On My Mind: Urgent Help for young people with their mental health (2023)

Looking for help right now?

If you or someone you know needs help right now, you should, if possible, try to talk to a parent, carer or trusted adult.

If talking to an adult is not possible, the following organisations are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

On My Mind: Urgent Help for young people with their mental health (1)

Call: 0800 1111
email | online chat

Childline is there to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Whether it’s something big or small, their trained counsellors are there to support you.

Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night.

On My Mind: Urgent Help for young people with their mental health (2)

Call: 116 123
email | visit | write

Samaritans a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way, about whatever’s getting to you. They won’t tell you what to do – they listen and try to understand what you’re going through.

Samaritans is free, confidential and available any time, day or night, for people of any age across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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On My Mind: Urgent Help for young people with their mental health (3)

Call: 999

If you are concerned that your life or the life of someone else is in danger, you can call 999 for an ambulance, police, fire brigade or any other emergency service any time of the day or night.

The 999 emergency number covers the whole of the UK and anyone can call 999 for free, but it should only be used in cases where there is a risk or threat to someone’s safety (this includes if someone is at risk of suicide). The emergency services may be able to track the location of the phone used to make the call.

AFC Crisis Messenger

On My Mind: Urgent Help for young people with their mental health (4)

Read more about the AFC Crisis Messenger service.

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Download the AFC Crisis Messenger poster for your school, college or workplace.

More help

The below organisations offer help and support for young people on a variety of issues. You can also search for support services near you using the Youth Wellbeing Directory.

Please check the organisation website for up-to-date opening times, details of locations helped and information about confidentiality. Please note that the below organisations may collect identifiableor anonymised data around your use of the service and each should provide a privacy or terms of service setting out their use of your data on their website.

The Mix are there 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.

The Mix is for anyone under 25 living in any part of the UK. Their confidential helpline and webchat service are open from 11am to 11pm, 7 days a week, and are both free to contact.

  • HOPElineUK:call 0800 068 41 41 / text 07786 209697 / emailpat@papyrus-uk.org

HOPELineUK is a confidential support and advice service for young peopleunder the age of 35 across the UK who may be having thoughts of suicide, or anyone concerned that a young person may be having thoughts of suicide.

HOPElineUK is open 10am-10pm weekdays, 2pm-10pm weekends, and 2pm-10pm Bank Holidays. All calls and emails to HOPElineUK are free, and you will be charged at your usual rate for text messages.

SANEline is a national out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone over 16 affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers.

They are open every day of the year from 4.30pm to 10.30pm. Calls cost no more than calls to 01 and 02 numbers and are included in inclusive and free minutes on mobiles.

Nightline is a university student listening service which is open at night and run by students for students. Every night of term, trained student volunteers answer calls, emails, instant messages, texts and talk in person to their fellow university students about anything that’s troubling them. To find out whether your institution is covered by a Nightline, go to their‘find your Nightline’page.

The C.A.L.L. helpline offers a confidential emotional support and information about mental health and related matters to people living in Wales. Anyone concerned about their own mental health or that of a relative or friend can access the service, though if you are under 16 they ask that you get your parent or carer’s permission before contacting them.

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The C.A.L.L. helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Switchboard is a confidential LGBT+ helpline there to listen and support you with anything that you want to talk about. All of their volunteers self-define as LGBT+ and they are trans-friendly and nonbinary-friendly.

Switchboard are open 10am to 10pm every day of the year. Calls cost no more than calls to 01 and 02 numbers and are included in inclusive and free minutes on mobiles.

Visit the Shelter website (England)/Visit the Shelter website (Scotland)

Shelter help anyone in the UK with housing issues or homelessness by offering advice, support and legal services. They have a special emergency helpline for anyone who is (or might soon be) homeless, at risk of harm or feeling very overwhelmed by their housing situation.

The Shelter phone helpline is open 8am-8pm on weekdays and 9am-5pm at weekends, 365 days a year, and is free to call.

FRANK offers friendly, confidential support and advice to anyone concerned about drugs, including alcohol and legal highs.

The FRANK phone helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

  • BEAT:call 0808 801 0677 (helpline) or 0808801 0711 (youthline) or 0808 801 0811 (studentline)/online chat/email(18+) / email(under 18) / email (students)

Beat provides support to help young people beat their eating disorders.

TheBEAT phone helplines areopen 365 days a year from 9am – 8pm during the week, and 4pm – 8pm on weekends and bank holidays.

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Victim Support are an independent charity which helps people feel safer and find strength to move beyond crime. The support offered is free, confidential and tailored to your needs.

Victim Support's SupportLine operates 24/7.

  • NHS 111/NHS 24:call 111

Visit the NHS 111 website (England and parts of Wales)/Visit the NHS 24 website (Scotland)

If you live in England, Scotland or parts of Wales you can call NHS 111/NHS 24 when you have health or medical issue but it is not an immediate emergency. The service can give you self-care advice, connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or doctor, book you a face-to-face appointment, send an ambulance directly (if necessary) or direct you toa local service that might be able to help you.

The NHS 111/NHS 24 service is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a team of fully trained advisers, and calls to the number are free.

You should always call 999 when it is an emergency, such as when a crime is happening, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.

101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland when it's less urgent than a 999 call. You might call 101 if your property has been damaged or stolen, you have information about a crime that has already happened, or you become aware or suspicious behaviour in your neighbourhood.

101 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls to 101 cost 15p per call, no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone, and the system will identify your location so it can direct you to your local police force.

You should always call 999 when it is an emergency, such as when a crime is happening, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.

Back to Young People

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How can I help a young person with mental illness? ›

Dr Mohammed Munawar's tips for parents: Seven ways to help a young person suffering with anxiety and depression:
  1. Make sure they don't feel judged. ...
  2. Don't take their reactions personally. ...
  3. Keep calm and focus on listening. ...
  4. Offer help and be positive. ...
  5. Create a more positive and healthy environment.

How can people with mental health issues get help? ›

Below are details on services and organisations that offer help and support directly to people with mental health problems:
  • Talk to Samaritans. ...
  • Shout Crisis Text Line. ...
  • Rethink Mental Illness. ...
  • Mind. ...
  • CALM Helpline and webchat. ...
  • Tell someone you can trust. ...
  • Talk to your GP. ...
  • Specialist Mental Health Services.

Why is mental health an urgent issue? ›

Untreated Mental Illness Can Have Serious Consequences

The last and most important reason to seek help for mental health matters is that mental illness can be deadly. Mental illness-related deaths are not only linked to poor physical health, but also to suicide.

What are three main things you can do to help someone with mental illness? ›

In order to best do so, here are a few tips to help you support someone living with mental illness.
  • Learn about the illness and its signs and symptoms. ...
  • Encourage treatment. ...
  • Help set specific goals that are realistic and can be approached one step at a time.
  • Don't assume you know what the person needs.
Oct 16, 2019

How can we help young people? ›

10 ways you can help improve young people's life chances
  1. 1.Mentor a young person. ...
  2. Tutor a pupil at your local school or online. ...
  3. Volunteer an hour or two a week in a school. ...
  4. Give a 'year of service' in a disadvantaged school. ...
  5. Be a role model and inspire students. ...
  6. Get your employer involved.
Sep 3, 2018

What services do young minds offer? ›

We help parents and carers who are worried about their child's mental health with tips, information and advice online and through our Parents Helpline service. Use our helpfinder to find the right support for you.

What are 5 ways to improve mental health? ›

5 steps to mental wellbeing
  1. Connect with other people. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. ...
  2. Be physically active. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. ...
  3. Learn new skills. ...
  4. Give to others. ...
  5. Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

What is the best way to get mental help? ›

If you are in crisis, please seek help immediately.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org . Text MHA to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor from Crisis Text Line . Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

What are examples of mental health emergencies? ›

Some examples of mental health crises include depression, trauma, eating disorders, alcohol or substance abuse, self-injury and suicidal thoughts. If you suspect a friend or family member is experiencing an emotional crisis, your help can make a difference.

Why is mental health an important issue? ›

Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. But if you go through a period of poor mental health you might find the ways you're frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with.

How do you respond to a mental health crisis? ›

First aid can also be a lifesaver for someone with mental illness.
How do you respond to a mental health crisis?
  1. Assess for risk of suicide or harm.
  2. Listen nonjudgmentally.
  3. Give reassurance and information.
  4. Encourage appropriate professional help.
  5. Encourage self-help and other support strategies.
Mar 15, 2018

What are 4 ways to improve mental health? ›

10 tips to boost your mental health
  • 1. Make social connection — especially face-to-face — a priority. ...
  • Stay active. ...
  • Talk to someone. ...
  • Appeal to your senses. ...
  • Take up a relaxation practice. ...
  • 6. Make leisure and contemplation a priority. ...
  • Eat a brain-healthy diet to support strong mental health. ...
  • Don't skimp on sleep.
Oct 4, 2018

What is the most effective way in dealing with someone that has a mental illness? ›

Try to show patience and caring. Avoid being judgmental about their expressed thoughts and actions. Listen. Try encouraging them to talk with a mental health care practitioner or with their primary care practitioner — wherever they might be most willing to start.

What are the 6 most common treatment methods for a mental disorder? ›

Most mental health practitioners practice one of six types of psychotherapy:
  • Behavioral therapy.
  • Cognitive therapy.
  • Interpersonal therapy.
  • Psychoanalysis.
  • Psychodynamic psychotherapy.
  • Supportive psychotherapy.

Why is it important to help young people? ›

Young people not only represent the future of our country, we are one of society's main agents of change and progress. We have a great effect on economic development too. In this stage of our lives, we build many social relationships and develop a personality that defines us as a new generation.

What affects young people's mental health? ›

Physical, emotional and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse, or violence, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems.

Why is it important to help the youth? ›

Youth engagement helps build on important protective factors related to mental health, since it provides opportunities for youth to connect with their peers, build networks, and increase the sense that they're not alone.

Who helps children with mental health? ›

If you're worried about a child or young person, you can contact the NSPCC Helpline for support and advice for free - call us on 0808 800 5000 or contact us online. Children can contact Childline any time to get support themselves.

What are youth support services? ›

Young People's Service (formally Youth Service) works with children, young people, and families to secure enough educational and recreational leisure-time activities. This aims to improve young people's well-being and their personal and social development. Our main focus is on Early Help.

What services support children's mental health? ›

CAMHS are NHS services that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. CAMHS support covers depression, problems with food, self-harm, abuse, violence or anger, bipolar, schizophrenia and anxiety, to name a few.

What are 7 behaviors for improving mental health? ›

In my work as a psychiatrist and researcher, I have identified seven behaviors that contribute to quality mental health: activity, defense mechanisms, social connection, regulation, human specific cognition, self-acceptance and adaptability.

What is the most important habit to maintain good mental health? ›

Exercise is one of the most common recommendations to improve mental health. According to multiple studies, regular exercise is shown to not only help with physical fitness, but to relieve stress, improve sleep and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Which is the first step to getting help for a mental health problem? ›

First Steps to Finding Help

You can get referrals from your family doctor, clergy or local Mental Health America office (which also may provide mental health care services) and crisis centers. Consider getting a few names, so you can interview more than one person before choosing.

What are serious mental health issues? ›

SMI includes major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder (VA).

When mental health is an emergency? ›

A mental health emergency is a life-threatening situation in which an individual is threatening immediate harm to self or others, is severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, or is otherwise out of control. It is rare for an individual to go from good physical health to seriously ill in a matter of seconds.

What are the most common mental health emergencies? ›

The most prevalent emergency situations are severe self-neglect, self-harm, suicidal behavior, depressive or manic episodes, aggressive psychomotor agitation, severely impaired judgment, intoxication, or withdrawal from psychoactive substances (13, 14).

How mental illness affects daily life? ›

Mental ill-health can affect our friendships and relationships and make it hard to be around people, but it can also make it hard to be alone. When we're alone we might find that we're confronted with the thoughts and feelings that we've been trying to avoid or distract ourselves from.

What are 3 facts about mental health? ›

Myth: Mental health problems don't affect me.

In 2020, about: One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue. One in 6 young people experienced a major depressive episode. One in 20 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

Why is mental health important for youth? ›

Why Is This a Big Deal? Poor mental health in adolescence is more than feeling blue. It can impact many areas of a teen's life. Youth with poor mental health may struggle with school and grades, decision making, and their health.

How do you stay mentally strong in a crisis? ›

Staying Mentally Healthy in a Crisis
  1. Don't worry about building strength right now. ...
  2. Accept reality. ...
  3. Seek out support from your fellow travelers. ...
  4. Practice self-care. ...
  5. Create a helpful mantra. ...
  6. Prioritize what needs to get done. ...
  7. Find time to experience your emotions. ...
  8. Take small steps.

How do you stop a mental crisis? ›

Avoiding a Crisis
  1. Talk with Your Doctor. The first thing to do if you feel your health worsening is to call your mental health professionals and explain the situation. ...
  2. Reach Out to Others. ...
  3. Take Care of Yourself.

How do you comfort someone in a crisis? ›

Here are some techniques that may help you to de-escalate the crisis:
  1. Keep your voice calm and talk slowly.
  2. Listen to the person.
  3. Express support and concern. ...
  4. Ask how you can help.
  5. Ask if they are thinking about suicide.
  6. Encourage the person to seek treatment or contact their health professional.
  7. Give the person space.

What are 2 ways to maintain good mental health? ›

Here are some tips to help you get started with self-care:
  • Get regular exercise. ...
  • Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated. ...
  • Make sleep a priority. ...
  • Try a relaxing activity. ...
  • Set goals and priorities. ...
  • Practice gratitude. ...
  • Focus on positivity. ...
  • Stay connected.

How do you deal with a mentally unstable family member? ›

What can I do?
  1. Learn about mental illness and addiction. ...
  2. Talk to your family member about your concerns, and encourage them to seek support. ...
  3. Get support for yourself and your family. ...
  4. Take care of yourself. ...
  5. Support other family members.

What mental illness is most curable? ›

Anxiety disorder is the most treatable of all mental illnesses. Anxiety disorder produces unrealistic fears, excessive worry, flashbacks from past trauma leading to easy startling, changes in sleep patterns, intense tension and ritualistic behavior.

What is the most mental disorder? ›

Impacting an estimated 300 million people, depression is the most-common mental disorder and generally affects women more often than men.

What mental illness is most treatable? ›

Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80% and 90% percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment.

What is the most common mental illness in young people? ›

ADHD, anxiety problems, behavior problems, and depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in children.

What are three common mental health issues in young people? ›

The most common mental illnesses in adolescents are anxiety, mood, attention, and behavior disorders. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people aged 15–24 years.

What are the main causes of mental health issues in young people? ›

What causes mental health problems?
  • childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect.
  • social isolation or loneliness.
  • experiencing discrimination and stigma, including racism.
  • social disadvantage, poverty or debt.
  • bereavement (losing someone close to you)
  • severe or long-term stress.
  • having a long-term physical health condition.

What causes mental health issues in youth? ›

Risk Factors that Increase Mental Health Issues in Adolescents
  • Increased stress, fear, and anxiety.
  • Parental depression.
  • Negative family environment (may include parental substance abuse)
  • Child mistreatment or abuse by parents.
  • Family conflict.
  • Loss of school, sport, church, community routine.
Feb 22, 2021

Why is mental health an issue for youth? ›

Mental health problems are unlikely to get better on their own. And poor mental health or unmanaged mental health problems can affect your child's wellbeing, physical health, schoolwork, relationships and development – social, physical, educational and vocational.

What are 4 things you can do to help improve mental health naturally? ›

How can I improve my mental health?
  1. Staying positive. ...
  2. Practicing gratitude, which means being thankful for the good things in your life. ...
  3. Taking care of your physical health, since your physical and mental health are connected. ...
  4. Connecting with others. ...
  5. Developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life.
May 5, 2020

What are 4 common mental disorders? ›

Many people also experience stigma, discrimination and violations of human rights.
  • Anxiety Disorders. ...
  • Depression. ...
  • Bipolar Disorder. ...
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ...
  • Schizophrenia. ...
  • Eating Disorders. ...
  • Disruptive behaviour and dissocial disorders. ...
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders.
Jun 8, 2022

What is the biggest problem with mental health? ›

That unwanted accolade goes to anxiety. An estimated 275 million people suffer from anxiety disorders.

What are 5 common mental disorders? ›

Below are the five most common mental health disorders in America and their related symptoms:
  • Anxiety Disorders. The most common category of mental health disorders in America impacts approximately 40 million adults 18 and older. ...
  • Mood Disorders. ...
  • Psychotic Disorders. ...
  • Dementia. ...
  • Eating disorders.
Jan 30, 2020


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