Need help now?
Kooth provide online counselling, forums and information for young people - open until 10pm everyday.
In an emergency you should dial 999. You can also call your GP out of hours service or go to your local A & E department.
Confidential support if you are aged 19yrs or under. Contact Childline about any issue that is worrying you, 24 hrs a day. Helpline, email, 1-2-1 chat or message boards via website.
- 0800 1111
Call for confidential emotional support - 24 hr helpline, text and email service. Or drop in to the office in Truro between 9.00am - 9.00pm
- 08457 90 90 90
- 07725 90 90 90
Confidential helpline and text service for emotional support, evenings only – 5pm - midnight.
- 0808 8000306
- 07717 989021
Some specialist online / telephone services include:
Young Minds offer comprehensive information about young people’s mental health and wellbeing – for young people, parents/carers and professionals.
Papyrus UK support young people experiencing thoughts of suicide or call 0800 068 41 41; SMS: 07786 209697
B-eat support young people who want information and help around eating disorders
The Site offers information and advice for young people on everything from health and mental health to debt and housing.
FRANK provides confidential information and advice for young people concerned about their own or someone else’s drug or solvent misuse, or call 0800 77 66 00 (24 hour service, free if call from a landline and won’t show up on the phone bill).
The Samaritans are volunteers who listen in confidence to anyone in any type of emotional distress, without judging or telling people what to do - or call 08457 90 90 90 (24 hrs 7 days a week).
Asking for help
When we ‘re feeling low or anxious, or going through difficult times, one of the most positive and helpful things we can do is talk to someone.
Many of us don’t like to ask for help. It can be scary, we might be worried about how people will react or what they will think or say about us. However most of us would want to help our friends of they were struggling, so why would they feel any differently about us?
Asking for help and talking about our feelings can be difficult and takes a lot of courage, but telling someone you trust really can help you to feel better and realise you are not alone.
If it is something specific that is causing you to feel anxious or depressed for example, then a parent, friend or teacher may be able to reassure you or offer practical help to find a solution.
Sometimes keeping things to ourselves can make them seem more overwhelming than they really are - the process of ‘offloading’ your worries and saying things out loud to someone else can make them seem less scary, and can feel like a huge release of pent up emotions and tension. Someone outside of your situation might be able to offer a different perspective and help you to see things in a new light.
Trying to explain what is going on inside your head can also help you to understand and sort through your feelings and work out what’s really worrying you.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone and you are not the only one to feel like this - everyone will experience emotional difficulties at some point, and many young people and adults have problems with mental health and go through times when we struggle to cope. The good news is that people can help and you don’t need to cope with everything alone. It is important not to spend too much time on your own when you are feeling low or vulnerable.
Who should I talk to?
You might find it easiest to tell someone close to you first - a friend, parent or other family member, or perhaps a friend’s parent, a teacher, youth worker, social worker or learning mentor. Choose a good time and place to confide in someone, where you feel comfortable and are not likely to be interrupted.
This might be enough to help you cope with your feelings, but if you need more support then making an appointment with your GP (family doctor), or the school/college nurse or counsellor could be your next step.
Your GP can be a good source of help and support, GPs can offer advice, reassurance, coping strategies and possibly medication. They can also refer you to more specialist mental health services – such as counselling or possibly medication. They can also refer you to more specialist mental health services – such as counselling or CAMHS - if they feel this would help you.
It can be a good idea to write down your feelings or concerns before you talk to someone, in case you forget what you wanted to say, or you can try using the Docready app.
Try to think about what might help you, do you just want to talk things through or do you feel you need more specialist help?
Other sources of help:
Your GP, teacher or youth worker might think you need a referral to specialist mental health services, if you are 18 or under this will be CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), if you are over 18 you might be referred to the Community Mental Health Team for adults.
See our young people’s films or read our CAMHS Q & A to find out more about using mental health services, or see Young Minds' guide to mental health services.
Alternatively, you can get help from services online – Kooth and Childline are good, safe, sources of support and offer online advice, chat, message boards and one to one counselling with qualified professionals. Some young people find it easier to open up online, and these services can be really useful, especially as a first step to getting help. Kooth also offer face to face counselling in Cornwall, you can refer yourself via the webpage or your GP, teacher or youth worker can refer you.
In Cornwall, if you are over 16 yrs, you can refer yourself to face to face counselling via Outlook Southwest or the NHS BEME service, or you could ask a parent/carer, youth worker or teacher to help you do this. These services are based in the community and will usually see you at your doctor’s surgery or in somewhere like Boots.
Or contact YPC's Hear Our Voice project - who offer 1 to 1 support and small groups for young people experiencing any sort of mental health difficulty.
We are grateful to Mind Your Way for allowing us to reproduce text from their website.