Children and young people

We believe that all services for children and young people, and their families, can and should play a role in promoting positive mental health and emotional well-being in children and young people.

We also believe that all organisations concerned with children and young people should work together to make sure services are of the highest quality, easy to access and provide every child and young person with opportunities to achieve as much as they are able to.

West Sussex is a unique and exciting place to grow up, but it also presents a number of challenges to young people. We work with West Sussex County Council and other local partners to improve the health and lives of children, young people and their families.

West Sussex CCG commissions a range of services for children including community paediatrics, nursing, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Our work with our local authority partners includes a range of initiatives to reduce obesity, stop smoking, prevent substance misuse and reduce teenage pregnancy and sexual health concerns.

What matters to children and young people?

Our children and young people, their families and our stakeholders have told us what matters to them:

  • Being seen quickly, with continuity of care
  • Early identification and provision when help is needed
  • More capacity and choice for early support
  • Easy access and simple pathways
  • Recognising the complexity of individual lives
  • A quality experience as well as quality care
  • Greater coordination between all agencies and with adult services

What support is available for children and young people?

Sussex Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

CAMHS provide specialist services for children and young people across Sussex, in locations such as GP surgeries, clinics, hospitals and schools, to support young people who are experiencing a mental health condition or difficulties with their emotional wellbeing.

Find out more about Sussex CAMHS on their website.

Special Educational Needs and Disability – the Local Offer

The Local Offer is the services and support available for children and young adults with special educational needs and disabilities up to the age of 25, and their families.

Find out more about the Local Offer in your area.


NHS Go is a confidential health advice and information service for 16-25 year olds. Available for free on iOS and Android, NHS Go provides you with:

  • Free, confidential advice
  • Instant access to find local services
  • Quizzes and guides around key health issues
  • Notification on topics and events relevant to you
  • Information about your rights under the NHS

Family Assist

Family Assist is an innovative new way of ensuring that parents and their friends; families have access to a wide range of information and resources, both local and national, at their fingertips.

It is often reported that parents feel overwhelmed with large volumes of conflicting information which is given to them all at once during pregnancy or following the birth of their baby.

Family Assist has been designed to act as a library of trusted evidence based information written or approved by local health professionals including Midwives, Obstetricians, Health Visitors, Paediatricians and Early Years professionals, which can be accessed at any time. The service will also send key pieces of information by email to registered users at the relevant stages throughout pregnancy and the early stages of a child’s life according to a mother’s due date or the age of a child.

Visit the Family Assist website for more information.

Youth Emotional Support (YES) service

Youth Emotional Support (YES) is a free service for young people aged 11-18 looking for support with their well-being.

Some of the things they can support you with include:

  • your mood
  • feeling anxious
  • relationship issues
  • self-injury
  • unhelpful thoughts
  • self esteem
  • significant life event
  • anything that might be worrying you.

The type of help they can offer includes one-to-one support and group working. They can also tell you about online or face to face counselling and other agencies that can support and advise you.

Find out more about YES and how to access the service.

FindItOut Centres

If you are aged 13-25 you can drop in to a FindItOut centre to get advice and information. If you want to talk to someone in confidence you just need to make an appointment. If you are using the centre for a YES assessment, you can be at a lower age of 11 or 12.

If you have an issue that your local centre can’t help you with, they will always do their best to put you in touch with somebody who can.

Find your local FindItOut Centre.