntingdonshire, East Cambridgeshire and Fenland) - provides information, advice and support to help local people overcome their problems. The CAB help people with a wide range of issues, including benefits, debts, housing, relationships, employment and other questions. The service is free, impartial and confidential. Advice Line: 344 245 1292 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-3.30pm).
- Citizens Advice Peterborough - provides information, advice and support to help local people overcome their problems. CAP help people with a wide range of issues, including benefits, debts, housing, relationships, employment and other questions. The service is free, impartial and confidential. The service operates from their base in the city centre at St Mark’s Street and have a outreach service with sessions across the city including at the Rainbow Savers Credit Union, Aspire and Honeyhill children centre – Paston, along with our telephone advice and email advice services. Advice Line: 0344 499 4120 (landline) or if you are calling from a mobile 0300 330 0650.
Money Advice Service - Set up by government to provide free impartial money advice. Advice line: 0800 138 7777 (Mon - Fri, 8am to 6pm and Sat 9am-1pm)
Young people can get support on job hunting and budgeting through the New Horizons project
Substance Misuse Services
Services for Children and Young People
Cambridgeshire Child and Adolescent Substance Use Service (CASUS) provides information, support and specialist treatment in Cambridgeshire around drug and alcohol use to young people and their families. CASUS offers specialist treatment, interventions, support and information for all types of substance use. The also provide support for the families and carers of substance misusing young people, and see young people who are affected by the substance misuse of someone close to them. CASUS can see young people at school, home or a variety of community or healthcare settings. People can self-refer for an appointment, or a parent/carer or professional can refer a young person. The service is suitable for those under 18 years old but they also have a limited service for 18 – 21 year olds who are particularly vulnerable and would benefit from seeing a young person’s service rather than be referred to adult services.
Peterborough #POW (Possibilities, Opportunities, Without taking risk) young people’s drug and alcohol service is a free and confidential service that works with young people and families around their, or their parent’s or carer’s, substance use. The service is for those up to the age of 18 years with drug and/or alcohol problems and offers one-to-one support, group work, housing and education/employment support.
Adult Substance Misuse Services
Cambridgeshire - Change Grow Live provides the community adult substance misuse service in Cambridgeshire. Anyone can refer to the service, including families/carers and individuals referring themselves. Anyone can walk in during 'Open Access' sessions for assessment or advice, or referrals can be made via the website. You can also call (01223 315882) or email the service (Cambridge1@cgl.cjsm.net).
Peterborough - CGL Apsire provide drug and alcohol treamtment services with interventions and services including 1-to-1 support, group therapy, needle exhange and family/carer support.
For more information please see our C&YP page and the adult section here and here!