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Social, emotional and mental health

Are you worried about school, friendships or home? If you need to talk to someone, or help to make friends and be more active, then the groups below can help. There is also advice for parents of children who need help and support.

Local organisations

  • Enfield Children's Centre provide activities for young children as well as access to a range of early childhood services
  • Enfield Women's Centre offers support to vulnerable and disadvantaged women and their families living in Enfield. They provide a range of activities and services for women to have fun and make changes in their lives, through learning new skills to work towards economic independence.
  • Mind in Enfield offers a range of services for young people with mental health difficulties or who are struggling with their mental wellbeing. Services include counselling, advocacy, and housing.
  • Youth Enfield is where young people can find information, advice and guidance on a whole range of activities, programmes and services available in Enfield

National organisations

  • ChildLine is a free 24-hour counselling service for children and young people up to under 19. You can call, talk to a counsellor online, send an email or post on the message boards.
  • Dad info for fathers gives free expert advice and support from legal issues, child development to financial advice and everything in between
  • Family Lives offers parenting and family support, online chats, a helpline and parenting classes
  • Gingerbread supports one parent families. They provide free membership and run local friendship groups. There is also an online forum, or you can read stories and advice from other single parents.
  • MeeTwo App provides peer support through social media, promoting mental well-being of young people. MeeTwo works in partnership with Young Minds and the NSPCC.
  • MindEd is a free educational resource for adults on children and young people's mental health
  • NSPCC is a charity campaigning and working in child protection
  • Samaritans is a 24-hour telephone helpline offering emotional support to people experiencing distress or despair
  • The Mix offers free information and support for young people aged 13 to 25 about sex, relationships, drugs, mental health, money and jobs
  • Think U Know is a guide to Internet safety and safe surfing for young people (5 to 14+)
  • Young Minds is the UK's leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people
  • Young Minds for Parents gives advice and support for parents worried about their child's behaviour, emotional problems and mental health
  • Youth Access provides details of local youth counselling services for young people aged 12 to 25. Their online search will help you find your nearest service.

Activities to improve health and wellbeing

The Youth Alive programme (PDF) is for children and young people aged 10 to 19 who live or study in the Edmonton ward. It encourages them to look after their wellbeing, build their confidence and happiness, feel empowered, learn a new skill and take part in physical activities.

Through the programme, children and young people can take part in activities including basketball, football, cooking, acting and drama lessons. All activities will be carried out in line with Public Health England guidance on coronavirus infection, prevention and control.

Children and young people will be referred to their local health champion, who will discuss what the child or young person's interests are, and signpost them to free or low-cost activities. To take part, you can complete a referral form (PDF) and send to a link worker via email at socialprescribing@enfieldva.org.uk. Alternatively, you can telephone 020 8373 6268. Following the referral process, a young person will be contacted by a specialist Health Champion.


If you’re worried about bullying, you should check your school website to see their anti-bullying policy. You can also get support from:

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) support

  • Mosaic LGBT Youth Centre provides teenagers aged 13 to 19 with the opportunity to meet other young people who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Trans, or think they might be
  • The Albert Kennedy Trust supports LGBT people aged 16 to 25 who are made homeless or living in a hostile environment
  • Stonewall campaigns for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people across Britain
  • Gendered Intelligence is a community interest company that runs arts programmes, creative workshops, mentoring, and youth group sessions for trans youth across the UK
  • Mermaids offers family and individual support for teenagers and children with gender identity issues

Eating disorder support

  • Beat is the UK's leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) or any other difficulties with food, weight and shape

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) support

If you're worried about a child or young person, encouraging them to talk can be very helpful whether you're a family member, friend or teacher.

If you're worried about your mental health, telling your doctor is the first step to getting help. You can speak to your doctor about your mental health and wellbeing at any age and it is confidential for anyone over 16, unless there is a concern about risk.

You should get help if you're experiencing anything that's worrying you, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Divorce and separation
  • Exam stress
  • Family problems
  • Grieving
  • Relationship problems
  • Self-harm
  • Struggles with sexuality
  • Substance misuse

The Youth Wellbeing Directory helps you locate local and national organisations if you're looking for help for yourself or someone you know.

Help for children and young people:

  • Kooth is a web-based, confidential service that supports the wellbeing and resilience of young people, since April 2020, providing a safe and secure way to access mental health and wellbeing support. Young people can have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor, available every day of the year on a drop-in basis, from 12pm to 10pm on weekdays, and 6pm to 10pm at weekends. Young people can access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed. Outside counselling hours, young people can message the team and receive support by the next day. For help on how to sign up, view the Kooth sign-up infographic (JPG).
  • Big White Wall provides online early intervention for people with psychosocial distress, aged 16 and over. They have self-management tips and even virtual live therapy. Big White Wall is available free in many areas via the NHS, employers, and universities. It's also free to all UK serving personnel, veterans, and their families.
  • My Time Child and Young People's Counselling Service is a specialist counselling service for children and young people aged 5 to 18
  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a free NHS talking therapy for people 16 and over, who are worried or have low mood. They provide a range of treatment programmes including one-to-one therapy, counselling and group work.
  • Our bereavement service gives information on bereavement charities which offer help and support for those suffering a loss
  • The Victim Support Youth Advocate Programme provides free, confidential, trauma informed, practical and emotional support to children and young people aged 10 to 25, who have been victims or witnesses of serious youth violence or who have been bereaved or significantly impacted by homicides resulting from serious youth violence. Support is provided on a 1-to-1 basis, tailored to individual needs and aimed at building resilience to move beyond the crime that they have been victim or witness to. The programme also provides advocacy around housing, education, attending court and/or any other areas that help support the young person to move beyond crime. Children and young people can be referred or self-refer (.DOCX) into the programme. See the Youth Advocate Service leaflet (PDF).

Help for parents:

  • Every Parent and Child enhances the life chances of children, young people and their families. They focus on vulnerable children and children with special needs.
  • Young Minds Parents Helpline offers free and confidential expert advice for parents worried about their child
  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a free NHS talking therapy for people 16 and over, who are worried or have low mood. They provide a range of treatment programmes including one-to-one therapy, counselling and group work.
  • Parent Support Unit work with families to achieve positive outcomes for children aged 0 to 18 years and offer parenting support programmes
  • It can be difficult for children and young people if their parents are going through divorce or separation, or if there are family problems, so it is good to know what you can do to help
  • Relate offers relationship counselling and mediation in North East London. There may be a cost for these services depending on your income.
  • Tavistock relationship centre also offers support around family relationships. There may be a cost for these services depending on your income.

Your school may provide the following support:

Nurture groups

Children may attend a nurture group in particular schools. These support children with social, emotional and mental health needs. The children can play, explore and learn in a small group with two trusted adults in a home-like environment. There is an emphasis on emotions and feelings, raising self-esteem, identity and self-expression and verbal communication. The school curriculum will be covered at the same time. Children must be appropriately assessed before entering the nurture group. For more information, check their SEN info report or speak to the SENCO.

Language and Social Skills (LASS) groups

These are small groups which run approximately twice a week in particular schools in Enfield. These are for children who have moderate difficulties around language and social skills. The groups follow a given structure that meets the needs as identified by an initial assessment. The activities are as practical as possible and allow many opportunities for speaking and listening, making choices, expressing needs, turn taking, and relating to others.


Place2Be provides emotional and therapeutic services in primary and secondary schools. They help to build children's resilience through talking, creative work and play.

Getting more help

If you're finding it difficult to cope and haven't been able to find support or get help from our services, you may need some more help.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is a specialist community multi-disciplinary mental health service for children, young people and their families. We provide assessment, treatment and support for the mental health, behavioural and emotional wellbeing of under 18s, working closely with families and carers.

The following film shows young people talking about their experience of dealing with a mental health issue and how CAMHS has helped them to overcome their problems:

Our team of mental health professionals includes:

  • CAMHS practitioners
  • child and adolescent psychiatrists
  • child and adolescents psychotherapists
  • clinical psychologists
  • family psychotherapists
  • specialist nurse therapists

We also work closely with the Educational Psychology Service.

How we can help

The types of problems we can help with include:

  • behavioural problems, such as aggression, delinquency, unmanageable behaviour and hyperactivity
  • eating and feeding disorders
  • emotional difficulties, such as anxiety, depression, phobias, OCD and school refusal
  • self-harm or risk of self-harm (those who have taken overdoses should always be taken to the local A&E department)
  • severe psychiatric illness and psychosis
  • sleeping, feeding and behavioural difficulties in under-fives that result in severe disruption of family life and development
  • trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and trauma following abuse

There is a range of treatment available from therapeutic support and counselling, to medication prescribing and monitoring by a variety of professionals.

We also provide:

  • a specialist team working with looked after children
  • consultation, advice and support to professionals working with your children or young person
  • Enfield Parent Infant partnership, which is a specialist team providing therapeutic support for babies struggling to develop a secure attachment with their primary caregiver
  • specialist adolescent teams working with young people aged 12 to 18 years with severe and complex mental health difficulties
  • specialist teams, providing assessment, support and treatment for children and young people with combined mental health problems and learning disabilities
  • support to hospital based paediatric services
  • therapeutic support for under-fives delivered in Enfield children's centres

Accessing the service

Referrals are accepted from schools, GPs, social care services, youth centres, youth offending organisations and other health and social care professionals.

Make a referral

See our referral forms for professionals.

For more information on referrals, email beh-tr.enfieldcamhs@nhs.net.

Domestic violence

If you are a victim of domestic violence or you know someone who is, help and support is available:

You can also visit our safeguarding page to report abuse or find out more.

Urgent and emergency help

If a young person or child's life is at risk and needs urgent medical assistance, you should call 999 or go to an A&E department.

If you're concerned about the well-being of a child, due to risks such as emotional cruelty, neglect, physical or sexual abuse, contact Enfield Safeguarding.

Specialist child and adolescent mental health services

Enfield CAMHS provides a range of specialist services for children, young people and families in need of help due to or at risk of self-harm, suicidal feelings or severe psychiatric illness and psychosis.

The Service for Adolescents and Families in Enfield (SAFE) is a specialist team within CAMHS providing rapid, community-based intervention to young people aged 12 to 18 years in need of crisis mental health support. This includes young people who have harmed themselves or who are at risk of suicide. In addition SAFE offers specialist assessment and intervention to teenagers who may be experiencing severe mental health difficulties, such as severe psychiatric illness and psychosis.

Referrals to CAMHS are accepted from schools, GPs, social care services, youth centres, youth offending organisations and other health and social care professionals.

Exclusion from school

If a child or young person is at risk of permanent exclusion, see our exclusions from school page. The child or young person may be referred to the Fair Access Panel where they will be discussed amongst a multi-agency group and further support and advice will be given to the school. Following this there may be a further meeting between the Senior Leadership Team in the school and professionals such as the Behaviour Support Service, Educational Psychology Service and CAMHS. This is called a multi-agency consultation meeting (MAC) which aims to support the school's thinking in preventing a permanent exclusion.

Youth offending

Our Youth Offending Unit also offers help and support to young offenders and their families.

  • The Samaritans offer a 24-hour telephone helpline for anyone in emotional distress. Call them free on 116 123 (textphone: 08457 90 91 92).
  • ChildLine is a free 24-hour counselling service for children and young people under 19. You can call them on 0800 1111, chat to a counsellor online, send an email or post on the message boards.
  • Papyrus is a national charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide
  • Harmless provides postal and email self-harm support through a counsellor and other volunteers that have personal, supportive and professional experience
  • If you're concerned about the well-being of a child, contact Enfield Safeguarding directly.

Critical incident response for educational settings

The definition of what constitutes a critical incident, tragic event or trauma depends on the particular needs and perceptions of staff, pupils and parents at the time. The Educational Psychology Service and Local Authority CAMHS Team offer help in relation to traumatic events such as the violet or sudden death of a pupil, a school fire or a meningitis scare. Consultation with an outside professional has been valuable in considering the following issues:

  • How and when to share initial information with staff, children or young people and parents
  • Maintaining the school routine
  • Planning whole school response, such as assemblies and letters
  • Responding to a bereaved family including attendance at funerals
  • Clarifying who is most affected by the incident; staff, children or young people, parents
  • How to offer support to staff and pupils
  • Clarifying which children and young people may be helped by individual or group work or referral to CAMHS or another agency
  • Longer term needs, such as memorials and anniversaries
  • Evaluating and learning from the experience

If schools, colleges or other educational settings would like support following a critical incident, they can contact the Educational Psychology Service or speak with their allocated Educational Psychologist in the first instance.

The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust have developed the Thrive framework as a new model for CAMHS. It is a way of thinking about the needs of children, young people and their families. With this model needs are measured under four categories:

  • Getting advice
  • Getting help
  • Getting more help
  • Getting risk support

You may encounter some of the following professionals:

  • Advocacy helps you to access information and services and helps you to make decisions about your life, exploring choices and options
  • CAMHS practitioners involve lots of mental health professionals working together to provide individual and family work helping children and young people under the age of 18, who experience emotional difficulties or mental health problems.
  • Child and adolescent psychiatrists are medical practitioners who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health.
  • Child and Adolescent psychotherapists may see children and young people individually or with other family members. The therapy may be through talking or play, depending on age. The child has an opportunity to work towards understanding themselves, their relationships and their behaviours.
  • Psychologists can assess and help with young people's psychological functioning, emotional wellbeing and development. There are different types of psychologists, such as Clinical Psychologists and Educational Psychologists, but they all help with the way you behave, feel and think about things.
  • Counsellors are trained to give guidance on personal or psychological problems.
  • Family psychotherapists work with young people and their families together. If you're referred to a family therapist you might meet them regularly so they can help you manage the difficulties happening in your life. You can decide who comes to the meetings and what you will speak about.
  • General practitioners (GPs) are doctors based who treats patients with minor or chronic illnesses and refers those with serious conditions to a hospital.
  • Specialist nurse therapists are dedicated to a particular area of nursing providing direct patient care, and play a vital role in educating patients on how best to manage their symptoms.

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