Referral Process

We encourage people to self refer to Stepping Stones!

Stepping Stones Referral and Assessment Process

 Referral criteria

People who want to refer to Stepping Stones, should live within West Dunbartonshire and be at least 16 years of age. When people refer to our service they are usually experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or stress. These mental health problems can have a big impact on how people live their lives, their relationships at home, or at work, etc., – the list can be endless.

We have an open referral system and we welcome self referrals to the service. Support agencies, or GP’s can refer providing the individual being referred and their Care Manager (if there is one) are in agreement with the referral being made. A referral form is available for agencies who work outwith the confines of West Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership and this can be requested by contacting

Those agencies can use the referral form to refer people to our service, however, with the form is our Privacy Statement. In order for us to be GDPR compliant, potential members should read and sign the declaration at the end of the statemet. Option 1 is the only part that is required to be completed. Self referring is always the easiest option for people.

We are more than happy to discuss potential referrals and have information on our website about the service.

Making a referral

You can refer to Stepping Stones by calling us on 01419412929, or emailing us on Some people are happy to refer via the contact form on our website. We just need you to include your name, address and telephone number. We will take your details and let you know when we can offer you an appointment to discuss your support needs.

Home Visits

We can offer an assessment at the persons’ home if they are unable to come into our offices across the area for an appointment. Following the assessment, we can offer support in the home for a short period of time, usually for 4 – 6 support sessions. Our work during these few weeks is to establish a supportive/therapeutic relationship with the person, help them to identify their goals, agree a plan of support and offer support and encouragement with the aim of attending Stepping Stones for appointments in their chosen locale.

If, after a completion of the sessions, it becomes apparent that the person will need longer term support in order to leave their home, we will help them identify the appropriate services that will help them work towards this goal.


Once a referral has been received the person will be offered an appointment with a Stepping Stones’ senior staff member who will meet with the person to gather information about their support needs.  They will be asked to complete several short forms at the appointment. If we agree that Stepping Stones can offer a suitable support service, we will discuss the options available to them at the assessment. The persons case will then be discussed at our allocations meeting.

It may be at this point that we decide further information is required.

If we agree that another service is better placed to support the person, we are happy to refer on, or to signpost, to that appropriate service.

However, the vast majority of our cases are deemed suitable for our service at this point.

We receive approximately 700 referrals per annum and the demand for our services can cause waiting times to fluctuate. Mostly, people will be offered an assessment appointment within 4 weeks. Allocation to our services following assessment can take a further 8 – 20 weeks depending on demand.


We currently offer a range of services and these include;

  • 1:1 Support
    • Guided Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
    • Five Areas Approach (Workbook based CBT support)
    • Little CBT books – Living Life to the Full and can be offered in a group also
    • Behavioural Activation – for people who have a depressive illness
    • Support Work – for people who need support with practical issues
    • Person Centred Counselling
    • CBT
    • Reiki
    • Indian Head Massage


  • Group Support
    • Peer Support/Social Groups
    • Therapeutic Group Work
    • Wellness Recovery Action Planning
    • Living Life to the Full
    • Others – as and when required.