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Home » Your Health and Services » Mental health and learning disability services

Mental Health, Learning Disabilities & Autism

The main provider of NHS mental health care in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

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Crisis support

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need help, call NHS 111 and select option 2. Specially-trained mental health staff will speak to you and discuss your mental health care needs – instead of having to go to accident and emergency departments in local acute hospitals. This service is available 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Mental health and wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing is important to us all. Mental health is the emotional resilience that enables us all to enjoy life and to survive pain, disappointment and sadness.

Mental health problems are amongst the most common forms of ill health. And they can affect any one of us, at any point in our lives. Mental health problems range from reactions to normal life events, such as bereavement, relationship breakdowns and depression, to more complex conditions such as schizophrenia. Dementia is another mental health problem that especially affects older people.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG works for people with mental health problems to commission (buy) services, ensuring they get the right help and support. In order to do this effectively we work with people who have experienced mental health problems, social care providers and voluntary services.

Who can help you

There are a number of local voluntary organisations who can help people with mental health problems. We also commission some of these to provide services, covering a range of mental health services from primary care - including Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services for people with mild to moderate mental health problems, through to secondary care and a range of specialist services for people with enduring mental illness and more complex problems. These are as below:

  • Alzheimer's Society Carers support - Dementia advisors
  • Bipolar UK - Dedicated to supporting people affected by bipolar
  • Centre 33 - Counselling for children and young adults
  • Choices  - Childhood sexual abuse specialist counselling
  • Counselling directory - find a counsellor or psychotherapist near you
  • East Suffolk MIND  - Supported accommodation
  • Every Mind Matters - national website featuring helpful advice and information
  • How Are You Peterborough - a local website bringing together lots of resources to help your mental health
  • Huntington's Disease Association  - Supports people affected by Huntington's Disease
  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies - making psychological therapies more accessible to people experiencing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
  • Insight - Talking therapy commissioned by the NHS. 
  • Keep Your Head - central hub of information, self-help and support services for mental health in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
  • Lifeline - A Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mental Health Helpline. Available 11am-11pm 365 days of the year via 0808 808 21 21.
  • CPSL Mind  - Social Inclusion Services including lifestyle support and service user engagement
  • Peterborough Counselling Ltd - Talking therapy commissioned by the NHS. Age 17+; free of charge. Self refer by calling 01733 767279
  • Qwell & Kooth - free online wellbeing services offering chat-based counselling, peer support and self-help. Qwell is for people aged 18 or over; Kooth helps children and young people aged 11-18.
  • Rethink - Rehabilitation services in Cambridge, Huntingdonshire, Peterborough and Fenland. 
  • Richmond Fellowship - Employment support
  • St Columba Group Therapy Centre  - Group therapy.
  • Sun Network  - a Service User Network for people with mental health problems.
  • Lawrence Way Counselling - Counselling, Group Courses and Webinars

NHS mental health care for veterans

NHS England has published the this leaflet on NHS veterans mental health services.

What to do if you think you need help

If you think you might be suffering from a mental health problem, you should first contact your GP. They may be able to help you treat the problem themselves, or help you to access a range of other local and internet based sources of help. If the problem is or becomes more serious, they can refer you to a more specialised mental health service.

Commissioning enquiries

If you have a specific query about the local commissioning of mental health services, please email our mental health commissioning team

Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR)

The Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme is a national initiative, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) on behalf of NHS England. The role of LeDeR is to review the deaths of any person with a learning disability aged four years and over, with the outcomes of these reviews being used to improve the lives of people who have a learning disability, locally and nationally.  More information about the LeDeR programme can be found here. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have published its LeDer mortality review annual report for 2019-2020

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough previously published its LeDeR mortality review annual report for 2018-19 along with an Easy Read version.

Transitions from Children and Young People (CYP) to Adult services / Preparing for adulthood

When young people transition to adult health services the aim is to ensure that any assessment of need is completed as early as possible and enable a seamless move to appropriate universal and specialist healthcare. Importantly, this includes identifying the different services available once someone reaches a certain age and supporting the young person to access alternative healthcare and support for that young people, and their families, to achieve identified outcomes. 

Those who may have a greater need within health service transitions could include but not limited to:

  • young people in receipt of children’s continuing care funding that move to adult continuing healthcare services and funding.

  • young people accessing child and adolescent mental health services moving to adult mental health services; and

  • young people with an Education, Health & Care (EHC) Plan that identifies other health services in order to meet assessed needs and outcomes.

    Mental health difficulties are very common, 75% of adult mental health needs commence by the age of 14 years and 1 in 4 adults will experience issues with their mental wellbeing at some time in their lives.

    Young people aged 17 can access Adult Mental Health Services either via their GP or through self-referral to the services, depending on the service and support required.

National-level guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), published in 2016, is not focused specifically on mental health conditions but highlights that transition support in any health or social care service should: 

  •  Involve the young person and their family or carers, primary care practitioners and colleagues in education, as appropriate.
  • Address all relevant outcomes, including those related to education and employment; community inclusion; health and wellbeing, including emotional health; independent living and housing options.

 For more information on which Mental Health Services and support is available please go to Keep Your Head Website.

Learning Disabilities and Autism Programme (Formally known as Transforming Care)

This Programme is about making health and care services better so that more people with a learning disability, autism or both can live in the community, with the right support and close to home.

It is about trying to prevent people going to a mental health hospital or residential unit which may be far away from home. For people who do need to go into hospital we want to make sure that they are as close to home as possible.

The national plan Building the right support , which was published in October 2015 set out what we are doing to make sure this change happens. This came about when people with learning disabilities were treated very badly at a place called Winterboure View.

For more information on the Learning Disabilities and Autism Programme and what we are doing please visit the NHS England website, Or the Local Offer for Cambridgeshire or the Local Offer for Peterborough.