CHUMS supports schools in a variety of ways.  Schools are able to directly purchase programmes of support as outlined in the following information.

Additionally, CHUMS is working in partnership with CAMHS to deliver prevention and early intervention mental health support to all schools in Bedfordshire. Whilst the CAMHS schools team is supporting all upper schools, CHUMS delivers support to 4 cluster groups of lower, middle and primary schools in the following ways:

  • Half termly training for a dedicated member of school staff on the most common presenting issues identified in this age group.
  • Half termly peer consultation sessions with a CHUMS practitioner to discuss those children in school who may be a cause for concern.
  • Early intervention therapeutic group programmes for children aged 5-10 who are showing early signs of anxiety and/or low self-esteem.
  • Recreational therapeutic programmes, using football as a tool for engagement, in young people aged 9-13 who are at risk of disengagement with school and/or displaying challenging behaviour in school.

This programme was initially launched in January 2017 but schools are still able to join by emailing or phone 01525 863924.  This support is completely free to schools.

Information was engaging and very useful to take away and utilise. Not just knowledge, things to use

School Feedback

Excellent training developing knowledge and giving strategies, making me think about practice

School Feedback

An excellent session – very thought provoking but useful info and examples to take back into school

School Feedback

Early intervention for children and young people is vital. Statistics show that those who develop chronic mental health conditions first experience symptoms by the age of 14. I started having symptoms when I was 10 years old but it took a decade to receive a diagnosis and get the help and support I needed. This would never have happened if I had a physical health condition. It should be no different for mental health.

Jonny Benjamin

Jonny Benjamin is a mental health campaigner, author and blogger. He launched a social media campaign called Find ‘Mike’ to search for the stranger who talked him out of taking his own life in 2008.

Did you know?

  • 1 in 10 pupils aged 5-16 suffer from a diagnosable mental health disorder (around 3 in every classroom)
  • It is estimated that 60-70% of children and young people suffering from a mental health difficulty have not accessed appropriate intervention at a young enough age
  • Only 25%-35% of these children/young people access support
  • Over half of all mental health problems in adult life start in adolescence
  • Between 1 in 12 and 1 in 15 children and young people deliberately self-harm
  • 1 in 20 under 16s have been bereaved of a parent
Data taken from ‘Future in Mind; Promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing’ published by Dept of Health 2015

As a school how do you:

  • Support a child/young person who is not coping?
  • Support a child/young person who has challenging and disruptive behaviour?
  • Recognise the signs that a child/young person has compromised mental health?
  • Support staff to share concerns and develop their practice in how best to support children and young people?

CHUMS Mission – To Improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people, enabling positive and fulfilling lives

Recreational Therapeutic Service

The following services are available to be delivered within your school

Our Recreational Therapeutic programmes offer creative and innovative ways of reaching out to young people aged 9-18 years who do not readily engage with traditional therapies and/or are disengaged with education; they may be at risk of exclusion or have been excluded from a previous school. Through using football and music we are able to evidence a tangible difference in behaviour and engagement in learning.

Football Programme

An 8 week therapeutic programme for up to 8 young people in school that uses football to address various behavioural issues in school or at home. It is delivered by mental health practitioners and trained football coaches.

Sessions include the following subject areas:

  • Pre and post individual sessions per young person
  • Thinking about the need to change tactics
  • Thinking before actions
  • Consequences
  • Respect
  • Teamwork and Leadership
  • Communicating positively
  • Coping strategies

Football can create many of the same emotions that can be experienced at home or school. Anger, frustration and disappointment are common feelings that a football player will experience. If a student can learn the techniques to handle these emotions on a pitch, they will also have the ability to do the same in a classroom situation. When playing football, it is also vital to think about your choices, your consequences and your next move. Without thinking these important things through, a player is likely to make mistakes and ultimately not perform well. The football programme encourages students to think about these things on a football pitch with the intention to take this skill into the classroom and into their lives at home.

Each session includes:

  • Introduction to the topic and discussion
  • Skills and match play
  • Debrief

Luton Town Football Club supports our programme by offering those who complete the course match tickets and/or a stadium tour.

Music Programme

The following services are available to be delivered within your school

A practical theory based 8 week programme delivered to small groups of 6 young people in school*, facilitated by a therapeutic music practitioner. In the same way that football can engage young people, our music programme has been developed using similar themes and will involve the use of a variety of acoustic and electric equipment. We currently offer two types of music programme; one focused on themes to support challenging behaviour and the other on themes relevant to young people struggling with anxiety and low self-esteem.

The groups aim to provide a safe and entertaining environment where the young people will be encouraged to gain and develop not only musical but also social skills.

Some of the subject areas include:

  • Anxiety and Low Self-Esteem:
  • Understanding and making sense of worry
  • Individual values
  • Thinking traps
  • Coping thoughts
  • “Fight” vs “Flight” concept
  • Relaxation techniques

Challenging Behaviour:

  • Respecting yourself and others
  • The importance and how to change bad behaviours
  • Social norms
  • Playing to our strengths and improving our weaknesses
  • Making the right choices
  • Good communication
  • Working together 

At the end of the programme, each young person will receive the following:

  • Interactive booklet (will be used throughout the programme and then taken home on final session)
  • Certificate of accomplishment
  • USB stick including audio and video recordings of music tasks
  • “School of Rock” film DVD
  • Opportunity to perform or have their own piece played at one of CHUMS’ events throughout the year

*The programme is best suited to small groups of young people Groups for both football and music programmes can be tailor made to the presenting issue.

“CHUMS have really helped me and I will continue to practice the techniques you have taught me”

“The impact CHUMS has had on both our lives has been nothing but positive!”

“CHUMS has given us reassurance, an ear to listen and the confidence to move forward again”

“It was great to channel my anger and to practise how to be good at school”

“Before, I didn’t ever stop to think about my choices but now I can stop and see what options I have”

Early Intervention Therapeutic Programme

Promoting good mental health from a young age may prevent a future diagnosable mental health condition. This 8 week Early Intervention Programme is specifically for children of primary school age who display signs of being withdrawn or anxious in the classroom or who have difficulties maintaining friendships and is suitable for a group of up to 10 children.

  • Weekly themes include:
  • What is special about you?
  • Friendships and relationships
  • Teamwork and trust
  • Emotions
  • Coping strategies

This is a creative programme using crafts and games every week as well as a food activity to encourage healthy eating. Activities include those which promote ideas of exercise and good sleep; children are helped from an early age to understand the link between their mental and physical health.

Transition and Anxiety Programmes

School transition can be particularly difficult for some children and young people who show higher levels of anxiety at these times.

CHUMS has developed a 4 session (8 hour) programme to help children/young people and their parent/carers to develop positive coping skills during these periods. The programme is suited to groups of up to 12 children/young people and their parent/carer.


Positive mental health and emotional wellbeing is important for all children and young people and awareness of some of these issues can be delivered in PSHE lessons.

CHUMS has two DVDs available to support lessons and our clinical practitioners are able to come and talk to groups of children/young people on any subject of your choice including the following:

  • Managing anxiety
  • What is depression?
  • Loss and grief
  • Why self-harm?
  • Managing feelings
  • Self-worth

Mild to Moderate Mental Health Support

CHUMS Emotional Wellbeing Service supports a number of presenting issues including:

  • Anxiety (including phobias and panic)
  • Anxiety about school transition
  • ASD (anxiety and behaviour)
  • Bereavement
  • Challenging behaviour
  • Depression
  • Relationship difficulties (peer/family/family separation)
  • Self-worth
  • Self-harm
  • Trauma (including domestic violence, sexual abuse and PTSD)

We are not able to support every young person referred to the service due to insufficient capacity but we are able to support some young people via our Private Practice. We offer a full mental health assessment for the young person and their family followed by up to 6 sessions of individual support and/or a 4 session group; alongside all groups we are able to offer parent/carer support as appropriate.


We are united in our belief that all children and young people deserve the best we can give


Creative tailor-made support giving children and young people choice


Humanity and warmth, delivered by a committed and dedicated team


Improving outcomes by offering high quality evidence based support

Training and Consultation Opportunities

CHUMS delivers a comprehensive training programme which can be combined with consultation sessions for school staff. This can include:

  • Training for all staff on awareness of mental health and identification of risk factors and how they might impact your school or community
  • Specific skills training on a variety of common presenting issues for staff working daily with vulnerable children
  • Consultation as a follow up to training or support for staff in their roles 

Training modules include:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
  • ASD (autistic spectrum disorder)
  • Depression/low mood
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Establishing a resilient classroom
  • Loss and grief
  • Observation skills
  • Relationship issues
  • Self-harm
  • Self-esteem
  • Trauma in the classroom

We also deliver a number of ‘Tool-kit’ days that complement the above modules and provide a range of practical interventions to address the presenting issues. Subjects are delivered over ½ day or a full day, we offer any combination of available modules. Each training package is suitable for groups of up to 20 delegates. Consultation sessions are offered on a monthly or six weekly basis for groups of up to 10 staff.

How do you access support?


Any combination of support can be purchased by schools or school clusters. You may like to consider using pupil premium funding in order to purchase any of our programmes. All support is delivered by trained and experienced mental health practitioners in your school setting. In the first instance it would be helpful to speak to one of the people below:

Therapeutic Interventions

Contact CHUMS on 01525 863924 or email:

Training & School Consultation

Contact CHUMS on 01525 863924 or email:

What does the school need to do?

  • Agree the package and pay upfront
  • Provide an appropriate room and facilities as appropriate to package
  • Nominate one member of your team to act as an Emotional Wellbeing Lead

We are here to help you build resiliency and confidence in the children and young people you support within school.

Make A Referral