Happy Christmas from the Ask Normen Team

We would like to wish all of our visitors to the Ask Normen website, readers and supporters, a very Happy Christmas and a very healthy and happy New Year.

In 2016 we are looking forward to keeping you up to date with local and national news for Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health for children and young people.

Have fun this Christmas, and stay safe! 


Here are just a few things that we got up to in 2015......................


Mental Health awareness day 2014  and this is what we will be getting up to in 2015 ..............

Save the Date: Northamptonshire Mental Health Awareness Day 2016 Show your commitment to stamping out mental health stigma and get involved in Northamptonshire Mental Health Awareness day, taking place on Friday 12 February 2016. This is an annual event where schools, community groups and local organisations across Northamptonshire join together to show their support of the Northamptonshire Mental Health Stigma Programme (MHSP). The day provides a great opportunity to raise awareness of mental health stigma in lots of interesting, fun and inclusive ways. MHSP will be writing out to schools shortly with further details and materials to use on the day and we will also be featuring information in future editions of the Ask Normen newsletter. Keep checking the MHSP website for updates www.talkoutloud.info or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. If you have any questions about the day please contact Tessa Parkinson, Project Manager on 07799 880611 or e-mail tessa@3activeuk.com

Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.   

25th March 2015

Clarke Carlisle: 'No shame' over December suicide bid

Former defender Clarke Carlisle has said he feels "no shame" about his recent suicide attempt.

Carlisle, who played for Burnley and QPR, tried to take his own life in December when he was hit by a lorry.

"People are delicate stepping around it - there's no shame invested in it for me," the 35-year-old said. "I attempted suicide because I was very unwell."

Carlisle was at the launch of a charter committed to tackling the stigma surrounding mental illness.

The Football Association, Rugby Football Union, Lawn Tennis Association and the England and Wales Cricket Board are among the sport governing bodies to have signed up to the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation. 


VOICE Northamptonshire supports victims and witnesses of crime in the county  


Being a victim of, or witness to, a crime can feel devastating. People often tell us they feel unsafe, worried, angry, guilty or confused. Sometimes there are lots of practical issues to sort out.

VOICE Northamptonshire supports victims and witnesses of crime in the county. Whether you report the crime or not, VOICE offers the practical and emotional support that can help you find the strength.

RISE - Supporting victims and witnesses with a mental health problem or learning disability. VOICE is open to all. We welcome people of different ages, nationalities, religions, cultures, disabilities, gender and sexuality. However, we know that some groups of people can find it harder to access support. Unfortunately, these can often be the people who are also most likely to be victimised.

RISE @ VOICE Northamptonshire is an innovative project that is reaching out to people who have a mental health problem and/or learning disability and those who support them. By really listening to people affected by these issues we will create a service that reduces the barriers to support, helping victims and witnesses to feel informed, supported and empowered.

To find out more, contact: Tom Eastman-Thoy T: 0300 303 1965 E: thomas.eastman-thoy@victimsupport.org.uk

Reach Out: To create a service that really works, we need to listen to the experts (people who have experienced a mental health problem or learning disability and those who support them). Contact Tom to find out more about how you can get involved.

Inform: Sometimes victims and witnesses tell us that they feel stuck in a maze without a map. We are creating a set of resources that answer common questions and help people navigate the criminal justice system and find the support they need.

Support: We will be offering individual support, drop in sessions at local centres and themed workshops from March 2015 with staff and volunteers that have been specially trained by ‘experts by experience’. The services that are most helpful will continue to be provided by VOICE after the end of the project.

Empower: Being a victim or witness can leave people feeling isolated and powerless. In the RISE project, we want to work together to make sure that everyone who uses our services has the best chance of feeling empowered to reclaim their lives. To get involved

Fill out our online survey to share your experiences (or those who use your service) - http://tinyurl.com/VOICE-northampton Contact Tom

  • If you would like to find out more about the RISE project.
  • You work for an organisation that supports people with mental health issues or learning disabilities/difficulties and would like to explore how we can work together.

T: 0300 303 1965 E: thomas.eastman-thoy@victimsupport.org.uk


CSE Toolkit, Conference Video's and Presentations Now on Ask Normen  

9th June 2015



A range of materials from the CSE Conference including video's useful documents and powerpoint presentations are now available on the Ask Normen Website - Just go to http://www.asknormen.co.uk/cse-toolkit-launch-video-s-and-presentations/ to view them.

Find out more about the topic of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) on the NSPCC Website 


Children and Young People’s Referral Management Centre Expansion  

10th September 2015

Going Live – Monday 14 September 2015

Children and Young People’s Referral Management Centre Expansion

To now include a Single Point of Referral for all Professionals for:

  • New: Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services for Children and Young People

  • New: Northampton General Hospital’s Community Paediatrics, Children’s Community

    Nursing, Children’s Physiotherapy and Child and Adolescent Bereavement Service

  • Existing: Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trusts Specialist Children’s



    We are excited to announce that from 14 September 2015 we will be launching a central point of contact for referrals and queries regarding emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people.

    Alongside this, we will also be expanding the existing children and young people’s Referral Management Centre (RMC), which currently manages all referral for NHFT’s Specialist Children’s Services, to accept referrals for the following specialist community health services provided by Northampton General Hospital (NGH); Community Paediatrics, Children’s Community Nursing, Children’s Physiotherapy and the Child and Adolescent Bereavement Service.

    Any professional in the county (for example a GP, teacher, health visitor, social worker etc) will refer using one referral form to one central place; the Referral Management Centre.

    Referrals will be screened by a clinician from Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) or Northampton General Hospital (NGH) and then passed to the most appropriate service or services which best meet the needs of the child or young person – be that NHFT, NGH, a Specialist CAMHS response, youth counselling or youth-based group work.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the Referral Management Centre (RMC)?

    In the county, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) established a Referral Management Centre for specialist children’s services. The RMC is based at Isebrook Hospital, Wellingborough and is staffed by a team of skilled administrators who process all urgent and non- urgent referrals for children’s specialist services.

    The RMC staff are co-located with the CAMHS Children’s Response Team and liaise closely with all other clinical teams across the county in order to co-ordinate daily clinical screening and integrated screening of referrals. The screening process is undertaken by skilled clinical practitioners and is performed in order to identify which specialist service or services can best meet the specific needs of the child or young person. The referral process is completed by RMC who ensure that all referrals are sent to the right health professionals, with the right skills the first time.

What services can I access through the RMC?

From Monday 14 September 2015 the RMC will manage referrals for the following children and young people’s services:

  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • Bereavement Service (NGH)

  • Community Nursing (NHFT & NGH)

  • Community Paediatrics (NHFT & NGH)

  • Community Team for People with a Learning Disability (CTPLD)

  • Continence Assessment

  • Dietetics

  • Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (including CAMHS & youth counselling)

  • Looked After Children (Mental Health only – not for medicals or health assessments)

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Physiotherapy (NHFT & NGH)

  • Speech and Language Therapy

  • Specialist School Nursing

    How do I refer?

    For all referrals there will be one integrated referral form. This is available from www.nhft.nhs.uk/cyprmc alongside guidance on how to fill out the form. This form will be accepted by the RMC from 14 September 2015.

    What if I have a question?

    The main RMC telephone line is open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday on 0300 1111 022. If you have any questions about process or a referral you are not sure what to do with, give them a call.

    Telephone Options:

    Option 1:

    Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health including CAMHS and then
    Option 1: Consultation line for professionals (9.30am – 4.00pm)

    Option 2:

    CATCH team – North of the County only – NHFT’s team for acutely unwell children

    Option 3 

    For all other enquiries (including Northampton General Hospital Services

What is the difference between the Referral Management Centre (RMC) and the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)?

The MASH is the single point of referral when you have concerns for a child and are worried about their safety. Please note if you have a safeguarding concern about a child or a young person you must contact / refer to the MASH immediately. If you are sure there are no safeguarding issues but you think there may be emotional wellbeing, mental health or physical health issues – please refer to the RMC.

How does the Referral Management Centre (RMC) fit into the other pathways in Northamptonshire, for example the Early Help Offer?
A great deal of care is being taken to understand the referral pathways in Northamptonshire to make sure the RMC fits into the county’s processes and responses. NCC are heavily involved in the development of the RMC and therefore we have robust links with both MASH and Early Help colleagues to ensure there is no duplication for professionals and each system speaks to each other appropriately.

The referral form seems similar to the Early Help Assessment form that we are familiar with. Why is this? And is any information mandatory?
The updated RMC referral form has been adapted on purpose to reflect the identification of need common to the new Early Help Assessment (EHA). This is so information about presenting need can be collated if available from the family. If an EHA has already been completed simply attach this to the referral (rather than duplicate the information).

Due to the fact the referral form is for emotional wellbeing, mental health and physical health services not all the information will be mandatory or even relevant but the onus will be on the referrer to supply as much information as possible to ensure the referral is passed to the right service or services, first time.

The expectation will be if the referral is for emotional wellbeing/mental health then this information is known by the referrer (or should be known) and has been or should be gathered from the young person/family.

Can young people self-refer to the Referral Management Centre (RMC)?

Not yet. The intention is to develop this mechanism in the future but for now the process will not change dramatically from the one which is already in place. If a young person (or parent) calls the RMC, they will be given the relevant contact details for the service deemed most appropriate.
The RMC will offer to take their name and telephone details and send onto the relevant service in order for them to contact the young person. However, this is not mandatory and the decision on how they wish to proceed is with the caller.

Young People will still be able to self-refer to youth counselling agencies as they currently do.

Referral Management Centre – Contact Details

Tel: 0300 1111 022

CYP Referral Management Centre
Castle Unit, Isebrook Hospital, Irthlingborough Road, Wellingborough, NN8 1LP 


Northamptonshire's Transformation Plans 

Children and Young People Health And Wellbeing.   

15th September 2015


Future in Mind   


School Nurses - Working with you to keep your child healthy.   

9th October 2015

School Nursing Service 

Referral Management Centre 0300 1111022 


We are here to help promote the physical, mental, social and emotional health of children, young people and their families. All children and young people in Northamptonshire will have an allocated school nurse team led by a specialist school nurse. 

Who we are 

Our teams are led by specialist school nurses who are qualified nurses with additional specialist training, our teams also include staff nurses, youth workers, nursery nurses, school nurse support workers, healthy lifestyle advisors, assistant practitioners and administrators. You can talk to your school nurse about anything, school nurses provide lots of services and have links with many more services; they can help you get the right help when you need it. 

What we do

Our teams provide confidential and trustworthy health information, advice and support in a range of settings. Our programme is designed to promote, protect and maintain the health and wellbeing of children and young people through: 

Health education; 

Health promotion activities such as weight management support and smoking cessation; 

Preventative health care, including immunisations and access to contraceptive services; 

Early identification of needs and early intervention through screening programmes and follow up support or referral to specialist services. 

Our services can be delivered in a range of settings with communities, schools, groups, families and individuals. 

The service is available to all children of school age (4-19 years) and this includes children who are home educated or excluded from school. You can access our school nursing clinics at a time and location that best meets your needs. If you are new to an area you can contact the school nurse team through the school your child is attending or through the referral management centre. 

When a child enters school or moves to the area, the local school nursing teams are informed via liaison with their health visiting colleagues or transfer area. Contact with the child and family takes place at school entry via a school entrant health review.  

Your child will be offered a review of growth and emotional and physical development at 5 years, at 10/11years and at 13/14years of age, in the school setting or at an alternative clinic setting if required.

Our clinics are usually available 9am-5pm weekdays, with some extended clinic times at the start and end of the day. You can contact your school nursing team for information and advice about your child’s health and development or parenting issues. For example:

  • Daytime or night time wetting, constipation, soiling;
  • Sleep;
  • Weight management, nutrition and physical activity;
  • Keeping healthy;
  • Immunisations;
  • Emotional and mental health;
  • Sexual health;
  • Drugs, alcohol and smoking;
  • Parenting, behaviour and routines or information about local children’s services. 

Working with you to keep your child healthy. 

The school nursing service is a confidential and trustworthy source of health information, advice and support for all children,  young people and their families.

Available for all children, young people and families in Northamptonshire aged 4-19years, including children who do not attend school 

Services can be accessed at a range of times and locations to suit your needs.

A broad and holistic service: you can ask your school nurse about anything, the team provide a wide range of services and link with many other services, the team can help you to get the support you need when you need it.



Building resilience in children and young people  

6th November 2015

This is all available to help any adults who are working with children and young people. Do you know any children or young people struggling with the following?

  • Self harm
  • Building skills to deal with situations in life that drag us down
  • Attachment issues
  • Loss, divorce, separation or bereavement
  • Stress about exams
  • Feeling safe
  • Low self esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Issues connected to ADHD 

Why not extend your knowledge and skills and help more children and young people and parents in Northamptonshire?

These courses are running in the next few weeks!

Maybe you have heard of Mindfulness (18th Nov), Protective Behaviours (1st Dec), The Solihull Approach (24th Nov & 8th Dec), FRIENDS for Life (9-14 yrs) 3rdDec, FRIENDS for Youth (12-15) 25th Nov, Drawing & Talking (13th Jan), Peer massage (12 or 13 Jan), Relaxation techniques (26th Jan), Using puppets, drawing and stories with children(20th Jan) These are all available for you to attend through the Targeted Mental Health in Schools Programme (TaMHS).

NB Anyone can attend these courses not just current TaMHS schools, although some courses are specific about the role of the participants, so please check.  There are many courses running up to the end of May 2016.

For more information or booking visit  www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/tamhs

PS Don’t forget the Northamptonshire Mental Health Awareness Day on February 12th 2016 – details on www.asknormen.co.uk


The C*Word  

18th December 2015

The C* Word is a Northamptonshire Library and Information Service project connecting teenagers and young adults (TYA) affected by cancer with local support agencies and with each other. The project is funded by Macmillan.

Our activities are aimed at 13 to 24 year olds and we can offer friends, family members, and cancer patients the chance to chill out with people in similar situations. If needed, we can also help you access Macmillan online forums and information and we can also signpost you to local youth support organisations. Young volunteers can help run C*Word events and access free training from the Libraries Service too. We can also offer Macmillan cancer training and networking opportunities for youth organisations, for libraries and schools teams to help you support young people affected by cancer. 

Why do young patients, their friends and families need the C*Word? 

  • Teenage and young adult cancer patients from Northamptonshire generally travel to Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Oxfordshire for treatment, placing extra strain on relationships with friends and family members and making them harder to maintain.
  • The C*Word is open to any young person affected by cancer, but our focus is on young friends and family of cancer patients because previously there were no dedicated events and support services for them, even though their fears and concerns about patients often lead to their own problems at school, college and work.
  • Organisations supporting cancer patients have told us this service is needed because young friends and families need help.
  • The C*Word is building a network of local organisations that can work together to help young people affected by cancer in Northamptonshire.

For young friends and family of cancer patients aged 13-24

• Free Music, Graffiti Art & Manga sessions, X Box Championships, Film Nights & Support Groups; • Macmillan Cancer Support information; • Help to find counselling & financial advice; • Referrals to other services that can help.

For Libraries, Teams and Youth Organisations.

Macmillan training courses; • Peer support; • Access to Macmillan Resources.

The C* Word Connecting Young People Affected by Cancer at Northamptonshire Central Library, Abington Street, Northampton, NN1 2BA

T: 07738 638 338 /01604 366712 E: TheCWord@northamptonshire.gov.uk 

The C* Word will deliver a programme of very different services to support teenagers and young people in whichever way they need it. These will include:

  • Answering questions from the unique experience of Macmillan Cancer Support about a relation’s or friend’s condition
  • Providing help with school, university or work
  • Giving advice about finances
  • Offering business start-up support
  • Providing emotional support or just an opportunity to escape for an hour.

Where will these services be available?

These services will be delivered across Northamptonshire's 36 libraries.

How can I find out more?

You can get further information in a variety of ways:

The C* Word Connecting Young People Affected by Cancer

  • Want to give something back?
  • Volunteer for the C* Word
  • Join our focus group
  • Tweet your news and views
  • Join our activities

Tell us how we can help

Go to www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/thecword

Email TheCWord@northamptonshire.gov.uk

Twitter @TheCWord_2015 Call/Text 07738 638 338

Northampton Central Library, Abington Street, Northampton, NN1 2BA



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