Useful Links

Anxiety and mental health resources

The NHS Every Mind Matters website has a range of information available about mental health and wellbeing – click here

Mind is the leading national mental health charity. It offers a mental health Helpline, a specialist legal helpline providing advice about mental health law and also has a range of online resources on its website. For more details – click here

Young Minds is a national charity that supports the mental health of children and young people, with Helpline, Textline and webchat support available and a range of online resources on its website for children and their parents/carers. For more details – click here

Anxiety UK is a specialist national charity which runs a helpline service and online support groups, along with workshops and courses about managing and reducing anxiety and stress – click here

The NHS in Berkshire has published a booklet to support young people in times of emotional distress. It looks at issues including anxiety, body image, relationships and anger and where to get help. The Little Blue Book of Sunshine can be downloaded at this link –

No5 Young People provides confidential counselling and mental health support to young people aged 11 to 25 in Reading and nearby. Its services are free, open access and available by referral from professionals or self-referral by young people. The charity also provides the Looking for Direction? signposting website, to help young people find mental health and wellbeing resources.

  • Click here for the main No5 Young People website
  • Click here for the Looking for Direction? website

Reading Community Outreach Service, run by the charity Together for Mental Wellbeing, provides mental health support in the community within Reading to improve the wellbeing of people, help build resilience and independence, provide preventative mental support and support people recovering from mental health issues – click here

The Berkshire West Breathing Space, also run by Together for Mental Wellbeing, offers a safe, welcoming and supportive space for anybody aged over 18 who is experiencing emotional distress and struggling to cope. Based at Ajilon House, in Friar Street, Reading, the service is available to people living in the Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire council areas and can also provide support by phone and email – click here

Slough Borough Council’s public health team has information available about wellbeing and mental health support in the town – click here

East Berkshire Safe Haven, in Slough, provides out-of-hours drop-in mental health support to anyone aged 18 and over, in a safe and non-judgmental environment. It is open at 54 High Street from Thursday to Monday, between 5pm and 11pm – click here for more details.

The Wellbeing for Slough website has links to health and wellbeing support and services available in the borough council area, including NHS units, activities, sports and social groups – click here.

Tellmi is a safe, anonymous app where young people can talk about absolutely anything, from anxiety to autism, dating to depression, or self-harm to self-esteem, in an age-banded online community. Moderators check everything to keep users safe and in-house counsellors are available to offer extra support. The service is available to 11 to 17-year-olds who live in the Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire council areas – click here for more details and to download the app.

Kooth is a free online support network to help children and young people who are struggling with mental health difficulties, with counsellors available online to support them. The service is available to 11 to 19-year-olds – or up to 25 for young people with SEND – living in Bracknell Forest, Slough and Windsor & Maidenhead – click here for more details and to register for the service.

And Kooth has published an FAQ for children and young people about how the service works and a guide for parents and carers to help them spot warning signs of possible mental health issues and how to support their child.

  • Click here to download the FAQ for children and young people.
  • Click here to download the guide for parents and carers.

The University Compare website has a guide for university students about understanding and managing anxiety and mental health on its website – click here.

Autism and disability websites, support services and forums

Therapy services

Speech and Language Therapist and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Ann Wilson provides online CBT sessions for autistic adults who want to understand their autism diagnosis better or are struggling with low mood and/or anxiety. She has 17 years’ experience in the NHS with Berkshire Healthcare Trust diagnosing autism and is now providing CBT support on a private basis. For more details, email to arrange a free initial consultation.

Louise Ordish is an Oxford-University-trained psychodynamic counsellor based in Newbury. She self-diagnosed with autism in adulthood and specialises in working with young people (16 and older) and adults who have, or think they may have, autism or pathological demand avoidance (PDA). You can contact Louise on 07456 665592 or by email at Find out more at


A number of charities in Berkshire provide advice about claiming benefits and assistance with making applications, mandatory reconsiderations and appeals to benefits tribunals. See below for details:

  • Citizens Advice: Information about benefits, including a free online benefits calculator, is available from the national Citizens Advice website at And there are local Citizens Advice services in the Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire council areas, while East Berkshire Citizens Advice serves the Bracknell Forest, Slough and Windsor & Maidenhead council areas. They can help you to fill in benefit application forms and advise you should you need to appeal if an initial application is turned down. You can search for contact details for the local services in Berkshire on the national Citizens Advice website at the link above.
  • Reading Welfare Rights: Provides a comprehensive benefits advice and support service for borough residents, including help to fill in forms and with appeals, including representation at hearings and benefits tribunals. See or call 0118 955 1070.
  • Communicare: Also based in Reading, offers advice about benefits entitlements, help to make applications and advice about mandatory reconsiderations and help to prepare for appeal hearings. See
  • Stepping Forward UK: The Reading-based charity provides support to Berkshire residents to make applications for Disability Living Allowance for under-16s and and Personal Independence Payment for those aged 16+. See
  • Promise Inclusion: Their family liaison team provides advice about benefits and help to fill in application forms for autistic and learning disabled people and their families in Bracknell Forest and Wokingham. See
  • ASD Family Help: Their family liaison team provides advice about benefits and help to fill in application forms for autistic people and their families in Wokingham and West Berkshire, including Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and new-style Employment & Support Allowance. See
  • Cerebra: The national charity supports families of children with brain conditions, including autism, and provides a free guide for parents and carers about claiming Disability Living Allowance for their children, with advice about making an application and how to appeal if turned down. The guide can be downloaded at
  • Contact: The national charity supports families with disabled children, and has a series of online guides about entitlement to benefits and tax credits and how to claim them. See
  • Turn2Us: The charity offers advice and practical help to families who are struggling financially, including advice about entitlement to benefits and an online benefits calculator. See
  • National Autistic Society: Offers a range of information about entitlement to benefits, the application process, making an appeal and managing your finances. See

See below for official Government information about benefits and contact numbers for enquiries.

  • Department for Work & Pensions Benefits information
  • For Personal Independence Payment (PIP) enquiries:
    Telephone 0800 121 4433
    Textphone 0800 121 4493
  • For Disability Living Allowance (DLA) enquiries:
    Telephone 0800 121 4600
    Textphone 0800 121 4523
  • For Universal Credit enquiries:
    Telephone: 0800 328 5644
    Textphone: 0800 328 1344
  • For Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) enquiries:
    Telephone 0800 169 0310
    Textphone 0800 169 0314
  • For Carer’s Allowance enquiries:
    Telephone 0800 731 0297
    Textphone 0800 731 0317

Local Offer provision from councils

Under the Children and Families Act 2014, all local authorities must publish a Local Offer guide, detailing what support is available for families of children with special educational needs. For details of Local Offer provision in your council area, click on the relevant link below.

Health Services

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust – – runs the CAMHS and adult autism diagnosis services.

The trust has a dedicated website for its services for Children, Young People and Families –

The Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West NHS Integrated Care System (ICS) – – contracts Autism Berkshire and Parenting Special Children to provide the Berkshire West Autism & ADHD Support Service.

The following Local Healthwatch organisations monitor health and social care services on behalf of patients and service users:

Education Information Advice and Support Services

These are statutory services offering information, advice and support to parents and carers about special education needs (SEN), including Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). Their staff can go into schools to support parents and carers over educational, health and care matters.

Other education websites

Further education courses, tailored for individuals with special educational needs, are offered by:


  • Access to Work is a Government scheme to help the disabled and people with mental or physical health conditions. Grants for equipment and other support are available in some circumstances –
  • Adviza, based in Reading, provides a single point of access for young people to help them prepare for the transition to work and adult life –
  • Dimensions, based in Theale, offers support into employment for people with learning disabilities and autism –
  • Graft Thames Valley aims to eradicate barriers to employment for disabled or disadvantaged people struggling to find a job and offers Survival Guide to Employment courses for autistic adults –
  • The National Autistic Society offers employment and training advice for autistic people who are looking for work –
  • The Shaw Trust provides training and work opportunities for people who are disadvantaged in the labour market due to disability, ill health or other social circumstances –
  • A Guide to Workplace Bullying offers advice and information for people who may be experiencing bullying or discrimination at work –
  • Spectroomz is a site that links up prospective employers with autistic freelancers who find it easier to work from home and avoid the stress associated with traditional workplaces –

Other websites

The Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office runs the Victims First website to help victims of crime. It includes information and advice, including signposting to services to help victims of crime to cope and recover from the impact of the crime.

The Stop Loan Sharks project aims to combat unlicensed illegal money lending and to protect vulnerable people from exploitation.

The project has published a guide on how to spot if someone may be being exploited by loan sharks. It is designed to help health and social care professionals but contains information that parents, carers and friends may also find useful. A 24-hour Helpline is also available on 0300 555 2222.

Click here to download the guide.