Just over 1 in 3 children and young people with a Mental Health condition get access to NHS care and treatment.

Our teenage years are supposed to be some of the best of our lives. It's the time when we start to breakaway from the innocence of childhood, when we unearth our individual interests. It's the chance to discover ourselves, find our path, over time transforming into a version of the many role-models we looked up to. But this idyllic picturesque time is a mirage on the journey of life. Realistically? The teenage years are the hardest part of childhood. 

It's easy to look back in hindsight and begin to think those arguments were silly, our style at the time was a thousand percent questionable, the anxiety was small and totally not worth the meltdowns. But when you're a young person all these little elements come together and create an intense concoction. And if your Parent's were really being honest, they would probably agree that they wouldn't want to return to that period of their lives. 

Parents also struggle with the transition as teenagers start to voice their opinions, assert their authority, and display challenging behaviour.

The combination of School and home life alongside the pressures of studying, learning new skills, and relationships involving sex, alcohol and drugs are often a lethal combination, leaving both parents and teenagers struggling, confused, and frustrated.

Many young people struggle with friendships as they feel they are judged for who they engage with, their beliefs, what they wear, and how they look. Many young people strive to fit in with the 'popular' kids, and many are stressed by keeping up the image of coping and doing well, when they feel they are failures.

Some teenagers feel quite unable to cope and lose their confidence and self-esteem rapidly, which impacts their mood, potentially deteriorating to frightening levels of self-harm and active suicidal thoughts. Self-harm can range from the use of sharp objects to cut their skin, taking drugs or alcohol, or restricting food.

Lavinia's background

Lavinia has worked extensively across CAMHS working in A&E (Bristol & Avon; Surrey, south London), Single Point Access (south London, Somerset),  Community (Hampshire, Devon, Somerset, Surrey) and specialist (Surrey). At one point, services were so stretched that Lavinia worked across all three services (A&E, Community, ND clinic) in a week  for over a year to support three different teams as a specialist practitioner screening where needed for Autism. One night, Lavinia's daughter was admitted to hospital and placed on the children's ward where Lavinia often assessed A&E clients. In the morning the ward staff took over the care of her daughter so that Lavinia could go to another hospital in the county to complete assessments for families who had been waiting for months to be screened for Autism. Even the Consultant waited for Lavinia to return to her daughter to then assess. It showed the harmonious relationship and respect between clinicians about valuing each other's job roles despite services being very stretched.

The M Word cic is currently the only independent Community Interest Company that provides a one stop shop in providing assessments and reports, but also support for the young person, as well as the family through our sister company Emotional Problem Solving Limited. This is because our founder and Director of both companies recognised there was a shortfall in the CAMHS service where she was working at the time as a Mental Health Nurse. Over half of daily triage across CAMHS present with traits of Autism, but, because anxiety and low mood is associated with school, CAMHS are unable to accept these clients even though they may be seriously anxious and/or depressed. The expectation is that if school have caused the issues, then school should not expect CAMHS to try and fix, but rather school should find the cause and provide the solution. Naturally, schools are not trained as Mental Health practitioners and are dependent upon basic training (e.g. Mental Health First Aid) and CAMHS support within schools (invariably one day or two a month and not face to face). The other difficulty compounding the issue for schools is there are insufficient resources to screen and assess on site learning difficulties, and lengthy waiting lists with CAMHS across the UK (sometimes up to 5 years) for referrals to neuro pathways due to insufficient resources. The systems are failing one another.

TMW offer mental health assessments (especially around high risk and self-harming behaviours) supporting clients with chronic mental health issues in Anxiety and Depression, as well as offering initial screening of Autism (using the ADOS tool), and either direct  or indirect support to young people  or their parents with Autistic traits and diagnosis. We also support directives around mental health needs within Educational Health Care Plans and Annual Reviews to support the families, the schools and Local Authorities. We attend Tribunals, where necessary, and prepare documents for county, family and national courts because of our specialist skill set around Mental Health and Autism, ADHD and PDA.

What is Our approach?

Lavinia’s model of care Emotional Problem Solving is a unique approach consisting of a combination of talking therapy embracing Social Role Valorisation (SRV), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), and Counselling.

SRV looks at the individual, their environment and the impacts on them both positively and negatively, and challenges negative perceptions and fixed beliefs. CBT challenges our negative thoughts and feelings, IPT explores our relationships and their impact, and Counselling teaches us to listen to ourselves.

Emotional Problem Solving consists of an initial assessment (1.5hrs) followed by further sessions (1hr +) through a choice of packages depending on your needs.

Your Clinical Nurse Therapist is only a phone call away if you need support through the therapy. Telephone, videolink, text, or email support continues to be offered throughout the therapy.

Lavinia has always asserted that “Mental Health affects everybody, not just anybody!” from the moment we are conceived to the moment we die. It is important to know ourselves really well to enable us to recognise the triggers that impact on our mental health, as well as our physical health, but also the right coping mechanisms that empower us, build our confidence and resilience.


What are the benefits?

  • Empowering the client to regain control of their life without the use of medication (e.g., anti-depressants/anxiolytics) or negative coping mechanisms (e.g. alcohol/drugs/sex/self-harm).
  • Building a reliable relationship, maintain clients’ confidentiality
  • Creating a safe space, remaining  non-judgemental
  • Upholding an open and honest connection

These are the key attributes to our success! We value each and every client as a unique individual. We treat each client as a VIP, as this starts the process of their recovery.

By being non-judgemental, maintaining confidentiality and discretion, we allow the client to relax immediately and not fear the stigma of mental health. The client is encouraged to talk freely and at length about their emotional problems.

Our clients often say they have been ‘given a licence’ to think about themselves. Many have commented on the comfort of the confidential and non-judgemental approach.

What is the role of Emotional Problem Solving Nurse Consultant?

  • Helping Clients to identify problematic issues
  • Help recognise the triggers that attacks their self-esteem
  • Teach new positive coping mechanisms for life
  • Provide a variety of support - telephone/text/email

hesitating is a temporary plaster, there is still time to make the first positive step!


If you are a Young Person, or know of a Young Person struggling with mental ill health, despite having accessed a number of services, we may well be in a position to help and support you in your recovery.

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