Those who have never been part of the mental health system, or needed to find support for a mental health issue before, may find it puzzling. This page attempts to explain the system very simply, and gives some guidance for what is available locally.
Outside of NHS Mental Health Services, local services that can offer support to young people experiencing mental health issues are, sadly, few and far between. As and when we come across any other services which we feel may be able to help, and/or offer support, we will add them here.
NHS Mental Health Services
If you are under 18, the service which the NHS offers for you is called CAMHS, which stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. In Devon, CAMHS is provided by VirginCare, and is part of Integrated Children’s Service (ICS). They are based at Evergreen House, Victoria Park Road, Exeter EX2 4NU. Tel: 01392 208600
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
For more information about CAMHS, and what you can expect, Young Minds have produced some useful information.
If you are over 18, the Devon Partnership Trust adult mental health service is for you. If you live locally to The Project and are over the age of 18, you would most likely be referred to the Mental Health and Recovery Team, East Devon at Haydons Court, Marlpits Lane, Honiton EX14 2DE: Tel: 01404 541640. This service used to operate from Churchill House in Honiton. There is also a satellite base at St John’s Court in Exmouth.
Devon Partnership NHS Trust: Adult Mental Health
If you are approaching 18, you may find you fall between two stools – too old to be taken on by CAMHS for a service which may not be available for many months; too young for the adult services! And often, even for long-term users of CAMHS, the changeover (transition) at 18 between children and adult services may be a bumpy ride, delayed or even non-existent. Too often, a young person or their parent is not kept fully informed, and has to fight their corner by repeatedly asking for help which may simply not forthcoming.
It is also possible to access a counsellor, clinical psychologist or psychotherapist in private practise. This will of course cost – a guideline would be from £30 to £50 an hour. There are sometimes GP-linked services, which may be cheaper or non-fee paying, and a few local independent mental health services. It pays to hunt around.
You should always do the best you can to find out what kind of therapy is being offered, what it involves, why it is being suggested and how many sessions you are likely to need, or are being offered. Also, be sure to check the qualifications and experience of the practitioner.
ARC Counselling Service is a community-based charity offering counselling to adults, children and young people who are registered with Axminster GP Surgery. It focuses on grief and loss, but may be able to offer counselling support to young people experiencing mental distress. Donations welcome.
Quiet Mind Centre is a charity based in Exmouth, East Devon, dedicated to providing healing, counselling and complementary therapies to those who suffer from a physical, emotional or stress-related health problem and who also receive some kind of benefit – these may be senior citizens, carers, those on income support or invalidity benefit, the unemployed or students – or who have a very low income.
Blackdown Psychology is an independent psychology practice that aims to deliver much needed psychological services in a timely and professional manner. They are able to offer therapeutic appointments in Exeter and East Devon, as well as appointments by telephone and via Skype or FaceTime. They accept self-referrals, as well as referrals from GPs, social workers and health professionals. Please note this is NOT a free service, and you should contact them for costs.
Mind in Exeter & East Devon (The Haven) East Devon Community Opportunities is based on the High Street in Honiton. Every person who accesses East Devon Community Opportunities in Honiton is offered one to one support, time and recovery . This means that a Support, Time and Recovery Worker will meet with you face to face to talk about the kind of support that you would like and what it is that gets in the way of your recovery. This service is only available to young adults 18+.
YES – Youth Enquiry Service (Young Devon) provides free, safe and friendly information, support and counselling on drugs and alcohol, education, health, housing, leaving care support, money, relationships, rights and benefits, sexual health and can offer help in emergencies. More information can be found at
South West Mental Health Services Ltd provides a range of mental health services for children, young people, adults and those who are supporting them. We have no direct experience of this service, but were told about them by someone who has. This is a private consultancy company, and there are costs involved. More information can be found at
Devon Eating Disorder Parent/Carer Support Group Are you a carer or parent of a young person who is suffering from an eating disorder? Meet others in an informal and supportive setting and benefit from the opportunity to share experiences, frustrations and successes. The group offers information on local resources and provides parent feedback to influence services in the future. DEDC also offer a support line for those needing immediate support or information. http://www.dedc.co.uk/