Mental Health

CYP MH Plan image.jpgWest Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership Children and Young People’s Mental Health Strategic Plan

As set out in the Government select committee report Future in Mind, the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2016) and the NHS Long Term Plan (2018) (LTP) there is a clear need and commitment to invest in children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Our West Yorkshire response to this need is described in our ambition and our Plan. 

Our ambition

Children and Young People from West Yorkshire can access mental health support easily and in a personalised way. If and when specialised mental health services are required there will be seamless integrated pathways in place across community and specialist provision, with trusted assessment processes which minimise delay in accessing the right level of support required. Services will be trauma informed, inclusive and skilled in supporting individuals with diverse needs (including neurodiversity and learning disability)”.

West Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Mental Health Partnership Group

Our plan

The purpose of our plan is to outline the common West Yorkshire priorities, identified by each of our five geographical Places, relating to children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, that we will collaborate on across our ICS Partnership in West Yorkshire (WYICS).

The Plan is heavily influenced by what children and young people and their parent/carers have told us they want to support their mental health. It sets out why these priorities have been chosen and how working in collaboration across the ICS, and in partnership with all key services (including local authorities, Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE), statutory health and care services) and with children and young people themselves should add value and ultimately ensure we improve both outcomes and experience and reduce inequalities for our population.

You can read and download the Plan here. 

Night OWLS_Social Media_Twitter 1 new.jpgA service for children and young people experiencing a mental health crisis is operating under a pilot scheme managed by Leeds Survivor-Led Crisis Service. Night OWLS is a confidential support line for children and young people in crisis. Helping them and their parents and carers.

The service is available 8pm – 8am every day.

To access the service, call this number free 0800 1488244; text 07984 392700 (charges may apply) or chat on

Night OWLS can help if you…

  • are finding it hard to cope with life
  • feel like you have nowhere to turn
  • are feeling angry, lonely, anxious or depressed
  • are caring for a young person who is struggling with their mental health
  • feel confused or find it hard to think straight
  • feel unsafe
  • feel you can’t go on living
  • someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or you are concerned about their emotional wellbeing
  • Or simply want to talk either via phone/text or online chat

Night OWLS can offer…

  • Support when you need it
  • A safe space where someone can listen and show warmth, acceptance and understanding
  • A chance to look at ways of coping and ways of keeping yourself safe
  • Support with looking at your options and finding your own solutions to your problems
  • Information about other support services and services for carers

Night OWLS is a confidential service – we won’t tell anyone else about your call unless you ask us to – except in exceptional circumstances.

It is for people who live in Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

Night Owls WY Map.jpg

NightOWLS has been co-produced with people from these Partnership organisations:

All star ents logo.png       Healthy Minds logo.jpg   Aware.jpg

   Young Lives.jpg    Youth in Mind logo.png    WiFi Can.png


Open Monds logo.jpg     National Autistic Society.jpg    Kids Wakefield.png


MindMate logo.png       HealthWatch Wakefield.jpg  Adoption UK.png

Perinatal mental health (PMH) problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Perinatal mental illness affects up to 20% of new and expectant mums and covers a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, depression or more severe illness like post-partum psychosis, and without treatment can have a devastating effect on families.

Suicide is the second leading cause of maternal death and perinatal mental illness can also affect the health and wellbeing of infants and children. A sense of anxiety for new dads is also common and fathers can become depressed, particularly where partners suffer from perinatal mental health problems or where they feel unable to cope.

If left untreated, mental health issues can have significant and long-lasting effects on the woman, the child, and the wider family. Specialist PMH services provide care and treatment for women with complex mental health needs and support the developing relationship between parent and baby. They also offer women with mental health needs advice for planning a pregnancy.

The NHS Five Year Forward View for Mental Health aims to ensure that by 2023/24, at least 66,000 women in England with moderate/complex to severe PMH difficulties can access care and support in the community, and our work in West Yorkshire is part of that commitment.

NEW - West Yorkshire Maternal Mental Health pilot now open for referrals

Forget me not children's hospice logo

The NHS Long Term Plan set out a commitment to develop and implement maternal mental health services (previously referred to Maternity Outreach clinics) by 2023/24 for women experiencing moderate to severe of complex mental health difficulties directly arising from, or related to, their maternity experience. In West Yorkshire we are piloting a number of initiatives that will help us better understand how to develop our MMH services of the future and as part of this work Forget Me Not have been funded to run one pilot that will see their existing service expanded to support women who are presenting with psychological distress, mental health difficulties and/or symptoms of complex grief associated with pregnancy and baby loss in the last two years.  You can read more about the project and the referral criteria in this leaflet.

BiB PMH report image.pngHow Do We Reduce Inequalities in Perinatal Mental Health Care?

Researchers from Born in Bradford and the Universities of Huddersfield and York have recently completed an in-depth study across five workstreams to understand the inequalities in identification and treatment of perinatal mental health (PMH) in order to develop recommendations and adaptations to address these inequalities. This research was funded by West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, in collaboration with the Perinatal Mental Health Steering Group and took place across services within West Yorkshire.

This is a summary of the report.

The five workstream reports are:

Review of the evidence of inequalities in perinatal mental health

Care pathways similarities and differences

Data report

Perinatal mental health inequalities views and experiences

Recommendations from expert panels

Our work in the community

Bal.pngLeeds Community Perinatal Mental Health Service, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust. Improving access, experience, and outcomes for women from ethnic minority communities.

As the Leeds Community Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) Service expands in line with the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions, it is focusing on reaching out to women from ethnic minority communities, to improve their access, experience, and wellbeing.

This includes piloting a role called a Clinical Engagement, Access and Inclusion Coordinator. Balvinder Dosanjh has been in post since 2020.

During this time Balvinder has raised awareness of perinatal mental health needs in culturally diverse communities, addressing cultural stigma, and improving access to the service for women from these communities. The work has included encouraging women who access care to share their experience though the following podcasts and blogs.

Farzana’s Blog

My Blog About Postnatal Psychosis

My Blog About Postnatal Depression

Postnatal Psychosis World Mental Health Day

Diverse Mums Group - Podcast

The service has carried out evaluation through interviews with 10 women. The next steps include engaging community elders and faith leaders.

Case study - Sadif's story

Sadif Najmi, who lives in the Roundhay area of Leeds, expected her sixth pregnancy to be a similar experience to her previous babies. It wasn’t until the later stages of her pregnancy that Sadif was faced with an unexpected period of anxiety and panic attacks. This is her story.

Information in community languages

We are committed to making sure that all mothers receive equitable access to excellent perinatal mental health support services and information.  To help with this, we are using these short films in Punjabi, Mirpuri, Urdu, Gujarati, Slovakian and Dari produced by award-winning charity Acacia. Each film aims to raise awareness of perinatal mental health issues in a culturally appropriate way and explains how to seek help.

Our campaign

In November and December 2020, a series of engagement meetings was undertaken with women who represented the perinatal journey covering pre-pregnancy (all planning), pregnancy and the postnatal period. The aim of these consultations was to test potential messages and propositions and, through co-production, refine them to optimise engagement and impact of future communication campaigns relating to Perinatal Mental Health.

We recruited a mix of women from across West Yorkshire in terms of age, ethnicity, first time/non-first time mums and relationship status, all of whom had expressed some perinatal mental health (PNMH) concerns or anxieties and who had not engaged with any PNMH services. Due to the individual nature of each person and their experiences, the consultations were carried out as a one hour in-depth interview on a one-to-one basis using Zoom. You can read the report from the engagement here 

We ran an awareness campaign between July and October 2021 to encourage women who may be suffering from perinatal mental health problems, and the people who care about them and for them, to contact their GP for help and support. The campaign included advertisements on social media and signposting information to the GP, health visitor and midwifery services that can help.

The campaign had more than 11.5 million impressions, with people typically viewing the social media ad more than 13 times. 

You can read the final campaign evaluation report here. 

Perinetal Mental Health Social Media



Updated support line asset Feb 22.jpg

Staff mental health and wellbeing is a top priority across our Partnership with many leaders highlighting concerns about staff stress and burnout.  NHS England / Improvement has funded the development and ongoing delivery of a free to access mental health and wellbeing hub to support over 100 000 staff who work in WY&H HCP organisations. Anyone who works or volunteers in health and care in West Yorkshire can call our free support service on 0808 1963833 between 8am and 8pm every day.

Infant Mental Health Awareness Week takes place 7 – 13 June 2021. The Week is initiated by The Parent Infant Foundation.

The theme for Infant Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 is including infants in children and young people’s mental health.

The Parent Infant Foundation is encouraging everyone to think and talk about infant, children and young people’s mental health, and to consider how babies’ mental health needs can be met. The goal of this year’s IMHAW theme is to encourage everyone working in children and young people’s mental health policies, strategies and services to think about and include babies. Children and young people’s mental health should refer to the mental health of all children from 0-18 and beyond, but too often it is focussed on older children. There is a “baby blindspot”.

Babies and infants are entirely dependent on carers for their physical and emotional wellbeing. When they are subject to emotional abuse, neglect or physical harm the impact is especially damaging. Unfortunately, very young children are particularly vulnerable to harm

We recently held a Knowledge Exchange, including workshops on Infant Mental Health

Loading Conversation

Accessibility tools

Return to header