Local Offer - Mental Health and Wellbeing

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing is just as important as looking after your physical health. There is lots of support available to help you and your family in our city.

Supporting children and young people to have good emotional wellbeing and mental health is just as important as helping them to reamin physically fit and well.

There are several services in Doncaster that are committed to supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing. The Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy sets out Doncaster's ambition to support the mental health and wellbeing needs of all children and young people in our area.

Social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs are one of the broad areas of need described in the SEND Code of Practice. If children and young people are having difficulties in school this might require additional support.

What are the signs of mental health issues?

Sometimes it can be difficult to know if your child is struggling with their mental health and wellbeing. Unlike physical health, the signs that something could be wrong aren't always visible and for many people, talking about their mental health can be difficult. If you notice that your child seems worried or anxious, or their mood or behaviours have changed, then it's a good idea to broach the topic of mental health.

Some people who struggle with their mental health can employ unhealthy coping mechanisms such as risk taking behaviour or self-harm. If you require support for your child in a crisis, contact the Children and Young People’s Crisis Team. If a child is in immediate danger or requires serious or life-threatening immediate emergency mental or physical health assistance, call 999 or visit your nearest Accident or Emergency department. 

Emotionally based school avoidance (EBSA)

Emotionally based school avoidance is a term used to describe children and young people, who for a range of reasons including mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, have a reluctance to attend school. This results in irregular attendance and poorer educational outcomes due to missing a large amount of time in school. 

You can find out more about EBSA in this resource by Anna Freud.

How can I support my child at home?

If you're worried about your child's mental health and wellbeing then it's important to get them the support that they need. You can support your child by:

  • Providing a safe space for them to talk
  • Helping them to engage with services
  • Encouraging them to do things that they enjoy
  • Consistently being there for them
  • Taking their concerns seriously.

If you have a younger child, aged 3-11 years, then you can take a look at the practical support and ideas on the supporting your child's mental health webpage.

What services may support my child?

Your child or young person may be supported by some of these services. We've separated these into universal and specialist services.

  • A universal service can be accessed by anyone who needs support; a referral is not needed to access these services but they may need to refer your child to a specialist service.
  • A specialist service requires a referral to be accessed - the referral may need to be made by a professional or the service may accept self-referrals. The services usually have an area of expertise.

Universal Services

Zone 5-19

Zone 5 to 19, previously known as the School Nursing Service, work with schools, other education providers and partners within the local community, to protect, support and promote the health and wellbeing of children and young people of school age, and those who care for them.

School nurses can assess the mental and emotional health needs of children and young people and provide advice and refer to specialist services as required. They also promote confidence, self-esteem and mental health well-being in children and young people.

School nurses offer health advice and support, either at home, school or in a place of your choice. In addition to in person support, they also offer a virtual e-clinic for young people aged 11 years+ and a ParentPlus e-clinic so parents/carers can contact the service too.


Kooth is an online mental health and wellbeing service available in Doncaster for young people, aged 11-25 years. It provides a safe, confidential and anonymous way for young people to access emotional wellbeing and early intervention mental health support.

Kooth can support you with whatever you're struggling with, big or small:
  • Sadness and low mood
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Problems at home, with friends or at school
  • Eating difficulties or body image concerns

The service is free and you don't need a referral to access it. Signing up and getting started only takes a few minutes.

By signing up, you can access support from:
  • Online chats with a member of their team
  • A supportive online community of young people
  • Helpful activities, goal setting tools and journalling
  • Helpful advice and information from Kooth's team.

Doncaster Mind

Doncaster Mind is an independent local charity, providing high quality mental health services in Doncaster and its surrounding area. They work with adults who may be struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, and also offer a service to young people aged 16-25 years.

Support for Young People

Doncaster Mind’s Young People’s Service provides support for young people who are finding it difficult to deal with negative emotions and any potential barriers in their lives. The service can support young people to explore different tools and life skills to help them to maintain good mental health and discuss issues that are particularly important to them.

Support for Adults

Adults can access a range of services from mentoring, counselling and befriending as well as group support – guided learning, peer support and wellbeing groups.

Donny Dot

Donny Dot is a mental health and wellbeing resource for people in Doncaster. You can find a wide range of information and support on the website.

Wellbeing Service

The Wellbeing Service is available to support adults, aged 18 or over, who might need extra help or support to stay healthy and independent. The service can support with a range of low-level mental health concerns including anxiety, depression, or other associated mental health concerns.

The service can also provide you with guidance on how to access support.

Specialist Services

Open Minds Counselling

Open Minds offers Counselling and/or Art Therapy to children/young people (8+) and adults. The service is free to access and also offers a paid for service for adults and families who wish to use it.

We offer 10 sessions initially, but you may find that you do not need all of these. If you find that 10 sessions is not enough your counsellor will discuss this with you and request an extension. Counselling is not intended to last forever but we understand that some difficulties and distress take a long time to explore, understand and overcome. You can come for as long as the counselling is therapeutically useful.

You will see the same counsellor every session unless you request someone else.
  • We have both male and female counsellors available.
  • We have ground floor counselling rooms available
  • We open both inside and outside school and work hours.
  • Day-time and evening and weekend appointments are available
  • All of our counsellors primarily speak English but we do have one counsellor who is fluent in British Sign language.
  • Each session lasts 50 minutes.
You can access the service by making a self-referral using the online forms on the website..

With Me in Mind

The With Me in Mind programme aims to reduce waiting lists for mental health support and improve the overall wellbeing of children and young people experiencing various mental health issues. Children and young people can access mental health support from workers who are based in and near schools and colleges around Doncaster.

As well as offering specialist 1:1 support, children, young people and their families can access a range of resources on the With Me in Mind website. 

Who can refer into the service?

Your child's school can make a referral to the With Me in Mind service. Speak to your child's school if you think your child would benefit from support from the service. 

Children and Young People's Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

The Children and Young People's Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is provided by Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber (RDaSH) NHS Foundation Trust. CAMHS help children and young people (up to age 18) in the local area who may be having problems with their emotional health and well-being.

The Doncaster CAMHS teams is made up of several different professions and the staff are highly trained in a range of different assessment techniques and evidence based therapies. They also offer consultation and guidance to other people who may work with your child, including education staff, school nurses, early help workers, etc. in order for them to be able to support your child more effectively. Together with other agencies, we offer services and support tailored to the needs of your child, young person and family.

Who can refer into the service?

A referral can be made by a young person, parent/carer, any professional known to or working with the young person (with consent from young person and family).

If you are worried about the emotional wellbeing and mental health of your child, you may want to talk to your child’s teacher or school mental health champion, school nurse, GP, or their social worker (if they have one); you can also contact the CAMHS team directly through the Early Help Hub (01302 734110). If it is thought that your child might need some extra help from CAMHS they will arrange for this directly on behalf of your family.

More information

Doncaster CAMHS also responds to emergency and urgent referrals by way of immediate assessment due to the severity of presentation associated with a young person being at risk to themselves or others. This includes:

  • Young people who are actively suicidal
  • Presentation of an eating disorder
  • Those severely depressed and/or in need of crisis assessment and/or intensive treatment or in-patient admission
  • Deliberate self-harm and presentations are seen at accident and emergency
  • Symptoms of psychosis causing distress and requiring urgent intervention

Community Eating Disorder Service

The Community Eating Disorder Service (CEDS) offers support to children, young people and their families who are experiencing moderate to severe eating disorders. The service provides community treatment in accordance with the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for children and young people up to the age of 19 with a clinical diagnosis of an eating disorder.

Who can refer into the service?

The Community Eating Disorders Service accepts referrals from professionals, as well as self-referrals. To make a referral, please contact the CEDS on 01302 566980.

View the Community Eating Disorder Service leaflet to find out more about the service.

NHS Doncaster Talking Therapies (previously Doncaster IAPT)

NHS Doncaster Talking Therapies, previously known as Doncaster IAPT, provides talking therapies to adults who are experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress.

The Doncaster team is made up of psychological wellbeing practitioners, cognitive behavioural therapists and counsellors. The team can offer a range of different talking therapies to support you in managing your mental health and improving your wellbeing.

Doncaster also offers a long term conditions (LTC) service which offers support for adults diagnosed with long term health conditions and who are experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety and/or stress.

Who can refer into the service?

Adults can self-refer to our service via our self-referral form or by contacting us on 03000 211556. You must be registered to a Doncaster GP surgery to access this service.

Once you have made your referral, you will then be contacted by our team. Please note, this is not a walk in service.

More Information

You may also find the following pages helpful:


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Last updated: 19 June 2024 12:00:31


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City of Doncaster Council’s Families Information Service is responsible for co-ordinating and publishing the Local Offer – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

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