Mental health and wellbeing

Providing high quality mental health services is important to us, and our priority is to improve access to local mental health services.

For children and young people, in 2016-17, we introduced a number of schemes aimed at reducing stigma and supporting schools to recognise early signs of mental health issues. These pilots paved the way for the countywide Good Mental Health campaign to raise awareness of issues around mental health and wellbeing in people aged 25 and under, and increase understanding among parents. This campaign is continuing into 2018.

We have commissioned the Mind and Body Programme which has been working in schools and the community across all Kent since April 2016 for children at risk/actively self-harm. Young people identified as benefitting from the programme attend a combination of one-to-one assessments and interviews and therapeutic group work sessions. The Mind and Body programme outcomes demonstrate that 81% of the young people seen experienced a decrease over time in self-harm thoughts or did not think about self-harm at all whilst they engaged in the programme; 91% of the young people experienced a decrease over time in self-harm actions or did not engage in taking action at all whilst they engaged in the programme; 73% of young people experienced an increase in mental wellbeing.


A Family Practitioner works with parents and carers around self-harm and how best to support young people and their mental health.

We completed a review of the support we offer for people with eating disorders and undertook a procurement process for an all-age dedicated eating disorder team, which started in September 2017.

In 2016, we were pleased with the success of the suicide prevention behaviour change campaign called Release the Pressure. This was delivered across Kent and consisted of radio and internet advertising, as well as posters in service station toilets, pubs and on buses, encouraging those who are feeling under pressure to call a 24/7 helpline.

West Kent Mind has been commissioned to deliver free suicide and prevention awareness training across the county to anyone who lives or works in Kent.

We are committed to working with colleagues across the county to deliver against our Kent and Medway Suicide Prevention Strategy for adults and children, working closely with the two local authorities, public health, CCG colleagues, British Transport Police, Kent Police, GPs, Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership (KMPT), North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT), Kent Community Health Foundation Trust (KCHFT), Mind, Kent County Council  (KCC), Porchlight, Shaw Trust, the acute trusts, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, NHS England, Samaritans and Network Rail. Partners are carrying out several pieces of work together including awareness campaigns, workforce training, research, and pilots in the community to support those at risk.

Year-on-year, the CCG allocates Children and Young People Transformation monies to pilots and projects reflecting the Kent Local Transformation Plan including those providing services to vulnerable groups of children and young people who are at risk of self-harm, depressive episodes, suicidal thoughts and committing suicide. This year, the north Kent CCGs are looking into possible projects to support LGBTQ groups and services supporting the transition between services at age 18, alongside the existing commissioned services like the Mind and Body Programme and the second phase of the Good Mental Health campaign.

The Street Triage service continues and has successfully reduced the number of detentions under the Mental Health Act Section 136. This service is commissioned for three nights a week and will continue to be monitored in 2018/19.

Mental health and wellbeing service information

The Mental Health Matters helpline (0800 107 0160) offers confidential emotional support and guidance for people in Kent and Medway 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Helpline staff are trained in counselling, so can provide support over the phone and can signpost to other support services.

Samaritans provides confidential support for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious, as well as those who may be in despair. Volunteers can be contacted 24/7 on 116 123, email  or, for face-to-face support, visit for details of your local branch.

For more information on mental health in Kent and Medway, visit the Live Well Kent website (, call Live Well Kent on 0800 567 7699 or talk to your GP.

NHS 111 is also available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. You can dial 111 on  your phone to speak to someone if you need urgent health advice but it’s not an emergency.

The Health Help Now app and website can also help to direct you to NHS services that are open near you. Search Health Help Now from your app store or visit:

Wellbeing and mental health support for Children and Young People

There is a single point of access to the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services provided by North East London Foundation Trust, delivered locally in Swale and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley. Its purpose is to provide support, advice, and guidance to individual children and young people, their parents or carers, and health and social care professionals including those who wish to refer to a service and those seeking guidance or information.

Anyone who contacts the single point of access and is not eligible for a commissioned service will be signposted to alternative support.

Telephone: 0300 123  4496

For more information about the service, please visit

Operating times

Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 8am to 12 noon

The NELFT Mental Health Direct (MHD) team provides additional support out of hours and weekends in the form of telephone advice, and triage to Crisis teams. The telephone number is 0300 555 1000.