There is always help

At times mental health problems and your own thoughts and mood can leave you can feeling alone and frightened but there is always help.

Many young people I meet are worried about telling their parents how much they are struggling, often for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they do not want to worry their parents but parents tend to worry much more if they do not know how you are feeling than if they do know, even if you are struggling. When I meet with you I will help you find a way to communicate with your parents in a way you are comfortable with and in a manner that ensures you will be happy with how your parents will react and support you when you do approach them. Something I often suggest is a traffic light communication system. This uses red, amber and green to indicate how you are feeling and we agree between us and your parents how you would like your parents to react and support you depending on which colour you feel. (I only ever put in place systems like this with your agreement).

If you would rather communicate with someone who does not know you there are some excellent support helplines or online e-mail support options. The only issue with the online e-mail support is that often they can take up to 24 hours to reply to you which may be too long when you need support in that moment. Please bear in mind that if they take a while to reply to you, they do still care and you are still important, it is just their processes are slightly slow.

If you ever feel in a real crisis and need help to be kept safe urgently you can dial 111 or if a real emergency you can ring 999 or walk into an A+E and ask to see the emergency mental health team. There is help available 24/7.

Please remember that feelings never last forever. If you think about it, feelings and mood always change eventually. There are things you can do to help you mood change more quickly. Have a think of things that make you laugh, or make you feel calm or make you feel happy. For example, playing with a pet or watching funny clips online or binge watching a series online with a parent or brother or sister. Perhaps colouring or listening to music or having a run is calming. When having feelings that are not comfortable, push yourself to go and try one of the things on your list, it is likely to help change your emotions. Although you might not feel motivated to do this, or have much energy if you manage too, it is worth a try as it may well help.

If you are struggling with your mental health please do tell a parent, or a teacher, or an adult you trust or go and see your GP. Your parent or the GP can refer you to someone like me if needed and I, and other people with similar experience to me, really can help young people start to enjoy life again and assist you to be able to do the things you want to do that you might currently struggle with due to mental health issues.

Please remember mental health issues are common and treatable. The sooner you ask for help and support, the sooner life will improve.

Helplines other young people in my clinic have found helpful and recommended are:

Papyrus suicide prevention helpline : call 0800 068 4141 or text 07786209697 or e-mail

The Mix mental health support tel: 0808 808 4994 (

Samaritans tel 116 123 or e-mail

ChildLine tel 0800 1111