Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service

The Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) is provided by North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT). The free service provides both preventative resources and targeted, specialist emotional wellbeing and mental health support for young people aged between 0-18, living in Southend, Essex or Thurrock. EWMHS is also available to anybody with Special Educational Needs (SEN) up to the age of 25. 

The type of support offered by the EWMHS will vary depending on the needs of the young person; the service offers a number of preventative and immediate digital support options including downloadable worksheets and resources aimed at promoting self-help and resilience. 

NELFT also work in partnership with organisations including Big White Wall, where young people aged 16-18, their family and teachers can access support, and My Mind​ which offers digital resources via a website and app. 

Big White Wall

Big White Wall is a free, anonymous, online resource for young people aged 16-18 (as well as 16-25 year-olds with Special Educational Needs) living in Southend Essex or Thurrock. Commissioned by NELFT, it provides young people who are feeling down, anxious, angry or stressed and who may benefit from a little extra support, a safe community to talk about their feelings and share their experiences with others who feel the same. There is a library of resources to help young people understand how they are feeling and trained counsellors, called Wall Guides, online 24/7 to keep the service safe – visit the Big White Wall website for more information.


Kooth, the new online counselling service for young people in Essex is a free, confidential, safe and anonymous way for young people aged 11-26th birthday to ask for help from a team of highly qualified and experienced counsellors and support workers.

KOOTH service includes:

• drop in chats with counsellors;

• booked 1:1 chats with a counsellor;

• themed message forums;

• secure web-based email;

• articles regarding mental health.

Targeted and specialist support is available for young people whose needs suggest they require a more in-depth, time-specific period of intervention. Please read the EWMHS booklet which contains more information, including the types of issues the service can help with and the support available. The booklet also contains information about how to refer to these specialist services and contact information for young people, parents, guardians, care givers, responsible adults and other professionals. If you have any questions about the EWMHS, please email Clare Hardy, Head of Commissioning (People) at Essex County Council.

Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Information Portal for Schools

The Information portal is designed to support schools in finding online material and content in supporting children and young people in educational settings.

Access the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Information Portal for Schools

Promoting Positive Emotional Wellbeing and Reducing the Risk of Suicide (April 2018) -  This toolkit has been produced to support schools in promoting positive emotional well-being and mental health, but also to offer advice and guidance should they experience a death in their community due to suicide.  However, it may be used by any professional working with children and young people as a source of information and support.  In addition, the advice contained within it to support pupils will be relevant to a range of issues. Appendices to support this guidance pack (editable word document).

Social Care and Assessment Team

For some people, mental health issues can see their lives ‘spiral’ but what if you could introduce specialist support when things first start to go wrong and help support recovery before homelessness, a job loss or a family break-up occurs?

Essex County Council’s Mental Health Social Care and Assessment team offers early intervention, prevention and recovery to tackle issues before they become overwhelming.

The team, which includes social workers specialising in mental health, will accept referrals from young people with a mental health condition aged 18 and over. It aims to help people use their own skills and resources to achieve their goals, addressing a range of issues relating to their mental health including employment and housing. This includes signposting to resources within the wider community and working closely with statutory services, voluntary, and charitable organisations to promote residents’ wellbeing. 

To make a referral:

Call: 03330 322958 (9am-5pm Monday – Thursday, 9am-4.30pm – Friday).

The team will accept referrals for people aged 18 and above within the boundaries of Essex County Council, where a social care assessment is required in response to their mental health condition.

Who can make a referral?

  •      Professionals who work or volunteer with young people aged 18 and above
  •      Young people aged 18 and above can also refer themselves directly

Please note, that for all referrals, the mental health condition must be the primary need.


VIDEO #SpotTheSigns from Papyrus-Uk - How do we know if someone is thinking about suicide? We cannot be certain without asking directly. There are often ‘signs’ we can look out for which indicate someone could be considering ending their life and it’s time to ask.

VIDEO #BedtimeStories from Papyrus- Uk - Online bullying is a contributing factor for many young people having thoughts of suicide. Over 200 schoolchildren die by suicide every year in the UK.

The Parents Say toolkit - NHS England and YoungMinds have produced this toolkit to improve the participation of parents and carers in mental health services for children and young people (CYP). Comprises videos, plus downloadable guides for commissioners and 14 case studies.

Guide for parents - The Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford has published this guide for parents on coping with their child's self-harm which is based on their in-depth research with parents.

The Mental Capacity Act in Practice: Part 1 - tri.x briefing to help professionals develop and increase understanding of the Act in regard to assessing capacity and making decisions.