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 – https://www.berkshirewestccg.nhs.uk/patient-information/self-care/the-little-blue-book-of-sunshine/

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

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 18-year-olds in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire and 11 to 19-year-olds – or up to 25 for young people with SEND – 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.

Autism and disability websites, support services and forums

Autism Berkshire works in partnership with organisations across Berkshire with the aim of providing the best possible services for people living with autism and their families.

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 – www.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk – runs the CAMHS and adult autism diagnosis services.

The trust has a dedicated website for its services for Children, Young People and Families – https://cypf.berkshirehealthcare.nhs.uk

Berkshire West NHS Clinical Commissioning Group – https://www.berkshirewestccg.nhs.uk/ – 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:

Employment

  • 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 –https://www.gov.uk/access-to-work
  • Adviza, based in Reading, provides a single point of access for young people in Berkshire to help them prepare for the transition to work and adult life – https://www.adviza.org.uk/
  • Dimensions, based in Theale, offers support into employment for people with learning disabilities and autism – www.dimensions-uk.org
  • Graft Thames Valley aims to eradicate barriers to employment for disabled or disadvantaged people struggling to find a job – www.graft.org.uk
  • Incluzy is an inclusive disability jobs website, with lots of useful information and guidance for employees and employers – incluzy.com/
  • The National Autistic Society offers employment and training advice for autistic people who are looking for work – https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/employment
  • 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 – https://www.shawtrust.org.uk/
  • A Guide to Workplace Bullying, by Amy Forester, offers advice and information for people who may be experiencing bullying or discrimination at work – www.autoenrolment.co.uk/guides/workplace-bullying
  • 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 – www.spectroomz.com

Benefits

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.