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. We have split this page into sections so you can get the right help at the right time.
Support and resources for all children and young people
It’s always a good idea to think about your mental health. Even if you’re feeling fine, taking small steps to look after your mind and emotions can benefit you in the future. It can help you feel more confident, be more resilient, cope well with change and have better relationships.
These services can help you maintain good mental health.
- Kooth offers a relaxed online community to support your mental health. It’s a great way to stay in touch with how you’re feeling. You can read helpful articles and join conversations with other members. Chat online to the support team if anything is on your mind and keep a daily journal to track your feelings.
- The Mix is a free and confidential multi-channel service. You choose how you access their support, without the worry of anyone else finding out. Their expert team is there to give you information and support to deal with anything – from embarrassing problems and weird questions to any challenge you’re facing.
- Togetherall (formerly Big White Wall)- is a safe online community where young people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing. It aims to connect you to people who know how you’re feeling, and may have even gone through a similar thing.
Coping with grief, loss and bereavement
We all lose people we love, but it can be very difficult to deal with. These services provide support to anyone who may be dealing with grief and loss.
- The Childhood Bereavement Network can help children and families deal 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.
See more support services on our bereavement page.
Support if you are struggling with your mental health (early help)
Early help services are aimed at children and young people who are struggling and need some level of support. These services can help with mental health concerns before they get too serious. They help to make you feel better and prevent your mental health getting worse.
Family Innovation Fund services
Lots of different services around Essex work under the Family Innovation Fund. They support children and young people aged 8 to 19 with healthy relationships, emotional resilience and social connections. Find a support service under the Family Innovation Fund.
Family Innovation Fund-Xtra (FIF-Xtra) services
FIF-Xtra was set up to provide additional support for children, young people and families in Essex in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to provide help across key areas such as mental health, healthy relationships and coping with change. The services can help children aged 0-19 years old or up to 25 years old for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Find a mental health service under FIF-Xtra
Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service
The Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) is an Essex-based service that can help with emotional wellbeing or mental health difficulties. You can contact EWMHS if you are struggling with your mental health in any way. Parents, guardians and professionals can also get help and guidance from them.
Support if your mental health is in a bad place (specialist support)
Specialist help 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.
Intensive support services- MindFresh
MindFresh lists a range of services that offer intensive support for children and young people.
Shout is a text service: text them at any time and 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 today.
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.
Support in mental health crisis
If you are in a serious and urgent situation with your own or someone else’s mental health, contact a crisis service straight away.
These services can help in a crisis situation:
- Childline: call 0800 1111
- Samaritans: call 116 123
- Anna Freud Centre Crisis Messenger: text to 85258.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 999.
Advice and guidance for parents and carers
If you think your child is struggling with the mental health, you can use most of 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
- Receive confidence advice on issues such as sexual health and relationships, visit our ‘Sexual health services in Essex’ webpage
- Affected by bulllying? See what support is available
- Experiencing domestic abuse? See what support is available for you and your child
- Download the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ guide for children
- More information and advice on our mental health webpage