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What we do...

Our Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Service offers specialist group work, 1to1 sessions, and counselling, for those experiencing mental ill health or who may benefit from emotional support.  We work with all ages but particularly specialise in working with children, teenagers and young adults. 

we are happy to work with people who may also be engaging with other services

We work with a wide range of difficulties from general anxiety, unwanted behaviour and exam stress to phobias, low mood and suicidality.  Although very much independent, we work collaboratively with Scottish Borders Council, the NHS and other services in the community and within education.  Referrals can also be made by individuals themselves using this form, and we are happy to work with people who may also be engaging with other services, subject to ethical guidelines. 

Our team includes our Head of Service and Lead Practitioner Ross Irvine, Senior Practitioner and Stepping Stones Youth Development worker Lee Armitage, ten further counselling skills Practitioners and our Administrator Jane Harrison.  Clinical Supervision is led by our consulting Psychotherapist Sarah McFadyen MBABCP.  Coming from a range of backgrounds, experience and qualification including youth work, mental health and additional needs, we utilise a wide range of approaches including the use of play and cognitive behavioural techniques. 

In addition, we run a number of specialist programmes and services including:


  • The Brick-by-Brick™ (LEGO®-based Therapy) programme

Led by professional facilitator and Cheviot Youth Lead Practitioner Ross Irvine, the approach builds upon the work of Dr Dan LeGoff, Clinical Neuropsychologist, and is officially endorsed by the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University Department of Developmental Psychiatry and backed by The LEGO® Foundation.

A social development programme for young people aged from eight to adulthood who enjoy building LEGO® models, it is aimed at those who would benefit from support with social communication, friendships or language.  Unlike some other social skills approaches, it has a particular emphasis on social identity development and on what an individual ‘can do’ rather than ‘can’t do’.  As a collaborative play intervention, members join one of our Brick Clubs, work together to build LEGO® models and in doing so use, practice and develop key social communication skills such as joint attention, shared goals, and mutual purpose.  As most children have played with LEGO® at some point, the sense of familiarity helps reduce anxiety and promote a relaxed and fun environment.

  • All STARS resilience against bullying programme

All STARS aims to provide young people who have experienced bullying the opportunity to learn and practice new skills, strategies and ways of thinking when faced with bullying.  Developed by our Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Service and run by Senior Counselling Skills Practitioner Lee Armitage, sessions are relaxed and informal but structured and based at our Kelso Hub. 

Open to young people in P6 – S4, All STARS the programme runs across four weekly sessions.  There is also a dedicated evening session for parents/carers with mental health and youth work professionals on hand to provide support and information

  • The Seasons for Growth programme

An innovative grief and loss programme facilitated by our trained adult Companions, Seasons for Growth uses imagery of the seasons to illustrate the experience of grief.  Aimed at children and young people who are living with the effects of change and loss, the programme focuses on the impact of change rather than the event itself.  It does not provide counselling or therapy but instead aims to strengthen the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people who are dealing with significant life changes. 

Run in groups of 4-6 over 8 sessions at our Jedburgh and Kelso Hubs, the approach combines psychology and education with peer support and contains developmentally appropriate discussions and activities.  By normalising participants’ experiences, it can increase protective factors while minimising certain risk factors that influence mental health and wellbeing. 

  • The Inner Growth Initiative

Developed to help nurture resilience in children and young people facing challenging circumstances, the Inner Growth Initiative aims to equip participating individuals with a greater knowledge and understanding of self.  Delivered over a series of stage appropriate programmes there is a particular focus on growing skills in self-reflection, goal setting and personal development.

Designed to be delivered during youth clubs and drop-ins in conjunction with their regular activities, individuals will be supported to apply their new found understanding in their everyday activities whether this be relaxing with friends, playing computer games or learning at school.  Upon completion participants will achieve an SCQF accredited award to mark their time effort. 

  • Support for parents / carers

We know that being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world.  That’s why we’ve teamed up with local organisation Parent Space to offer a number of programmes aimed at helping parents and carers navigate their way through the challenges of bringing up a child in 21st Century Scotland.

Far for lectures on ‘how to be a parent’, these programmes are instead aimed at providing hints, tips and advice in a safe and supportive environment.  Sessions are relaxed but informative with lots of discussion and specialist professionals on hand to answer questions, bust myths and provide deeper insight.

To view what's on offer and book a space on one of our upcoming courses click here

Who can use our service...

young people aged 8 - 16 years and all 16+ adults of any age from across the Scottish Borders 

Our service is available to both young people aged 8 – 16 years and all 16+ adults of any age from across the Scottish Borders.  We have rooms and specialist spaces within both our Kelso and Jedburgh Hubs as well as our newly opened Tweedbank Clinic.  Hearing-loop facilities are available as well as a range of accessibility options.   

Clinical focus is in line with tiers 2 and 3 of the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Scottish Borders Mental Health Services Integrated Care Pathway tiers guidance.  We use both the Revised Children's Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) and CORE Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) to help track progress and when determining clinical cut-off, but will always consider an individual on their own unique set of circumstances when determining the appropriateness of our service. 

If you would like to find out more about who can use our services or the appropriateness of a referral you are considering making, please do not hesitate to contact us as we are always happy to provide further information or discuss available options.   


Our ethics and approach...

Fundamental to the safe and professional operation of any emotional wellbeing or mental health support service is the implementation of a solid framework of ethics.  At Cheviot Youth we strive to offer the highest levels of service and professionalism at all times and all practitioners are required to abide by a strict code of ethics.

Cheviot Youth is an organisational member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), one of the most renowned and highly regarded professional associations for members of the counselling and psychotherapeutic professions in the UK. All our Practitioners, regardless of individual level of qualification, other professional associations, or registration, are required to practice within its code of ethics.     

Download a copy of the BACP code of ethics here

Find out more about the BACP here

Our team is comprised of a number of practitioners operating within a range of professional competencies and clinical scopes.  As a minimum, all practitioners, including trainees, have an HNC qualification in Counselling, accredited by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, and must hold a valid membership of the BACP.  Regular clinical supervision is conducted in line with the code of ethics and provided by a number of highly experienced and suitably qualified therapeutic supervisors, overseen by our consulting Psychotherapist Sarah McFadyen MBABCP. 

Find out more about Sarah McFadyen MBABCP here

EWMHSS Support fo parents / carer
EWMHSS Our ethics and approach
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