HeadStart is a town wide programme which aims to improve the emotional well-being of children and young people by providing preventative and early help support. It is estimated that at least 3 children in every classroom will go on to develop emotional ill-health and providing support at an early stage will reduce the number of diagnosable mental health conditions.

Ayresome Primary has become a HeadStart school and through a range of preventative and early intervention approaches will equip young people to cope better with difficult circumstances, preventing them from experiencing serious issues. It’s about giving young people the knowledge, skills and support to cope with adversity and do well at school and in life. Ayresome Primary School is committed to improving resilience and emotional well-being in our young people and this remains a key priority for our school. School staff access a range of training to enable them to better respond to the needs of pupils.


Within school, we have a dedicated team of pastoral staff available to offer advice and support to children when required. Identified children are offered a range of interventions, by specially trained staff, in small focused groups or in 1:1 sessions depending upon their need. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to come into school to see what help is available.

The school also has access to HeadStart Reach who can offer solution focussed therapeutic approaches providing students and their families with the tools and emotional support to deal with emotional health problems.


The school also has established links with specialist services such as CAMHS and Harbour when more intensive support is needed. Access to these services at an early stage can minimise impact of problems and issues and increase chances of children achieving their potential.

CAMHS is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing. Local areas have a number of different support services available. These might be from the statutory, voluntary or school-based sector, such as an NHS trust, local authority, school or charitable organisation.

Children and young people may need help with a wide range of issues at different points in their lives. Parents and carers may also need help and advice to deal with behavioural or other problems their child is experiencing. Parents, carers and young people can receive direct support through CAMHS.

How do I get help from CAMHS?

CAMHS in Middlesbrough have their own website, which has information about access, referrals and more, including phone numbers, so you can get in touch directly for detailed advice. Click here for more details.

You may also find it helpful to speak to:

  • GP
  • Someone you trust at school or college – for example, a teacher, pastoral lead, school nurse or special educational needs co-ordinator (SENDCo)
  • Health visitors
  • Children’s centres

If you or your child is being supported by social services or the youth offending team, your key worker will be able to refer your child for an appointment with someone in specialist CAMHS.

For more helpful information about what CAMHS services offer, please follow this link to the Children’s Mental Health NHS page.

Information for Children and Young People

Information for Parents and Carers


If you attend a primary or secondary school in Middlesbrough, REACH can offer one-to-one sessions as well as group work. Their work is aimed at young people at risk of emotional or mental health difficulties and those with existing mild to moderate difficulties.

Group work is flexible according to the needs of the young people and the school, but mainly focuses on raising awareness of emotional well-being, building resilience and teaching coping strategies, including working on issues such as confidence and self-esteem, stress, anxiety, low mood and anger.

REACH can help with:

  • Not feeling good about yourself
  • Feeling anxious and worrying
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Difficulties with relationships and friendships
  • Struggling to concentrate
  • Feeling overwhelmed with emotions

If you are under 18, living in Middlesbrough, you can access this service by

Telephone: Children and young people’s team
01642 257033

Email: reach@middlesbroughandstocktonmind.org.uk


One of the main issues HeadStart supports is young people moving from primary to secondary school. They understand how overwhelming it can be adjusting to a new school and making new friendships. HeadStart can help you prepare for this exciting new change in a number of ways such as group focused activities and one-to-one sessions.
If you need any more support for your family, please look at Family Information Service Middlesbrough which provides information and advice about the services for families in Middlesbrough. Emotional support is offered depending on the needs and wishes of the young person. If you feel you could benefit from having someone trusted to talk to then we can offer you the right support.

What happens next?

Anyone can refer a young person to REACH such as a parent, teacher, child or professional. Once a referral has been made, they will contact the referrer and the parent(s) to discuss the support needed. REACH will also contact the school for a convenient time for the sessions to commence. We can see the individual wherever they feel comfortable either at school or at our venue.


Harbour offer a range of different services to assist those affected by domestic abuse. This support includes:


To find out what services they offer in this area or for help finding an organisation near to you, call us on 03000 20 25 25 or visit www.myharbour.org.uk


Our first concern is to help people to keep them self and any children safe so we offer advice on this to anyone who contacts us. Click for guidance on Keeping Safe.


We will use our professional judgement to assess the situation facing a client, and then ensure they are aware of all the options available to them. The choice of what to do next is always with the client. We will advise and provide information then support our client to take the steps they chose to make.


We will support anyone affected by domestic abuse in the areas where we work regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, age or other characteristic. We know that domestic abuse does not recognise these distinctions and can affect anyone.


Confidentiality is a really important part of our service. The addresses of our refuges are confidential; this keeps residents safe and enables us to keep delivering our services. In the main the content of support sessions is confidential within the service, with some exceptions, namely if someone discloses to us that a child or young person is at risk of serious harm or that they intend to harm themselves or another person, or if there is criminal activity involved. We will always try to gain consent to share this information and we would only share information if we feel that not doing so could cause further harm.

Trust is a very important part of our work and our confidentiality policy will be explained to everyone we work with.

Other Useful Contacts


0800 1111


Free 24-hour helpline for children and young people in the UK.


Wendy Kelly – Programme Manager 01642 728079

Andy Appleyard – Programme officer 01642 728256

Nicola Hunt – School development officer 01642 728284


Helpline (adults): 0800 800 5000

Helpline (children and young people): 0800 1111



Specialises in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children.


Helpline: 0800 068 41 41


Charity for the prevention of young suicide, offering confidential support and awareness training.

Parenting and Family Support- Family Lives
(formerly Parentline Plus)

Helpline: 0808 800 2222


Support to anyone parenting a child.


24-hour helpline: 116 123 (freephone)


Emotional support for anyone feeling down, experiencing distress or struggling to cope.

Youth Access

020 8772 9900


Information on youth counselling.

Young Minds

020 7089 5050 (General enquiries)

0808 802 5544 (Parents helpline, for any adult with concerns about the mental health of a child or young person)


National charity committed to improving the mental health of all babies, children and young people. Provides information for both parents and young people.