search Menu

Specialist Community Team

About the Specialist Community Team

We support young people with complex mental health difficulties. These include eating disorders, severe depression, anxiety disorders that severely limit normal daily functioning, complex trauma, suicidal or significant self-harming behaviours and tic disorders.

We have three specialist community teams: East covers Slough, Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead; Central covers Bracknell and Wokingham; West covers Reading and West Berkshire.

Each of the SCTs comprises psychiatrists, family therapists, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, specialist nurses and specialist mental health practitioners. Some teams have creative therapists.

Wherever possible, the work of our team will continue although, in some cases, not in the way you may be used to.  

Until further notice, we’re stopping all non-urgent face to face appointments and will offer alternative arrangements.

Depending on your needs, this could include:

  • an online video consultation, similar to a Skype or WhatsApp call
  • consultation over the phone
  • professional advice on how to manage your own care

In some cases we may offer face to face appointments or even make home visits. This will be based on an assessment of your current difficulties and risks, taking into consideration any additional risks that are the result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

A member of the team will contact you to decide on the right arrangements for you. There is no need to contact us.

We aim to start seeing young people who present with urgent mental health or risk needs within a few weeks of referral.

What happens at the first appointment depends on what type of intervention is currently being offered and how long your child has been waiting. If they’ve been waiting for several months, part of the first session will involve a review. You and your child will meet with a clinician, who will explain the work they do and what help is available.

We’ll work in partnership with your child to offer some potential solutions. The first session is generally an attempt to explore what your child would like to achieve from the service and to plan what this might look like.

Therapies and interventions

We use a combination of therapies and interventions shown to be helpful for young people experiencing mental health difficulties. These can include:

  • Family therapy
  • Psychological therapies
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication

How often sessions take place depend on the intervention agreed. Individual therapy sessions often take place weekly or fortnightly and last around 45 to 60 minutes. Family therapy sessions often take place every three or four weeks and might be 60 to 90 minutes.

Reviewing progress

We hold regular reviews with you and your child to check progress and make changes if needed. Reviews generally take place every six months, more often if needed.

The frequency of medication reviews will depend upon many factors, including the medication prescribed.

Length of treatment

Two or three months of intervention might be enough for some young people. For others, between six and nine months is more realistic.

Some young people take longer to reach goals and feel confident in managing difficulties. They might require a different approach. Or they might complete an intervention but require ongoing reviews, perhaps every three to six months.

Please read the referral criteria carefully before you complete our referral form.

If your referral is urgent, please phone 0300 365 1234.