Best For You


Mental health support for young people in Brent

Lots of different services and organisations in Brent offer support for young people. This page contains information about all of the different ways to get support.

 

If you need urgent help, for example because you’re in crisis:

Two young people, one wearing a beanie and one with shoulder-length hair. Text reads ‘It’s OK to say that you’re not OK’. One of the people has a skateboard, the other has lines around their head with the words ‘anxious’ and ‘sad’.

 

How to use this page

 

This page has a lot of information about different ways to access mental health support. It is split into different sections:

 

Accessing NHS mental health support 

For information about NHS mental health services in Brent.

 

Other mental health support

For information about non-NHS organisations who offer free mental health support for young people in Brent.

 

Support for specific things

For organisations that are experts at supporting young people in specific things, for example, supporting young people who have experienced bereavements or who are LGBTQ+ or seeking asylum.

 

Youth groups and other activities

Because we know that spending time with other people doing things you enjoy is good for your mental health.

 

Accessing NHS mental health support

 

You can make an appointment with your GP to talk about mental health. GP stands for ‘general practitioner’ – they’re doctors who have done extra training to be able to treat common medical conditions and refer people to other services for more specialist treatment or support. You can find out more about GPs (and how to register with one) on the NHS website.

 

Your GP can refer you to Brent CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

 

Brent CAMHS will see you for a 30 minute appointment (you’ll probably have to wait for this appointment). In the 30 minute appointment, one or two people from CAMHS will talk to you about your mental health and wellbeing to find out whether CAMHS is the best service to help you. If CAMHS isn’t the right service for you, they will tell you about other ways you can get support.

 

As well as the Core CAMHS Team, you might be able to see people from:

Your school

Some schools in Brent have Children’s Wellbeing practitioners and Educational Mental Health Practitioners who can support young people with their mental health.

The Brent Wellbeing and Emotional Support Team (WEST)

This service is for children and young people aged from 4 to 18 years old (or up to 25 years old if they have special educational needs or are disabled). It offers evidence-based support in schools for children and young people who are experiencing mild to moderate difficulties including anxiety, low mood, and behavioural difficulties.

To access this service a young person needs to live in Brent, go to school or college in Brent, and be registered with a GP in Brent. Schools and GPs can refer young people to this service and families can also self-refer.

You can find out more about Brent WEST (including how to refer yourself) on the Brent council website.

The Central and North West London Community Eating Disorder Service for Children and Young People

This service is for young people aged 17 or under who have an eating disorder (or who think they might have an eating disorder). Your GP can refer you to this service; you can also self-refer by calling them. You can find out more on the CNWL website.

The Brent Emotional Wellbeing Service

This service is for children and young people who are disabled, are looked after, or who are leaving care. Your GP can refer you to this service; you can also self-refer by emailing the service. You can find out more on the CNWL website.

The Brent Early Intervention Service

This service is for people between the ages of 14 and 35 who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Your GP needs to refer you to this service. You can find out more on the CNWL website.

 

Other mental health support

 

Counselling at The Mix (UK wide service)

The Mix offers up to eight sessions of free phone or online counselling to young people living in the UK who are aged 25 and under. You can get in touch yourself using a form on their website. Find out more about counselling at The Mix on their website.

Therapy or Sport & Thought at Brent Centre for Young People

Brent Centre for Young People offers individual, group, and family therapy for young people in Brent* who are aged between 14 and 21. They can support young people with different things, including emotional and mental health difficulties (including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self harm, and low self-esteem) as well as young people who have had difficult life experiences (such as bullying, difficulties at school, and abuse).

Brent Centre for Young People also run ‘Sport & Thought’, which combines football coaching and group therapy, and the ‘Irish Project’, which provides specific support for young Irish people.

Usually, your GP needs to refer you to Brent Centre for Young People – you can’t refer yourself. If you go to one of the schools Brent Centre for Young People works in, a member of staff at school can refer you; if you’re attending the Brent Youth Offending Service, a member of staff there can refer you.

Find out more about Brent Centre for Young People on their website.

* Sometimes people from other boroughs will be able to access Brent Centre for Young People.

One to one sessions, group workshops, and information at ELEV8 Brent (run by WDP)

ELEV8 support young people aged between 10 and 25 who live or go to school or college in Brent. They support people who are struggling with their mental health; they also support people who want help with their drug and/or alcohol use. You don’t need a diagnosis to access support from ELEV8.

They offer a range of support, including one to one weekly keywork sessions, group workshops focusing on mental health and wellbeing, sexual health advice and information, and drug and alcohol support. They also introduce people to other support services and helpful activities and support families and professionals.

You don’t need anyone to refer you to ELEV8 Brent. You can get in touch with them yourself by calling or emailing them. Find out more about ELEV8 Brent on their website.

Mentoring at the Julian Campbell Foundation

The Julian Campbell Foundation offers a mentoring programme for young people aged between 11 and 25 who are struggling to manage their mood or need some extra support to deal with emotional or stressful situations. You don’t need a diagnosis to be part of the mentoring programme. You can get in touch yourself by emailing them.

Find out more about the Julian Campbell Foundation on their website.

Creative therapy, gardening, mentoring, or coaching at Bang

Bang have different projects that young people aged up to 25 can try. You can get in touch with Bang yourself through a form on their website; if you are under 14 a parent or guardian needs to complete the form with you.

Their projects include:

  • Create Change, a creative therapy service. It matches young people with a qualified therapy for one to one or group sessions.
  • Grow, a project that teaches young people about growing their own food in an urban environment.
  • BANG Evolution (BE), a mentoring and coaching programme for young people aged between 8 and 18. Mentors help young people explore careers and set goals; coaches help young people improve their day to day life.
  • YOUTH VOICE, where young people design, develop, and deliver youth activities across Brent.

Find out more about Bang on their website.

Support, mentoring, coaching, and training at Mind in Brent, Wandsworth, and Westminster

Mind offer a diverse programme of support, mentoring and coaching, training, and activities for young people who need support to develop and maintain positive mental health and wellbeing.

They offer support to young people aged up to 18 who go to a school they work with. There is a list of schools they work with on their referral forms.

The support they offer might not be suitable for all young people, including young people with an existing mental health diagnosis. They explain who’s included in this group on their referral form.

Most of the support they offer for children who are at primary school is delivered by working with parents and carers (with some contact with children), rather than working directly with the child.

You can get in touch with them yourself by filing out a form on their website.

Find out more about Mind in Brent, Wandsworth, and Westminster on their website.

Creative arts through Arts for Life Project

Arts For Life Project is based on the Harrow and Hillingdon border, but accepts referrals from throughout London and surrounding areas.

Arts for Life Project offer one-to-one, person-centred therapeutic support for young people aged between 6 and 25. Anyone aged 16 and above can refer a young person through an online form.

Creative Crew is a weekly project for young people aged 6 and above who love the arts and are able to engage in a group setting. It allows young people to engage with the therapeutic power of the arts within a group. Through fun, relaxed activities, young people develop emotional intelligence and strengthen mental health. Anyone aged 16 and above can refer a young person through an online form.

Skills For Life is a course-based programme that helps young people aged 6 to 25 develop essential life skills, including technical, physical, wellbeing, and communication skills. Young people are put into suitable groups for the programme. Anyone aged 16 and above can refer a young person through an online form.

Together Thrive uses three different types of support to help young people aged 8 and above with complex challenges (including mental health concerns) progress back into society. It includes support at home, clinical therapeutic support, and mentor support. Young people aged 14 and above can refer themselves through the online form; parents and professionals can also refer through the same form.

The project also has programmes for parents and carers.

Find out more about Arts For Life Project on their website.

Befriending through Family Friends UK

Family Friends UK offer a service called Big Buddies. A volunteer befriender supports a young people aged between 10 and 18 for a few hours each week (or fortnight) for around three to six months.

Young people have an equal voice in deciding how they want to spend this time. Some young people choose to try fun activities (such as sport or museum trips), get help with homework, get help with applications, or try new things.

Family Friends UK also offer family befriending, where a volunteer provides whole family support to a family experiencing multiple hardships. They aim to help families discover their strengths, build confidence, and resolve difficulties.

Find out more about volunteer befriending and how to access this service on the Family Friends UK website.

 

Support for specific things

 

ADHD and autism

Centre for ADHD & Autism Support (for young people diagnosed with ADHD or autism)

Young people aged between 11 (in high school) and 25 with a diagnosis of ADHD or autism can access individual support in person, or over email, phone, or webchat. Counselling is also available if the young person meets the referral criteria.

Girls Group is for young women aged between 11 (in high school) and 16 with a diagnosis of ADHD or autism can access this group, which has discussion groups and creative activities to help girls understand their diagnosis and learn strategies to help them manage. 

WhyTry is a 10-week CBT-based course that supports young people in areas such as peer pressure, self-esteem, and understanding decisions and consequences. CALMS is a 6-week programme that helps young people explore their differences and learn to see the positives in an autism or ADHD diagnosis.

There is also a Creative Club, Young Persons Film Club, and Lego Therapy, as well as support for siblings and parents.

You can find out more and contact the Centre for ADHD & Autism Support about services through their website.

Brent Outreach Autism Team (for autistic young people in mainstream schools)

BOAT supports mainstream settings in their work with autistic young people up to the age of 19. It sometimes supports children out of borough if they have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Any professional working with the child or young person can refer them by downloading a form from the website. Parents cannot make referrals.

Find out more about Brent Outreach Autism Team on their website.

Bereavement

Grief Encounter (bereavement)

Grief Encounter offer up to 30 one to one weekly counselling sessions. The sessions can be at school, online, or at their centre in North London (NW7). They do not accept referrals for grandparent-related bereavement(s) unless the grandparent who died was a primary caregiver. You can get in touch about counselling yourself through an online form.

They also offer workshops, a residential retreat, fun days, and a choir. You can contact them about these by email.

Grief Encounter have a confidential phone helpline and online chat that is open from 9am to 9pm on weekdays.

Find out more about Grief Encounter on their website.

Winston’s Wish (bereavement – UK wide service)

Winston’s Wish offer one-off or ongoing advice, guidance, and bereavement support for young people up to the age of 25 (and their families). They have a helpline, which is open between 9am and 5pm on weekdays.

They also have online peer support groups (for young people aged between 7 and 12, for young people aged between 13 and 17, and for young people aged between 18 and 25, as well as for parents and carers), which are overseen by Bereavement Support Practitioners. They’re informal; young people can just go to one or keep going every month. You can get in touch and book a space on these yourself through the Winston’s Wish website.

Winston’s Wish also run drop-in sessions that give families and professionals the chance to to find out more about their services. These were suspended due to COVID but are beginning to restart. You can find details on the Winston’s Wish website.

Bullying

Zap through Kidscape (for young people aged 9 to 16 who have experienced bullying)
ZAP is a free workshop for children and young people aged between 9 and 16 who have been affected by bullying. ZAP aims to boost confidence and self-esteem and give young people assertiveness skills.  
 
The workshops are currently taking place online. A young person’s parent or carer needs to attend with them; there is a separate workshop for parents and carers. 
 

Criminal exploitation and county lines

St Giles Trust (for young people who are criminally exploited; have families in need of support with poverty, housing, gang involvement, or substance misuse; or have a parent in prison – UK wide service)

St Giles Trust offer community-based support for young people who are involved in gangs, serious violence, and offending. They also have services for children who have a parent in prison, for families affected by gangs, and for families experiencing poverty.

You can get in touch yourself by filling out a form on the St Giles Trust website.

Rescue and Response (for young people involved in or affected by county line activity)

Rescue and Response is delivered in partnership between four organisations and is funded across London by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

It involves one to one support, specialist support for young women, and family and housing support. The service includes a structured programme around topics like healthy relationships, violence against women and girls, identity and equality, trama, and safety planning. Professionals can refer through an online form.

Find out more about Rescue and Response on the Abianda website.

Young Women’s Service at Womens and Girls Network (for young women* who have experienced or are at risk of gendered violence)

This service is for young women aged between 11 and 18 (up to 21 for care leavers) who have experienced (or are at risk of) any form of gendered violence, including domestic violence, sexual violence, child sexual exploitation, gang associated violence, forced marriage, and so on.

The service welcomes trans and intersex young women. It also welcomes non-binary young people who feel the service would best meet their needs and experiences.

They offer advocacy, group work, and counselling.

Find out more about Women and Girls Network.

Only Connect (for people who have been released from prison)

Only Connect offer keyword support to people who are released from prison to help make the transition of leaving prison as smooth as possible. They support people with things like employment, housing, and opportunities to help them remain crime-free.

Find out more about Only Connect.

London Gang Exit (for young people who are affected, associated, or affiliated with gang related issues or serious youth violence)

This service is designed to complement existing local services and fill gaps in provision. It provides traditional one-to-one, confidential support to young people aged between 16 and 24 who are associated with or involved in gangs and are at significant risk of harm from gang activity, or pose risk to themselves or others. They consider referrals outside the age range on a case-by-case basis. 

LGE empowers young people to move away from gang lifestyles. Young people must be motivated to end their gang involvement and willing to work with the service. 

Young people can refer themselves. Family members, carers, friends, and other organisations can also refer young people. 

Find out more about London Gang Exit.

Gambling

GamCare Young People’s Service (gambling – UK wide service)

GamCare’s Young People’s Service can support anyone in the UK aged 18 and under. They can support people who are experiencing harm (or at risk of experiencing harm) because of gambling – this includes young people who are gambling themselves and young people who are affected by someone else’s gambling.

They provide information, advice, and guidance; self-help tools; and interventions. You can get in touch yourself by phone, email, or the form on their website.

Find out more on the GamCare website.

LGBTQ+

Mosaic LGBT+ young persons’ trust (for people who are LGBTQ+)

Mosaic run a weekly youth club for LGBTQ+ people aged 18 and under. Part of this is a Culture Club, with discounted or free trips that give young people the chance to explore their identity or learn about LGBT+ culture. They also offer retreats.

Young people can talk to mentors: older LGBT+ people with similar lived experiences. Mentoring helps you to better manage practical issues (like relationships, family, or school). You do not have to be part of Youth Club to speak to a mentor, and you do not need permission from a parent or carer.

Mosaic also offer online counselling with counsellors who identify as LGBT+. Counselling helps you understand your emotions and experiences, and teaches you about tools and strategies that can help you manage.

You can get in touch yourself through a form on their website, or you can contact them by email or phone. Mosaic make sure that financial difficulties never block access to their services.

Find out more on their website.

The Proud Trust (for people who are LGBTQ+ – UK wide service)

The Proud Trust is based in Manchester but has an online web chat. You can also use their website to find your nearest LGBT+ Youth Group.

Find out more on the Proud Trust website.

Migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers

Paiwand (for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers)

Paiwand provides social opportunities and sports activities for young people. They understand that it can be tricky to arrive in the UK.

Paiwand also offers mentoring for refugees and asylum seekers aged between 11 and 18. They help young people to learn, find work, and make friends in the local area while improving their mental health and learning skills.

Paiwand offers culturally sensitive counselling, including talking therapies in Dari, Farsi, Pashtu, and English. Right now (May 2022), referrals are only open for young people aged between 12 and 25 who have a refugee background and live, work, or study in Harrow. You can self-refer or someone else can refer you.

Find out more about Paiwand’s services and refer yourself on their website. 

Young Roots (for refugees and asylum seekers)

Young Roots supports refugees and asylum seekers in Brent* who are aged between 11 and 25.  They have some groups for young women only to provide a safe space for those who feel less comfortable accessing mixed-gender activities.

They run an advice and support hub with youth and sporting activities alongside one to one casework support, access to legal advice, and access to counselling. They also offer support with English language skills and trips for young refugees.

You can get in touch yourself through a form on their website. You can also email or phone them. Find out more about Young Roots on their website.

* and neighbouring boroughs

SAAFI (for people and communities where English is not their first language)

SAAFI stands for Somali Advice and Forum for Information. It’s a community-based organised led by British-Somali mums to help each other and their children for positive integration. They have extended their services for all communities for whom English is not their first language.

Find out more on the SAAFI website.

Freedom From Torture (for survivors of torture – UK wide service)

Freedom From Torture offers trauma-focused therapy to help with the effects of trauma, including complex trauma, depression, and other mental health needs. They also offer further services, including creative group activities, social groups, and physical therapy to help survivors rebuild their lives. They offer practical advice for survivors who are seeking asylum.

You can get in touch yourself by filling out a form on the Freedom from Torture website.

Sexual health

North West London Sexual Health and Contraception Services

This NHS service provides testing for STIs, post-exposure prophylaxis against HIV (PEP), pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV (PrEP), pregnancy testing, contraception, emergency contraception, and HIV care.

Find out more about sexual health and contraception services (including the hospital-based service at Central Middlesex Hospital) on their website.

Substance misuse

St Giles Trust (for young people who are criminally exploited; have families in need of support with poverty, housing, gang involvement, or substance misuse; or have a parent in prison – UK wide service)

St Giles Trust offer community-based support for young people who are involved in gangs, serious violence, and offending. They also have services for children who have a parent in prison, for families affected by gangs, and for families experiencing poverty.

You can get in touch yourself by filling out a form on the St Giles Trust website.

Violence and abuse

Young Women’s Service at Womens and Girls Network (for young women* who have experienced or are at risk of gendered violence)

This service is for young women aged between 11 and 18 (up to 21 for care leavers) who have experienced (or are at risk of) any form of gendered violence, including domestic violence, sexual violence, child sexual exploitation, gang associated violence, forced marriage, and so on.

The service welcomes trans and intersex young women. It also welcomes non-binary young people who feel the service would best meet their needs and experiences.

They offer advocacy, group work, and counselling.

Find out more about Women and Girls Network.

CouRAGEus Project (for Black and Minoritised young women* who have experienced (or are at risk of) any form of gendered violence)

This project offers specialist advocacy support and counselling for Black and Minoritised young women* who have experienced (or are at risk of) any form of gendered violence, including domestic violence, sexual violence, child sexual exploitation, gang associated violence, forced marriage, and so on.

* This is defined as including BME, LGBT+ and Disabled young women. They welcome trans and intersex young women. They also welcome non-binary young people who feel the service would best meet their needs and experiences.

Find out more about CouRAGEus.

Solace Children’s Creative Therapies (for young people affected by domestic or sexual violence)

This service offers therapy for young people aged 4 and above. Therapists work with young people with art making, play, drama, and talking as appropriate to help the young person better understand their feelings and improve their self-esteem.

Young people must be living in a safe and stable enough environment – the perpetrator can no longer be living with the family (or in a relationship with the mother or carer) and any contact must be deemed to be safe. 

There is a waiting list for referrals. 

Find out more about Solace Children’s Creative Therapies.

Young carers

Brent Gateway Partnership (for young carers)

Brent Gateway run activities and trips for young carers, create opportunities to network, provide support, and champion young carers’ rights. They also complete Early Help Assessments (EHAs). The young person who is a carer or the person they care for must live in Brent.

You can get in touch by phone or email. There is also a referral form on the Brent Gateway Partnership website.

Brent Carers Centre (for young carers)

Brent Carers Centre provides information and advice. They can tell you about other services available in Brent and make referrals to other specialist services (such as legal or housing support).

You can get in touch yourself through email or phone. Find out more on the Brent Carers Centre website.

Honeypot (for young carers aged 5 to 12 – UK wide service)

Honeypot offer a range of services to support young carers aged between 5 and 12, including respite breaks for children, social and emotional active learning breaks, online workshops, face-to-face workshops, and financial support through a wellbeing fund. 

Find out more on the Honeypot website.

Other

St Giles Trust (for young people who are criminally exploited; have families in need of support with poverty, housing, gang involvement, or substance misuse; or have a parent in prison – UK wide service)

St Giles Trust offer community-based support for young people who are involved in gangs, serious violence, and offending. They also have services for children who have a parent in prison, for families affected by gangs, and for families experiencing poverty.

You can get in touch yourself by filling out a form on the St Giles Trust website.

Freedom From Torture (for survivors of torture – UK wide service)

Freedom From Torture offers trauma-focused therapy to help with the effects of trauma, including complex trauma, depression, and other mental health needs. They also offer further services, including creative group activities, social groups, and physical therapy to help survivors rebuild their lives. They offer practical advice for survivors who are seeking asylum.

You can get in touch yourself by filling out a form on the Freedom from Torture website.

A phone charging on the floor. It’s pastel-coloured screensaver says ‘You won’t feel like this forever’. A notebook next to the phone says ‘Best For You’ on the cover.

 

Youth groups and other activities

 

Ansar Youth Project (AYP) – youth club

AYP has a daily youth club for young people aged between 10 and 17.

They also run workshops that are designed to help young people – as a reward for workshops, young people get to go on trips. AYP also run some projects that are invite-only.

Find out more about Ansar Youth Project on their Instagram.

Brent youth zone – website with signposting

Brent youth zone is a website run by Brent Council. It has information about different activities in Brent, including sports, theatre, cadets, Scouts and Guides, music, libraries, youth clubs, cooking, and more. It also has information about work and learning, as well as information about services that can help with things like housing and money.

Find out more about Brent youth zone on their website.

Brent Connexions / Prospects – careers and training

If you live in Brent and are aged between 16 and 19 (or aged between 16 and 24 and have a learning difficulty and or disability) you can speak to a Careers Adviser about education, employment, apprenticeships, and training opportunities. You can book an appointment by phone or email.

Find out more about Brent Connexsio on their website.

Unique Community (Brent Youth Theatre) – community arts projects

Unique Community run community arts projects. Their main project is Brent Youth Theatre, an inclusive performing arts programme. They meet at different times to act, write scripts, and make music.

You need to apply for a place at Brent Youth Theatre – there’s an online form on the Brent Youth Theatre website.

Youth Voice through Family Friends UK

Youth Voice is a monthly session for young people aged between 9 and 18. The sessions give young people the chance to meet with each other and try different activities.

Find out more and sign up on the Family Friends UK website.

A comic titled ‘bottling up your feelings isn’t good for you’. Panel one: one bottle asks another if they’re alright – the bottle says ‘well... no’. The first bottle is thinking ‘I’m so worried about them’ and the second bottle is thinking ‘I could try and open up about how I feel...’. In the final panel, both bottles have open lids – they’re smiling and there’s confetti and stars around them.