Starfish Learning Disability Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

A new consultation line has been launched to provide help for parents with children who have learning disabilities and complex behavioural needs.

Provided by the Starfish Learning Disability Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, run by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), it is currently available in central and east Norfolk.

The aim of the consultation line is to support families who have not previously had contact with Starfish or whose needs have changed since they were last seen. It will also serve as a tool for professionals who are considering making referrals to the service.

Specialist nurses and psychologists will be on hand to answer calls to the number (01603 272290) every day between 9am-1pm, as part of a pilot which will run until the end of December. In addition; there is a dedicated email account to which questions can be sent: [email protected]

Starfish provides a service to children who have a significant learning disability, and additional emotional or mental health needs. The team works with local agencies and offers tailored packages of intervention to support children’s individual needs, as well as their family and carers.

Team Lead, Stephen Baines, said: “We’re excited about the new helpline as it will give families and carers another means of contacting and accessing our service, which could be vital particularly if they are having a difficult time or have any urgent questions.

“We can answer queries about resources that might be available and also discuss requests for our service to consider direct clinical interventions with a young person.

“We hope that the line will be an invaluable resource that enables us to empower families and professionals to target our specialist provision where it is really needed most.”

The Starfish LD CAMHS Central and East Team consists of a Team Leader (Learning Disability/Paediatric Nurse), Learning Disability Nurses, Clinical Psychologists, a Systemic Family Psychotherapist, Assistant Psychologists and Family Support Workers. There is a sister team based in King’s Lynn.

If the pilot is successful it could be rolled out to serve the west Norfolk area.

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