Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service

Support for Children & Young People

What we offer

What do we do?

We offer a range of short-term support options for children and young people aged 4-25 with mild to moderate mental health needs.

What don’t we do?

  • We don’t diagnose, prescribe or offer medication reviews.
  • We don’t offer urgent response or crisis management support.
  • We don’t work with children or young people who are presenting with moderate to severe mental health needs.
  • We don’t work with young people who do not consent to our support.
  • We don’t offer specialist support around complex trauma or bereavement.
  • We are not able to offer counselling for specific trauma events where a specialist service should provide care e.g. domestic violence, bereavement.
  • We don’t offer family therapy.
  • We are not able to offer long term treatment.
  • We don’t offer ADHD/ASC assessments.

What does “mild to moderate” mean?

All of our referrals are looked at on a case by case basis. Mild mental health difficulties tends to mean that your mental health has some impact on day-to-day life and moderate means there is a fairly significant impact on your day-to-day life. This could mean that you're sometimes finding it difficult to engage positively with things like school/work, friendships, family etc... due to feelings like worry, low mood and stress.

Severe mental health difficulties means that it is very difficult to get through day-to-day life as a result of your mental health. If we feel this is the case we will support a referral on to another service that would be better suited to your needs e.g. the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) or Assessment Treatment Service (ATS).

what support is available?

We currently have nine different support options available for 4-17 year olds:

+ Counselling

10 sessions with the same counsellor at the same time and place each week. The aim is to talk about how what's bothering you to help you understand more about your feelings and uncover the root causes, then make plans to find ways of coping and feel better.

We have counsellors who specialise in working with young people who identify as:

  • ASC / LD (autistic spectrum condition or learning disability)
  • BME (black and minority ethnic)
  • LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & intersex)

+ CBT: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (age 8+)

Most commonly used to help people who are feeling anxious or low. This talking therapy can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. It helps you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts. Unlike counselling, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.

+ E-wellbeing: online counselling (age 13-17)

Like counselling, except instead of meeting someone face-to-face, you would work with a qualified counsellor online, exchanging emails for 10 weeks. Our website is secure and all your information is safe; no one can see you’ve logged in except our counsellor team. Some people prefer this option because they don't want to meet someone face-to-face, or prefer to write their feelings down. Some people prefer to be at home where they feel more comfortable, or some people find travelling to weekly sessions difficult.

+ Groupwork (e.g. for low mood or anxiety)

Some people find that working in a small group of other people experiencing similar feelings, led by a therapist, can be really helpful, and can even build new friendships after the therapy finishes. We have groups depending on what our young people need, for example a group for people experiencing anxiety or low mood.

+ Canine-assisted therapy: with a dog (age 10+)

Like counselling, but with a dog in the room! This can help if you feel anxious about counselling or struggle to talk about how you are feeling because, like other animals, dogs are accepting, comforting and non-judgmental. You would be able to interact with the dog and discuss the experience with your therapist, to help you gain insights in to your feelings more generally.

+ Dramatherapy

You would have the opportunity to explore difficult and painful life experiences using theatre/drama with your therapist, perhaps using stories, myths, puppetry, masks or improvisation.

+ Play therapy (age 4-12)

You would use therapeutic play, along with your therapist, to learn to express yourself in healthier ways, become more respectful and empathetic, and discover new and more positive ways to solve problems.

+ Mind the Gap: community support (age 11+)

If you are struggling to find the right support, our Mind the Gap workers can come to your home and work with you and your family, your school and other services to help you get the help you need.

+ Emotional wellbeing support (age 11+)

General advice and support about whatever is bothering you, and techniques you could learn and use to cope better with life’s problems.


Please note: if you are aged between 18 and 25 (or older), you will need to complete a referral form for the Adult Wellbeing Service.