All about NELFT's new EWMHS

From 1 November 2015, all Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) across Southend, Essex and Thurrock will be called Emotional wellbeing and mental health services (EWMHS) and will be run by NELFT. The services have the long term aim of responding earlier to children’s needs to help prevent, reduce or delay the need for more specialist interventions.

From 1 November 2015, call 0300 300 1600 to access the EWMHS during working hours 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Our priority is providing the highest standard of care to all of our service users. 

Download the EWMHS booklet here: EWMHS booklet [pdf] 168KB

Who is the EWMHS for?

NELFT’s EWMHS is for anybody aged between 0-18, living in the Southend, Essex and Thurrock areas and is free at the point of entry. The service is also for young people with special educational needs (SEN) up to the age of 25.

Any young person experiencing emotional wellbeing or mental health problems, or any parent, guardian or teacher of a child who is experiencing emotional wellbeing and mental health difficulties, may access our services. 

Services we provide

  • Preventative programs in schools, children’s centres and other local places.
  • Advice, training and support for other health and social services.
  • A range of services including parenting and family groups, short psychological treatments and mindfulness in schools. These services often use self-help and guided self-management.
  • A gradual roll out of some on-line and digital services too.
  • More in-depth psychological treatments, which are evidence based and delivered by highly skilled practitioners in specialist teams.
  • Help and support for all young people at times of crisis and if needed, offer them a hospital admission if required. This level of help is available 24/7.

And by 1 April 2016, we will aim to have all of these services in place across Southend, Essex and Thurrock.

Structure of NELFT’s EWMHS

There are;

  • Three Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPA)

  • Seven Locality teams, and

  • Two Crisis Response teams (from 1 November 2015 to 31 March 2016)

  • Three Crisis Response teams (from 1 April 2016 onwards)

Contacting our service from 1 November 2015

We’ve made it as easy as possible to contact our EWMHS. We just have one main EWMHS number to remember during working hours: 0300 300 1600. From 1 November 2015, call 0300 300 1600 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday to be put through to our three CSPAs and seven Locality teams across Southend, Essex and Thurrock.

Remember, you only need to call one new central phone number to be put through to our EWMHS during working hours:

What types of conditions and issues should be referred to the service?

  • mood and anxiety disorders
  • behavioural and conduct disorders
  • emerging personality and attachment disorders
  • eating disorders
  • psychotic disorders
  • deliberate self-harm and suicidal ideation
  • substance misuse including dual diagnosis
  • autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) with co-occurring mental health conditions
  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with co-occurring mental health conditions
  • neurodevelopmental disorders
  • prolonged bereavement problems

All referrals to the service will be assessed against these types of conditions and issues, following a “Pathways Approach” developed in relation to National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance criteria and based on a best practice model of treatment. For further information on NICE, visit

How can you access our services if you are a young person living in Southend, Essex or Thurrock?

You can access our services in two different ways:


  • By a referral to our services via your GP, or
  • By self-referral – which means calling our main EWMHS number for all of our services, and getting the help that you need straight away.

Our new single phone number: 0300 300 1600 will put you through to all of our services during working hours.

How to access our services if you are a concerned parent, care-giver, professional or a responsible adult of a young person

Parents, care givers, professionals and responsible adults can also access our services by either making an appointment to see your young person’s GP with them, or accessing our services for information by calling our central EWMHS phone number and speaking to one of our specialist emotional well-being staff.

Making a referral in to our EWMHS if you are a GP or any other professional – how does it work?

If you are a GP or any other professional, and you need to make a referral to our services, this is our referrals process:

  • For all referrals please call our new main EWMHS number (which will be live and published on these pages from 1 November 2015)
  • Referrers seeking advice will be contacted within 24 hours of the initial request
  • Referrals will be reviewed daily, screened within two working days and responded to within five working days once they have been allocated to a Locality Team
  • All referrals will be prioritised according to the presenting clinical need
  • All assessments will take place within 18 weeks, and
  • All consultant and non-consultant led treatment will start within 18 weeks of the referral being made.

Where to find our services from 1 November 2015

Basildon and Brentwood Area: Acorn House, Ground Floor, Great Oaks, Basildon, Essex SS14 1AH

Castle Point and Rochford Area: Council Offices, Kiln Road, Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex SS7 1TF

Mid Essex Area: County Hall and Duke Street Hub, Market Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1QH

North East Essex: 651 The Crescent, Colchester Business Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 9YQ

Southend Area: The Hive, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS2 6EX

Thurrock Area: South Ockendon Health Centre, Darenth Lane, Essex RM15 5LP

West Essex Area: Aylmer House, Kitson Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 1DG

Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPA) details

Southend: Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-sea, Essex SS2 6ER

Essex: Essex House, Colchester Business Park, 200 The Crescent, Colchester, Essex CO4 9YQ

Thurrock: Thurrock Council Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, Essex RM17 6SL

Engaging with young people

NELFT’s work with Big White Wall to get young people talking

NELFT’s EWMHS team works with an online company called Big White Wall (BWW) to transform mental health services through community support and digital access. BWW  is an online service for all people in psychological distress. It is provided in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and combines social networking principles with a choice of clinically informed interventions to improve mental wellbeing. It can be accessed 24/7 and has staff (Wall Guides) who ensure the full engagement, safety and anonymity of all members.

Big White Wall has created an online community of people who are experiencing common mental health problems who are then supported to self-manage their own mental health. It promotes a culture of empowerment and self-management. According to members, one of the most important elements of the service is the ability to talk freely with people experiencing similar issues, whilst remaining completely anonymous.

If you are a young person, aged between 0-18 and think that these services would be of interest, please do visit the BWW pages, where you will be able to use the online service completely anonymously and at your discretion.

Contact us

The new single phone number for all of our services is 0300 300 1600 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday to be put through to the three CSPAs and seven Locality teams across Southend, Essex and Thurrock.