There are three ways for children and young people to access support for their emotional wellbeing and mental health in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan:

  1. Through your school
  2. Through your local early help service
  3. Through the Single Point of Access
  4. Through your Health Visitor
  5. Through your GP

These entry points are all connected.

If you seek help through one pathway but another one may suit you and your situation better, we will make sure you are able to access this with no extra effort from you – we call this the ‘no wrong door’ approach.

No type of support is better than another – it all depends on what best meets your needs and what you want to achieve.

While specialist services are important, there are many other places to go for support.


Support through your school

Schools are able to provide a range of support and this support is not dependent on having a diagnosis.

Contact your school to see what support options are available to you and how you can access them.

Support through your local early help service

Early Help services in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan provide children, young people, families and professionals with information and support on a range of topics that could affect you and your family.

Examples include low self-esteem, relationships with your family and the loss of an important person in your life.

These are different as they are ran by the two different councils – but they offer the same service.

Wherever you live, the early help service will listen to you and assess your needs. They will either support you and your family directly or point you in the direction of a service that can help you with specific needs.

Support through the Single Point of Access

The Single Point of Access is how children and young people can access the Neurodevelopmental Service run by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board which provides specialist assessment for children and young people with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Currently, referral to the Single Point of Access can be made by:

  • your GP
  • your school

The online referral form is completed by a professional and it includes a range of mandatory fields that focus on the strengths and needs of the child/young person. Referrals cannot be submitted without the mandatory fields being completed.

After we receive your referral, a team of professionals will meet to decide which team is best placed to give you the help you need. They may contact you or your family to find out more about what is going on with you and what you’d like to achieve to help make this decision.

Your child may need to see different professionals to complete their assessment of need, for example – Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Clinical Psychologist, Nurse Specialist, Child Psychiatrist or a Paediatrician. The assessment process may take some time to complete, as sometimes visits to your child’s school may need to be organised, as well as seeing them in the Children’s Centre.  

Support through your Health Visitor

Supporting every child to achieve the best start is a central part of the health visitor’s role, working in partnership with parents to promote child development and to assess needs and identify problems or issues at the earliest opportunity, including signposting to specialist support if needed.

For pre-school children, a referral to the Neurodevelopmental service will usually be a joint referral from the family and the child’s Health Visitor.

Support through your GP

GPs can support families who are facing challenges such as those with children who are exploring a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD, or any other neurodevelopmental condition.