The Connect Service in Suffolk provides specialist psychotherapy services for young people up to the age of 18 in Suffolk. The service is for young people who are adopted, looked after or in Special Guardianship, Child Arrangement or Kinship Care arrangements. The service also supports carers and families.
- Service Manager Lead: Agi Husczca – Acting Clinical Team Manager for Connect and Specialist Services Manager within Suffolk CFYP
- Service Contact: For general enquiries contact us through our administrator on 01473 237070 or 01473 237034 or for referral please contact the Emotional Wellbeing Hub on 0345 600 2090.
Children's Treatment Centre, Bungalow 6, Walker Close, Ipswich, IP3 8LY
- Service hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 until 17:00 (excluding bank holidays).
- What this service offers
- Access this service
- Visiting and onsite facilities
- How this service support carers including friends and family
- Urgent help
- Other services and resources for young people in Suffolk
What this service offers
At Connect, we offer psychiatric and psychological assessments and consultations, evidence-based interventions for childhood trauma such as creative, play and art therapy interventions, relational and attachment based psychotherapies. We support young people where concerns tend to be around attachment difficulties, developmental trauma, loss and other complex developmental, social and emotional difficulties and acute mental health difficulties.
We may work with the individual child or we may suggest work with the carer present, or relationship and family therapy support.
We have a Systemic Clinic for families referred to us by the Suffolk County Council Permanence Team or the Suffolk Therapeutic Fostering Team. We also offer “Changing Circles” – a set of psycho-educational workshops for special guardians, adoptive parents and foster carers,to support carers with complex parenting issues.
We work mainly from Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich for all of Suffolk, except children in Lowestoft and Waveney. Children in care and families who live in this part of Suffolk can access the Norfolk Looked After and Adopted Children team. The Connect Service is not available to children based in Thetford, however these young people may still be able access other mental health services.
We provide training and education to foster carers, adoptive parents, residential workers, and other professionals.
We also offer regular consultations to Local Authority Children's Homes.
Young people placed in Suffolk from out of area are also able to use the Connect Service but this is then chargeable to the placing authority.
Access this service
If you have concerns that a Looked After or Adopted Child may need our support please make use of our consultation sessions which can take place in either a face to face format in South Bury or Ipswich, or in a Virtual format over Microsoft Teams. These are available by appointment. Please contact our team administrator for more information.
These sessions are usually attended by professionals and / or by foster carers or adoptive parents together with a social worker and give the opportunity to discuss and think through the young person’s needs in detail. Please note that these consultations can be provided using virtual platforms.
- Consultation sessions for West Suffolk take place at West Suffolk House in Bury. Regular days and times are on hold for now but can be arranged via our team administrator.
- Consulation sessions for East Suffolk take place at Landmark House in Ipswich. Regular days and times are on hold for now but can be arranged via our team administrator.
The referrer and GP receive a letter confirming that we have accepted the referral, and this letter explains the next step. For example; that we will contact you about an assessment. If you believe that a useful first step would be an assessment of the child or young person, rather than a Consultation, you can submit a referral form with your request. Once your referral to Connect is accepted you can expect us to quickly discuss the case details in our full team meetings and work out a course of action.
We continually review our referrals and allocate consultations, assessments and interventions when a suitable practitioner is available. If you are concerned that you haven't heard from us please do make contact and ask our administrator about progress.
When we offer you a meeting or series of meetings we may ask you to come in different combinations with the young person and sometimes not. We will ask for your consent around where we can share information, and we will discuss consent to treatment and confidentiality.
From there we will talk with you and work out the best way forward to support your child
Referrals to us here at Connect are made in the same way as any other mental health referrals, which is through the Emotional Wellbeing Hub.
Visiting and onsite facilities
The Connect Service work in a variety of our buildings many of which have dedicated parking including disabled parking and the buildings are disabled accessible. For certainty and if you have queries please contact the team administrator who can advise you further.
How this service support carers including friends and family
Connect provides training, support and education to foster carers, special guardians, adoptive parents, residential workers, and other professionals. The Connect team works closely with Suffolk’s Therapeutic Fostering Team within Suffolk County Council (SCC) who specialise in providing expert support and training opportunities to foster carers employed by SCC.
The Connect Service offers a duty system during operational hours. Please contact the team administrator on 01473 237070 and a member of the team will endeavour to return your call. Outside of operational hours please contact the First Response Service which is a 24hr helpline for people of all ages in Norfolk and Suffolk: 0808 196 3494. If you have a medical or life-threatening emergency please call 999.
For more information, see Help in a Crisis.
Other services and resources for young people in Suffolk
The following services and resources are also available to young people across Suffolk.
Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous online support for people aged between 11 to 25. It provides:
- Virtual chat sessions with friendly counsellors.
- One-to-one text-based chats.
- Peer-to-peer support.
- Live online moderated forums.
- A range of self-help materials.
- Journals and goal trackers to reflect your thoughts.
There are no waiting lists or thresholds, just register on the Kooth website at www.kooth.com for immediate support.
Emotional Wellbeing Hub
If you or your friends need emotional wellbeing support, 0 to 25 year olds can get confidential information, advice and support from the Emotional Wellbeing Hub. This service is only available to families in East and West Suffolk.
Telephone 0345 600 2090, (open Monday to Friday, 8:00 to 19:30).
Please note there is currently a high demand for this service which is affecting referral waiting times.
For more information go to Get emotional wellbeing support from the Emotional Wellbeing Hub (thesource.me.uk)
Point-1 Service (Ormiston Families)
Point-1 Service provides support for children and young people in Lowestoft and Waveney, who are experiencing mental health and emotional wellbeing problems, and live in Lowestoft and Waveney.
Contact the service by telephone on 0800 977 4077.
More information is available at www.ormiston.org/what-we-do/mental-health-and-wellbeing/point-1/ and www.justonenorfolk.nhs.uk/mentalhealth
The Suffolk Wellbeing Service
The Suffolk Wellbeing Service offers a range of support for common emotional wellbeing issues, such as low mood, depression or stress.
Telephone the team on 0300 123 1503.
More information is available at www.wellbeingnands.co.uk
ChatHealth is your school nursing text service.Text a school nurse for confidential help on 07507 333356.
This service is available from Monday to Friday, between 9:00 and 16:30, excluding bank holidays.
More information is available at Home Page - ChatHealth
Moodwise is a website for 16 to 25 year olds that offers advice on topics such as mental health and relationships.
The website address for Moodwise is www.moodwise.co.uk.
Teenage Mental Health
Teenage Mental Health provide advice and support to families with young people who are experiencing difficulties with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and other mental health issues. They also run free support groups for under 25s.
More information is available at www.teenagementalhealth.co.uk.
The Self-harm Toolkit provides support for those working with school age children and young people under 18 years of age in educational settings. The toolkit aims to increase understanding and awareness of self-harm, providing conversation starters, useful templates, points of support and a clear definition of self-harm.
More information is available at Self-harm - Healthy Suffolk
Take 5 challenge for primary schools
The Take 5 Challenge is a fun challenge to improve wellbeing using the five ways to wellbeing approach.
More information is available at Wellbeing for Schools | Suffolk Says Thanks
30-Day What’s Up? Challenge for secondary school pupils
This is a 30-day challenge with activities for supporting wellbeing.
More information is available at Wellbeing for Schools | Suffolk Says Thanks.
Stay Alive app
The Stay Alice app is a Suicide prevention resource for the UK. The app is full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in a crisis.
More information is available at https://www.stayalive.app
The Source provides links to support and information for young people in Suffolk, about the issues that are important to them, including emotional wellbeing support.
Access The Source at www.thesource.me.uk/wellbeing
4YP: Suffolk Young People's Health Project
4YP is a local charity which provides and coordinates services that improve the social, emotional, and physical health and wellbeing of young people in Suffolk, aged between 12 and 25.
More information is available at www.4yp.org.uk
Suffolk Mind provides resources for adults and children to help them stay well. Anyone who needs support can contact their friendly team by telephoning 0300 111 6000 between Monday and Friday.
More information is available at www.suffolkmind.org.uk
General resources which you could also find helpful
Covid Hub helps you to find information about looking after your physical and emotional health at home on the Healthy Suffolk COVID-19 Information Hub.
Suicide bereavement support
Victim Support is a suicide bereavement service for people of all ages in Suffolk and North East Essex (with the exception of the Waveney area).
This service is free, providing confidential support for anyone who has been affected by bereavement as a result of suicide.
- Email at BBS.email@example.com
- Victim Support’s national Supportline service is available 24/7 on: 08 08 16 89 111.
Samaritans’ Step-by-Step service supports organisations working with young people so they can respond effectively following a suspected or attempted suicide of someone within the community.
Find out more at Step by Step | Samaritans
Physical activity and good emotional wellbeing
These resources are useful for encouraging physical activity and good emotional wellbeing:
- Movement and mental health resource card: Seven ways to improve your health and wellbeing https://www.keepmovingsuffolk.com/wellbeing/movement-and-mental-health/.Hard copies are available by completing the short online form.
- Movement and mental health e-learning resource: https://www.keepmovingsuffolk.com/courses/the-benefits-of-exercise-on-mental-health/. Open to anybody from secondary school age upwards.
Other useful contacts
- Campaign Against Living Miserably (C.A.L.M) - Male suicide prevention charity for men and boys. You can contact their helpline and webchat services which are available from 17:00 to midnight every day. Telephone 0800 58 58 58 or visit www.thecalmzone.net
- Hopeline UK (Papyrus) - A national charity for young people at risk of suicide or who are worried about a young person. Telephone 0800 068 41 41 or visit www.papyrus-uk.org.
- Anna Freud – On My Mind website has clear, simple self-help advice to support families and children and young people. Visit www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind
- Childline - Advice for children on managing feeling and emotions. They have a Calm Zone with activities and videos to help children stay calm. Visit www.childline.org.uk