Mental health

New Digital Mental Health Service Launches for Young People Across Berkshire West

  • Within Berkshire West, an estimated 14.3% of 11 - 16 year olds have a diagnosable mental health disorder
  • All 11 - 17 years olds will be able to access the support for free - anonymously
  • New Solution Focused Therapy available to young people by self-referral

A new partnership has been founded to support and improve the mental health of Berkshire West’s young people. Tellmi is an evidence-based mental health service that delivers digital pre-moderated peer support and solution focused therapy. The service has been commissioned by NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire & Berkshire West’s Integrated Care Board in partnership with Reading’s children’s services company, Brighter Futures for Children, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council to launch in July.

The Tellmi service will be made available to all 11-17 year olds (up to their 18th birthday) living and studying in Reading, West Berkshire And Wokingham. Accessible via a native app or a web platform, Tellmi provides 365 day access to an age-banded, anonymous space where young people can discuss their feelings and seek support. To help embed and utilise the newly available service, Tellmi will be working with all the main care providers for young people. By collaborating with existing local authority mental health support systems, Primary Mental Health Teams and Mental Health Support Teams within schools, Tellmi will enhance and expand access to advice and support for young people..

Dr Heather Howells, a partner and trainer at Kintbury and Woolton Hill Surgeries, and GP Clinical Lead for Mental health, dementia and learning disabilities at BOB ICB - Berkshire West said: “The emotional wellbeing and mental health of our children and young people has always been a priority, but probably never more so than now as we look at the challenges and pace of life and the all pervasive influence of social media. Add to this the pandemic which, for many children and young people, has exacerbated their feelings of worry and anxiety. Tellmi is a great resource to help try and capture their concerns and try and prevent them growing into more serious problems.”

As mental health disorders amongst young people continue to increase1  scalable support solutions are urgently needed. Within Berkshire West, an estimated 14.3% of 11 - 16 year olds have a diagnosable mental health disorder² and services such as Berkshire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) which has seen a 60% increase in referrals in the last 12 months.

Tellmi is an immediate, accessible and effective service for all young people in Berkshire West. The 365 day support service is also a particularly effective way to monitor and treat young people who are waiting for a CAMHS assessment and provide ongoing support for those who have been discharged from treatment.

Tellmi delivers a stepped approach to care. At a general level young people can talk anonymously in a pre-moderated chat stream with age banded filtering to help reduce the strain on the service, whilst ensuring all children and young people can obtain immediate help, Tellmi will be providing young people with solution focused brief therapy. The short-term goal-focused therapeutic approach is designed to help young people think more positively about their future and identify existing skills and strengths.

In a statement, Kerstyn Comley, Co-Ceo and Co-founder of Tellmi said: “Digital solutions have the potential to transform the way that mental health support is accessed. But they must be safe and evidenced-based, which is why at Tellmi, everything is backed up by research and safeguarding is a priority.”

“By integrating into an existing, structured care pathway in Berkshire West, children and young people are now able to access the right support for them, at the right time.”

As a result of Tellmi already being commissioned by the NHS across several UK regions and many schools funding the app independently, Berkshire West’s young people will be joining an established community who are not only seeking support from their peers, but actively replying to others’ posts offering support, relatability and empathy.

Tellmi is a BACP accredited service and ensures that all counsellors hold the relevant qualifications and accreditations required for the service that they provide.

To find out more information visit or contact [email protected]

NHE March/April 2024

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