Our Primary Mental Health Work service is an early intervention and prevention service providing support and advice for children and young people up to the age of 18 and their families and carers.

We support children and young people experiencing a range of emotional wellbeing and mental health problems such as:

  • Anxiety including panic, social anxiety and phobias
  • Habitual behaviours of an obsessive compulsive nature
  • Low mood and depression
  • Managing emotions and anger
  • Poor body image
  • Self-harm
  • Difficulty in adjusting to traumatic life events including parental separation, bereavement and bullying
  • Behavioural issues

Young people come and see us when the above issues are moderate in nature, the issue has not been resolved following initial help at school or at home, and when it is having a significant impact on their day to day life.

In Northumberland our Primary Mental Health Work (PMHW) service is also involved in improving mental health support in schools as part of the Be you programme.


Firstly we will provide an initial assessment following your referral to help us to understand the nature of your difficulties and identify the best support for you.  If we think our service can help you may be eligible for a range of treatments. This can vary depending on your individual needs. It includes evidence based interventions such as self-help information  and one to one advice based on challenging unhelpful thoughts, increasing your levels of activity, helping  you to find solutions through problem solving and counselling.


Your care

When you are referred to us you will receive a letter offering you an initial appointment which will include who you will meet and the location of the clinic. Your first appointment will offer an assessment, it will last around one hour. This appointment will give you the opportunity to tell us more about you, what you are feeling and what is important in your life.  We will discuss your concerns and work with you to agree what the best way of helping will be.  You will always be given plenty of opportunity to ask questions and we want you to tell us if you do not understand, or if you disagree with what is being said.

Our team consists of social workers, psychiatrists, paediatricians and counsellors. We also have educational mental health practitioners, who work closely with schools.  Our PMWH service in Northumberland also includes learning disability nurses and occupational therapists. All of our staff are trained in assessing children and young people, and some staff have additional specialist training.

It is very important to us that you feel supported throughout your treatment. You can bring who you like to your appointments, however it’s often helpful for your family or carers to be involved. You will also have the opportunity to speak to staff on your own.

We hold clinics at a range of locations across Northumberland Monday to Friday between 9am - 5pm. These are available at:


  • Wansbeck General Hospital Child Health Department
  • Cramlington Health Centre and Blyth Sure Start
  • Alnwick Infirmary and Berwick Sure Start
  • Hexham and Ponteland Primary Care Centre



Everything you say to a member of staff will be confidential, unless they feel you or someone else is at risk of harm. If this happens your PMHW worker will talk to you about who they need to tell and what details will be shared.

Access to the service

You need to be referred to PMHW by a healthcare professional including GPs, school staff, social workers and public health nurses in schools. In Northumberland you can also self refer to PMHW service.

If we consider that a child or young person would be best met by an alternative service to the PMHW service, we will advise you with an explanation and provide advice, help or support to access a more appropriate service to meet their needs. It would be beneficial that within your referral consent is provided, which would allow us to forward your referral to the most appropriate service.

We also provide advice and support to professionals including:

  • Telephone consultation and advice
  • Liaison through the multi-agency early help hub processes
  • Teaching and training to professionals to raise awareness of children’s mental health with colleagues supporting children and young people with special educational needs and or disabilities

If you are a health or educational professional, or a social worker, and are concerned about a child or young person you can get in touch in  a number of ways

  • Call us to book a consultation to discuss the appropriateness of a referral
  • Emaling PMHW service referral form
  • Via the Northumberland Early help HUB. Click here for the referral form

Consent will be required for all referrals from the parent, carer or young person.

Contact us

Contact us Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm at

Ponteland Primary Care Centre



NE20 9SD

Telephone 01661 864588

Email PMHW@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk