South Ayrshire Community Mental Health & Wellbeing Services and Supports Framework Overview 

South Ayrshire Council is dedicated to ensuring that this is one of the best places in the country to grow up – in order to do this, we aim to support children & young people’s (and their families’) mental health and wellbeing. This support for our children & young people’s mental health and wellbeing should be based on needs, delivered at the right level, easy to access & responsive. Within South Ayrshire, this journey to support & boost mental health and wellbeing has been ongoing, through the work of the mental health strategy group (which commenced several years ago) and as of 2021, in line with the Scottish Government’s new community mental health and wellbeing supports and services framework (CYPMHW) and its associated funding, as well as the Scottish Government’s overarching Mental Health Strategy (2017-2027). It is the aim both nationally & locally that every child & young person be able to access local community services which support & improve their mental health & emotional wellbeing. Children and young people and their families/carers will get the help they need when they need it from the right people.

Key Principles of the National Community Mental Health & Wellbeing Supports & Services Framework 

South Ayrshire’s mental health strategy plan has several overarching aims in line with these and other drivers:  

The Community MHWB Framework asked Children’s Partnerships to commission new services and/ or enhance existing services that children and young people can access to support their mental health and emotional wellbeing within their local community.  

In South Ayrshire, the Mental Health Strategy Group will oversee the development of the Framework which sits within a GIRFEC pathway, is relationship-based, underpinned by UNCRC and developed with children and young people.  

Since the commencement and development of support around community mental health, we in SAC have supported the launch of 12 additional services which support children and young people aged 5-25 and their families. These services operate at the level of early intervention/prevention, distress reduction & positive mental health and wellbeing support to ensure a holistic approach to support. The additional services were selected based on an understanding of local & national need informed by a scoping audit of available services within this area, along with identification of areas for development & surveys of children, young people & families/carers developed and carried out in collaboration with young people.  

Through ongoing links with the mental health strategy group, local partners & stakeholders we ensure that there is wide awareness of these services & how to access them, with particular emphasis on self-referral to services where appropriate. To mitigate risk, links between new community services and CAMHS/health services, as well as staff training and support to understand escalation pathways are crucial. 

To see the community mental health and wellbeing framework in full, please go to https://www.gov.scot/publications/community-mental-health-wellbeing-supports-services-framework/  

For more information on the historical development of this framework, along with the linked national drivers, please see https://www.cosla.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0029/27947/CYPMHW-Joint-Delivery-Board-History-and-Overview.pdf