A new support hub aimed at helping children and young people with their mental health has opened.
The Horizon centre in Bathpool, a partnership between Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (SNHSFT) and the Young Somerset charity, opened on Thursday.
The Taunton hub offers a range of healthcare appointments and has a consultation suite and group rooms.
SNHSFT member Dave Smith said the team wanted to make it “welcoming” and relaxing for young people.
“The aim is to get them in the right place and seen by the right people,” he said.
The hub, which will be run by a team of NHS professionals and a range of voluntary and third sector organisations, aims to give children and young people better access to mental health services.
The site includes a space for children and family assessments, short term therapeutic care and a coffee shop for young people to spend time on their own or with others.
Mr Smith told BBC Radio Somerset the “pandemic was a very challenging time for young people” and it was clear specialist and “welcoming hubs” for children and young people facing mental or emotional health struggles were needed.
Faye Gladwin from Young Somerset, a youth charity based at the hub, said: “We’re really looking forward to working together to run some groups, not just for young people, but for parents as well.”
She urged those experiencing poor mental health to not “wait until you’re feeling bad”.
“Come and talk to us. We’ll be there for you,” she said.