Mental Health Support Teams (MHST) East and West Suffolk

  • Our Mental Health Support Teams are an early intervention service that support children and young people, their families and schools and college communities with mild to moderate mental health difficulties. Each MHST is allocated to specific secondary schools/colleges and their feeder primary schools within Suffolk. Our team work in education settings and in the wider education community, both in and out of term time, including school holidays. Currently in East Suffolk we are supporting schools in the Leiston, Woodbridge and Ipswich areas. In West Suffolk we are supporting schools in the Mildenhall, Thurston and Haverhill areas, as well as West Suffolk College and in Central Suffolk we are supporting schools in the Stowmarket and Stowupland areas. To find out if our team is linked to your school or college please check-in with your individual education setting staff. Regular updates for the service can be found on their Twitter account @MhstSuffolk. The team can be emailed on:,,

  • Service Contact: Dr Amy Alexander - Principal Clinical Psychologist/Clinical Lead, Matthew Pull - Clinical Team Manager (West), Scott Mason - Clinical Team Manager (East) Daniel Newman - Clinical Team Manager (Central)
  • Reception phone number: 01284 733234
  • Service hours: This service is available from 9:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

What this service offers

Our MHST service provides bespoke support for mild to moderate mental health difficulties. This support is provided in a timely manner following assessment. This could include individual therapy sessions, school based intervention and work with parents.

Our team also support schools in developing their whole school approach.

Conditions our team provides support for are:

  • Anxiety and/or avoidance
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Irritability as a symptom of depression
  • Low confidence and low self-esteem
  • Low mood / depression
  • Managing negative thoughts
  • Mild obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other rigid/ritualistic behaviour
  • Panic management
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Thoughts of self-harm and support for alternative coping strategies for superficial self-harm
  • Worry management.


Access this service

Referrals to our MHST service are mostly via schools. We also accept referrals from other professionals working with children and young people. We do accept self-referral, but please discuss with your education setting regarding local processes before self-referring.

How this service support carers including friends and family

Our MHST service works as closely with families as possible and include them when appropriate in a child/young person's care.

Urgent help

The MHST is not an emergency service. 

If you are a service user and are in crisis and need support urgently you can contact your service on the number which will have been provided.  

Call 111 and select the mental health option to speak to our 24 hour mental health crisis line.

If you are with someone who has attempted suicide, call 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives. 

If anyone is at serious risk of harm, call 999 and ask for the police. 

For non-life threatening medical situations, call NHS111 on 111.  

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 for immediate support.

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 and 

The Suffolk Wellbeing Service

The Suffolk Wellbeing Service is available for young people age 16 and over and 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   


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

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

Self-harm toolkit

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

The Source

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

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

Suffolk Mind

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

General resources which you could also find helpful

Covid Hub 

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

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.


Samaritans’ Step-by-Step

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:

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
  • 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
  • Anna Freud – On My Mind website has clear, simple self-help advice to support families and children and young people. Visit
  • Childline - Advice for children on managing feeling and emotions. They have a Calm Zone with activities and videos to help children stay calm. Visit



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