Community mental health and wellbeing supports and services: framework

This framework sets out a clear broad approach for the support that children and young people should be able to access for their mental health and emotional wellbeing within their community.

Key Components

30. Every child and young person has a right to expect certain core principles applicable to their support:

  • Easily Accessible. Support should be easily and quickly accessible to anyone requesting assistance. This may include online support and a support or assessment phone service as well as face-to-face support. It must include self- referral options. Community mental health and wellbeing services should be highly visible within the whole system so that children, young people, families/carers and professionals are aware of the support pathways available.
  • Accessible to all. In line with GIRFEC, community supports and services should be equitably accessible to those with additional and complex needs, there should be targeted provision for those considered "at risk" taking account of local need and there should be conscious efforts made to reduce health inequalities. This should systematically focus across all young people with protected characteristics as well as other groups of young people where there is evidence of poor mental health outcomes. Community services should be free of stigma, judgement and discrimination.
  • Strengths based. There should be a focus on building resilience, listening and talking, not over medicalising the child or young person.
  • Relationship based. Community support should be relationship based and where possible, should be delivered or supported by people already in a child or young person's life. Those with a trusted relationship with the child or young person should be supported to support them. Services and supports should be sustainably resourced to allow for the development of relationships.
  • Prevention focused. Early intervention and prevention approaches should be prioritised. Community support should provide an early response to the first concerns or signs of distress, with prompt, proportionate and informed assessment that determines the response and assesses risk.
  • Empowered. Children, young people and their families should be at the centre, empowered to express their views regarding their needs and services, and to have these views acknowledged and recorded. Where appropriate, children, young people and families should take part in shared decision-making. All decisions made about a child or young person and family should consider the mental health impact. Children, young people and their families should be engaged in coproduction of the services and supports on a continuing basis.
  • Get the right help at the right time. Community supports and services should work closely with CAMHS and relevant health and social care partners, children's services and educational establishments to ensure that there are clear and streamlined pathways to support where that is more appropriately delivered by these services. Local partners should be clear and explicit about how these different services should work together. Relationships will be an important part of this.
  • Tell your story only once. Children and young people should be able to tell their story once and should be supported through seamless transitions. There should be "no wrong door" to support. Where support is not appropriately located within the community service, professionals should facilitate transition into the most appropriate setting.



Back to top