If you’re struggling with your mental health, or you’re worried about one of your friends, there are lots of organisations and charities that offer help specifically for young people.
Support from charities
The Mix has a free, confidential telephone helpline and online service that aims to find you the best help, whatever the problem.
Shout 85258 provides free, confidential, 24/7 text message support in the UK for anyone struggling to cope. They can help with issues including suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, abuse, self-harm, relationship problems and bullying. Text “Shout” to 85258 to speak to an empathetic, trained volunteer who will listen and work with you to solve problems.
If you’re under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.
Support from the NHS
You can find more information about NHS children and young people’s mental health services (CYPMHS) on the NHS website. You can also look at your local Clinical Commissioning Group website.
Alternatively, most services also have their own website with information about access, referrals (including whether you can “self-refer”) and contact details – try searching in your area for “CYPMHS” or “CAMHS” (children and adolescent mental health services, an older term used for some CYPMHS).
You can also talk to an adult you trust – for example a parent, carer, teacher, social worker or GP – and they can look into this for you.
Help for problems during coronavirus
Some of us have faced really hard times recently. It can feel like no one can help, but there are lots of organisations out there to support you through:
- bereavement and grief
- dealing with family conflict
- being abused
- money worries
- dealing with disappointing exam results
Barnardo’s has also set up the See, Hear, Respond support hub – a dedicated service to help children, young people and their families or carers with problems caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Support for different groups
There are lots of organisations and networks who provide advice and support for specific groups. It can help to connect with other young people and supporters who understand where you are coming from:
- The Proud Trust – if you identify as LGBTQ+
- Make Our Rights Reality – your mental health as a young black person
- Barnardo’s – young carers and help if you are facing homelessness
- Council for Disabled Children – living with a long-term health condition
- Beat – living with an eating disorder
- Become – children in care or being looked after
If you have learning disabilities or you are autistic, this may have been an especially difficult time for you. Here are some resources that might be useful:
- National Autistic Society and Autistica both provide support and information, including an Autism Helpline
- Ambitious About Autism has information about what to expect back at school or college
- Learning Disability England has some tips on looking after your mental wellbeing
- GOV.UK has produced an easy-read guide to looking after your feelings and your body
- Mencap has lots of help and advice – you can also contact its Learning Disability Helpline
- you can watch “A safe return to learning – SEND” for advice on going back to school
For further help and advice on SEND support services here are some useful resources:
Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people
Five Ways to Wellbeing for Young People: