Mental health and emotional wellbeing services

Over the past few years, children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health services across Lancashire and South Cumbria have been redesigned and co-produced with a range of stakeholders. These stakeholders include:

  • Children and young people
  • Parents and carers 
  • NHS providers
  • Local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector providers

THRIVE framework

The redesign is in line with the THRIVE framework for system change. The THRIVE framework is an approach to delivering mental health services for children, young people and their families which is integrated, person centred, and needs-led. 

The THRIVE model identifies need in five categories with emphasis placed on prevention and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing across the whole population.

The five categories are:

  • Getting help
  • Getting more help
  • Getting risk support
  • Coping
  • Thriving

Services for children and young people should place them and their families and carers at the heart of everything they do. The aim is for children and young people in Lancashire and South Cumbria to grow up with healthy minds, feel confident and resilient and fulfil their potential. 

Procurement of children and young people’s mental health services

In September 2023, the ICB invited providers to bid for the following contracts as part of a competitive tender process:   

  1. THRIVE getting help, therapeutic one-to-one and counselling support 
  2. Peer support
  3. Parenting support
  4. ADHD support
  5. Digital support

Following a robust evaluation and moderating process, the successful providers were:

  • Barnardo’s – who will deliver THRIVE getting help, therapeutic one-to-one and counselling support. 
  • Spring North – who will deliver peer support and parenting support.
  • ADHD North West – who will deliver ADHD support.
  • Kooth – who will deliver digital support.

The principles set out in all the service specifications were developed with young people, parents, carers.

The digital support contract will go live from1 April 2024, with the remaining contracts going live from 1 May 2024.

The contracts for the first four services are for 11 months and two years with an option to extend for an additional two years. The digital support contract is for one year with an option to extend for an additional year.

The ICB is now working with the existing and new providers to ensure a smooth transition of services.

It should be noted the digital support offer has been commissioned jointly by the ICB, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Blackpool Council, Lancashire County Council and Westmorland and Furness Council.

You can find out more about what each of the services will offer by clicking the tabs below: 

The aim of this service is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition through early interventions as part of the THRIVE ‘getting help offer’. It will make sure children leaving the service have a clear understanding of their own strength and resilience.

The service includes direct counselling, group work and 1:1 support and will also focus on engaging under-represented children This offer will provide support for self-harm, anxiety, depression and eating disorders and will link in with NHS children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) as part of a single point of access.

Peer support will allow children and young people to connect with others who have similar experiences to them. It will allow them to build knowledge, skills, and confidence to manage their mental health condition to allow them to do what matters to them. 

The service will improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people by 
providing the following:

  • One-to-one support offered face-to-face or by telephone. This may include a variety of providing information, emotional support, befriending, peer mentoring and discussion.
  • Face-to-face groups run by trained peers which focus on emotional support, sharing experiences, education, and specific activities such as exercise or social activities.
  • Online platforms such as discussion forums. These have been found to be particularly useful for improving relevant knowledge and reducing anxiety.

One to one support will be provided to young people, who feel unable to access group support. 

Trained parents or carers of children and young people with an emotional or mental health problem will support other parents and carers with the same experience. The mental health problems could include:

  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • Depression
  • Self-harm
  • Eating disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Obsessions and compulsions

These groups are particularly important for parents with young people who may need risk support, as the groups will be supported by children and young people’s mental health professionals. These professionals can advise and support when young people are not actively engaged with services and can help identify when circumstances change, and a young person may be ready to access mental health support.

This service will provide information, education, support and signposting to families who are affected by ADHD across Lancashire and South Cumbria. Support will be evidence based and be available to families without the requirement of a formal diagnosis.

The service will offer a number of interventions designed to meet the needs of children and families. These will be offered in a timely way in line with the national waiting time standards. More specifically this will include the following: 

  • Telephone support to families and carers of children affected by ADHD. 
  • Outreach support – visits to families at home.
  • Support for case meetings including attendance and reports when children and young people are at risk of exclusion. 
  • Liaison with education settings to provide practical support and techniques to enable children to be effectively supported in schools and colleges.
  • Provide ADHD-focused parent training and education programme teaching and supporting parents and carers to help themselves and their children.
  • Parenting peer support.
  • Surgeries – one to one consultation appointments if required. 
  • Provide information pack on contact for families, which includes self-help materials and advice on how to contact relevant support services. 

The digital services are intended to support young people, as an alternative choice to accessing services, who want advice and support, through effective interventions and psychological treatment. The service will provide early help for mild, moderate and complex needs; depending on the individual, early help can range from self-help advice resources from a magazine article to a counsellor supporting a Child or Young Person with accessing the appropriate services to support them.

The principles set out in all the specifications were developed with children and young people and their parents and carers. The voices of all stakeholders (small or large) have been heard right across the system, including from the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector.

Prior to the procurement taking place, the views of stakeholders were sought in several ways including:

  • Provider engagement event – November 2022
  • Four place-based engagement events – November and December 2022
  • Children and young people and parent/carer questionnaire – June 2023 
  • Provider webinars to explain the procurement process – August 2023

You can read more about this engagement in the following reports:

  • The new service specifications place children and young people and their families/carers at the heart of everything. 
  • Prior to the procurement, there were a variety of short-term contracts delivering different models of care which were inconsistent across Lancashire and South Cumbria. 
  • The previous contracts were themed in terms of what they offered which formed the basis of the new service specifications to make sure there were no gaps.
  • The ICB has increased investment into these services and standardised service specifications so that more children, young people and families can access support and provision is equitable across the whole area.
  • Longer term contracts will provide greater retention of workforce skills and experience.
  • There will be consistent and increased access to evidenced based interventions for children and young people across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

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