Mental health support for children and young people
There are lots of ways you can get support for your mental health. Whatever you are struggling with or worried about, there are services around Essex that can help you.
If you get help earlier, you are more likely to feel better sooner.
If you or someone you know need urgent help, contact one of the services below immediately.
- Childline: call 0800 1111
- Samaritans: call 116 123
- Anna Freud Centre Crisis Messenger: text to 85258.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.
We have split this page into sections so you can get the right help at the right time.
Leaving education is a big step in everyone’s life. It can feel overwhelming trying to decide what to do next. You might think that everyone around you has it all figured out. Remember, these feelings are completely normal.
If you got the exam results you wanted or they weren’t what you were expecting, there are lots of paths you could follow. The important thing is to do what is right for you and to not feel pressured.
If you need support making sense of how you’re feeling, follow these tips:
- Talk to someone. Sharing your thoughts with someone you trust can be the first step to feeling better. Come up with a plan for moving forward together.
- If you would prefer to speak to someone you don’t know, try Kooth. This is a free, confidential and anonymous online community for 11-25-year-olds, supported by trained counsellors.
- Read more on Young Minds or the Mix. Find information to help you manage how you are feeling and work out your next steps.
- Contact the local mental health service for young people in Southend, Essex and Thurrock. It is open to young people between the ages of 0-18, or up to 25-years-old for those with Special Educational Needs.
The services below can also help if you are struggling with your mental health. They can support you, whether you are worried about your exams or something else.
- Family Innovation Fund services can help you if you are aged 8-19-years-old. They offer advice around a range of topics. These include relationships and emotional wellbeing.
- Family Innovation Fund-Xtra (FIF-Xtra) services also offer support. These services are available to children and young people aged 0-19-years-old or up to 25-years-old for those with a Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).
Specialist services can help if you are feeling very low and don’t know what to do about it. They offer different types of support for different mental health concerns and can help you start to feel better again.
- Shout is a text service that you can use at any time. You’ll get free, fast and confidential support from their mental health team. If you’re feeling anxious, stressed or in need of someone to speak to, text Shout on 85258.
- Papyrus can help if you are having suicidal thoughts. They have lots of online advice, as well as a dedicated helpline if you want to speak to someone.
Coping with grief, loss and bereavement
We all lose people we love and it can be very difficult to deal with. These services can help you.
- The Childhood Bereavement Network can help you to cope with death and grief.
- Young Minds has lots of information about helping children and young people who have lost someone.
- The NHS has a list of helplines, email support and online communities that can support children with bereavement.
- Child Bereavement UK offers advice and guidance on dealing with death due to coronavirus (Covid-19).
- Simon Says provides a variety of bereavement information, including how to support teenagers and those affected by suicide.
- The British Heart Foundation have developed an animated short story to help bereaved children.
- Our videos might help you approach end of life discussions with children and other family members.
- Winston’s Wish – giving hope to grieving children after the death of a parent or sibling.
Advice and guidance for parents and carers
If you think your child is struggling with the mental health, find out how to help them using the services and resources listed below.
- Young Minds has a wide range of information and advice to help you support your child’s mental health.
- MindEd is a free educational resource that can help you to understand mental health and what you can do to support your family.
- Every Mind Matters by the NHS has a step-by-step guide to supporting children and young people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Rethink Mental Illness.
- Honest information about drugs- FRANK.
- The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service are still providing you with a safe and high quality service over telephone or with CHAT Health which is the school nurse text-messaging service (open 9-5pm Monday to Friday, all messages responded within 24 hours Monday – Friday).
- Action for Children- Helping young people to express how they feel.
- Bounce Forward- Free online resilience-building sessions online.
- MindUP- Free resources and activities for families.
- Partnership for Children- Free downloadable activities designed to help children to explore their feelings and find positive coping strategies.
- Place2Be– Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing.
- The Mix– UK’s leading support service for young people (13 to 25).They are here to help you take on any challenge you’re facing – from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. Talk to them via online, social or our free, confidential helpline.
- MiLife is an online help service designed by young people from Essex with useful information and links to other organisations that work with young people.
- BEAT is the UK’s national eating disorder charity and can provide advice and guidance for both people suffering from eating disorders and those around them.
- Find self help in your local library- Reading Well for young people recommends expert endorsed books about mental health, providing 13 to 18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams.
- Healthwatch Essex has an Information Service that you can call for advice. Tamsin, a Mental Health Ambassador reflects on her struggle with her own mental health in her blog. They also have some useful advice for young adults feeling stressed, anxious or feeling low. Contact them if you have a concern or a complaint relating to any health service provider in Essex.