"Simply put, mental health is how we think, feel and act. We all have mental health; we can all do things to look after our mental health"
Mental health first aid tools
When we start to feel big emotions like sadness, loneliness and worry we can often stop doing things we used to enjoy and become isolated. If you notice this happening, plan to have at least one connection each day, whether that be texting a friend, meeting someone for a hot chocolate or going to a group or class. You may not always feel like it as it can take your mind a while to catch up – fake it until you make it!
Notice and challenge unhelpful thoughts
Thoughts are NOT facts! Our minds can be cruel and lead us towards unhelpful thinking patterns such as “no one likes me”, “I’m not good enough”, etc. Making space for more positive thinking can be helpful – it does however take some practice, just like when you learn a new skill.
Mindfulness and breathing exercises
Take 5–10 minutes each day to slow down and focus on relaxing. You can do this by trying out an exercise on a mindful app, practicing yoga or some simple breathing exercises. Some people find imagery useful: create a happy place in your mind and escape there for a moment whenever you need to.
Be aware of what’s normal
Between the ages of 12–24 your brain undergoes some BIG changes which leads to feelings being experienced more intensely (this is normal!). The area of your brain responsible for self-control, problem solving, good decision making doesn’t catch up until your mid-twenties which can make adolescence feel like a roller coaster ride for some.
Mental health information and services
Suicidal thoughts and suicide prevention
NHS first response – 01274 221181
NHS 111 (just dial 111)
Samaritans – 116123
Childline – 0800 1111
Youngminds text service – Text YM to 85258
The Mix – 0808 8084994
HopelineUK suicide prevention – 0800 0684141
If you need immediate help to keep safe call 999 or go straight to your nearest A&E.
Kooth is a great young persons mental health support site offering free, safe and anonymous support.
Social prescribing is a term that means providing 1:1 support for young people.
- stress and anxiety
- self-confidence and self-esteem
- behavioural issues
- social support
- special needs
- long-term health conditions/disabilities
- family changes such as divorce or relationship breakdown
You will have 1:1 support from a ‘link worker’ who will talk to you to see what help and support you could get from local services.
Who is it for?
Young people aged 5–18.
How can I use the service?
You can either talk to us directly or ask a teacher or parent/carer to contact us.
We’ll arrange an appointment that can be at home, school or your GP practice. The appointment can be day time or in the evening. The appointment will last up to an hour.
to self refer now
David Pugh - Children and Young People's Social Prescriber
I work with young people (3-18 year olds) in a non-medical role, talking to them, getting to know them and offering support with any issues they may be struggling with. This includes offering advice, giving basic self-help techniques and signposting to community groups/organisations and other appropriate services. There is no set criteria, the service is for any young person who feels they may benefit from talking to someone. I often offer support around anxiety, low mood, sleep, anger, relationship problems, stress, problems at home, bullying, loneliness/isolation and many more issues. We all need a little support at times.
Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues.
What can counselling help with?
- a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or an eating disorder
- an upsetting physical health condition
- a difficult life event, such as a bereavement, a relationship breakdown or problems at school
- difficult emotions – for example, low self-esteem or anger
- other issues, such as sexual identity
Confidential, friendly, 1:1 counselling sessions are available through RISE Young Person’s Resilience Service. We can meet you at school, at home, at your local GP practice or even somewhere out and about in town.
to self refer now
8 Steps to Feel GR8 Today
2. Fuel Your Body
4. Get Active
6. Be Kind to Yourself
7. Social Media