Transformation of Surrey’s emotional wellbeing and mental health service for children and young people

We are pleased to be able to share with you news of a transformation of children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health services in Surrey. The Surrey children’s system working alongside a new alliance of organisations (NHS and national and local voluntary sector) will provide a new and broader range of services for children and families.

We have received a significant increase in funding which will improve and increase services; these will be delivered through a larger workforce, with more than 100 new staff over the next year or two. These staff will increase capacity, some to take up new innovative roles and others to support new services.

The new approach will begin with phase one (April to September 2021); a phased approach will ensure families will be safe and well supported while changes are introduced. In the short term, any support and treatment plans in place will continue and, for now, access to services will continue to be via your usual contact details.

A new Community Wellbeing Team has been created whose focus is on supporting young people in the community as soon as they start to feel they are struggling. Over the coming year, other new roles will be introduced to work in and with schools, and within the community to provide early support. Over the next three years Mental Health Support Teams (who will work with clusters of schools providing a range of services including guided self-help, CBT and counselling) will increase significantly from three to 13. 

Later this year we plan to launch a neurodevelopmental hub which will act as a central point for specialist clinicians across the region working with children and young people with multiple or complex needs such as autism. This hub (which will be both virtual and physical) will provide more intensive support and facilitate multi-agency working and risk management, along with consultation and advice to community and school-based workers.

Other planned changes include a transformed neurodevelopmental service which will follow on from a co-design process with schools, widened assertive outreach for vulnerable children, a 24/7 crisis line, an out-of-hours advice line for families, and far easier self-referral.

Children and young people’s mental health is everyone’s business. So with increased support offers across the whole community, and the greater number of places and settings where it is available, schools, GPs and communities will be better supported to help children and young people with their emotional wellbeing and mental health needs.

If you would like to know more, click here for extra background. This transformation will be progressing over the next couple of years, so we will keep our website updated.