Early Access to Support: The Well Centre – Lambeth – (NCCMH)

The Well Centre is a youth health centre where young people aged 11-20 years old can see a youth worker, counsellor or doctor to discuss any of their physical and mental health concerns or worries in a safe and confidential space. The centre is based in Lambeth, a borough with high levels of deprivation, where 22.6% of its population are aged under 19, of which 34% live in poverty. Of those young people attending the Well Centre, 27% were identified as having mental health issues. The centre’s counselling service is supported by funding from BBC Children in Need and supports the provision of early intervention for those young people who may not meet the threshold for specialist children and young people’s mental health services.

Co-Production

  • From start: No
  • During process: Yes
  • In evaluation: No

Evaluation

  • Peer: No
  • Academic: Yes
  • PP Collaborative: No

Find out more

 

Overview

The Well Centre is a youth health centre where young people aged 11-20 years old can see a youth worker, counsellor or doctor to discuss any of their physical and mental health concerns or worries in a safe and confidential space. The centre is based in Lambeth, a borough with high levels of deprivation, where 22.6% of its population are aged under 19, of which 34% live in poverty. Of those young people attending the Well Centre, 27% were identified as having mental health issues. The centre’s counselling service is supported by funding from BBC Children in Need and supports the provision of early intervention for those young people who may not meet the threshold for specialist children and young people’s mental health services.

 

Access

The Well Centre can be accessed by a variety of means including via self-referral, drop-in, pre-booked appointments, or through outreach sessions which take place in schools outreach and in Lambeth YOS.  It provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for physical and mental health needs enabling young people to access services without the fear of being stigmatised, in the way they might in a single-issue service. It also enables identification and access to early support without the need to refer to other services preventing escalation of needs. Specific projects and pilots have also sought to improve access through integration with physical health care, for instance, the diabetes transition project established a key role for Youth Workers in helping young people access and engage with support.

Identification of need

Opportunistic screening for mental health problems is offered as part of a holistic health assessment, the “Teen Health Check”, developed by practice GP Dr Stephanie Lamb. This assessment helps with early identification of potential mental health issues, and with prescribers on-site, swift intervention is possible when needed. Mental health assessments are also completed with young people presenting with anxiety or depression. Any young people who are then identified as having a higher level of need are fast tracked to specialist children and young people’s mental health services.

Early intervention

Onsite mental health support and counselling is provided by a counsellor who is a registered general and mental health nurse with expertise in children and young people’s mental health and counselling. Young people are able to access a variety of counselling techniques such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy.

 

Young person centred support

Youth workers are part of the core staff of the Well Centre, responsible for completing an initial needs assessment with young people, and working to support them with a wide range of practical and emotional issues. They can also support young people with any wider social and environmental concerns (e.g. housing and education) that can impact on their health and wellbeing.

 

What makes this service an example of positive practice?

We are a tried and tested service that brings youth workers, counselling and GP’s together under one roof, providing easily accessible support that is capable of dealing with complex cases, often without the need to refer on. We have a holistic approach, supporting young people with all aspects of their health and wellbeing, while also working in an integrated way with local organisations to ensure a comprehensive service.

Our holistic approach to health and wellbeing enables young people to have the confidence to access support without the fear of being stigmatised. An analysis of clients visiting the Well Centre in a one-year period (2015/16) shows the wide range of health education being delivered to young people: 24% received safer sex education, 38% received advice on exercise, 30% on diet and nutrition and 22% received health education about their alcohol use.

Further details

Commissioning Lambeth CCG
ProvidersHerne Hill Group Practice and Redthread Youth Limited
Workforce (whole time equivalent)0.42 GPs, 0.6 mental health nurse (Band 7 – seconded from South London & Maudsley), 2.5 youth workers, 1 service manager and 0.6 administration
Population sizeAll ages – 327910, under 21 – 71900 (mid-year ONS estimates for Lambeth)
Age 11 to 20
Caseload1400 signed up to service

 

Prevention and resilience – universal and early intervention for at risk
Access and advice – consultation lines, triage and signposting
Early support and brief interventions
Biopsychosocial assessment

 

 

Share this page: