Your mental health and wellbeing

If you feel you or your emotional well being is in danger, seek advice from an adult. It's okay to not feel okay, but there is hope and the NHS is here for you too. Help is available if you need it, including urgent 24/7 support and mental health services.

What is mental health?

We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health. Sometimes we feel well, and sometimes we don’t.

Mental health is complicated because it’s about how we think, feel and act, and this is always changing.

When our mental health is good, we enjoy being around other people and we feel able to take on challenges and new experiences. But when our mental health is not so good, we can find it much harder to cope.

Remember, if you are struggling with how you think, feel or behave, you are not alone and things can get better. You deserve all the help and support you need to feel confident and comfortable being yourself so that you can enjoy life.

How you feel matters. There are lots of ways for you to get help with your worries and concerns - have a look at this poster and in our resources.

Why not spend 5 minutes of your time watching this 'We all have mental health' video for some tips in helping to understand mental health.

If you're over 16, the NHS has a depression and anxiety self-assessment quiz to help you understand how you've been feeling.

Mental health support

What is a mental health problem?

We all have good days and bad days, but when negative thoughts and feelings start to affect your daily life and stop you doing the things you enjoy, or your ability to feel ok, this means you probably need some support with your mental health.

For example, nearly everyone gets anxious before an exam, a job interview or a first date. But if we feel anxious all the time, constantly worrying that the worst could happen, and this stops us sleeping well or meeting up with friends, we might benefit from some help.

What causes mental health problems?

Our mental health can be impacted for lots of different reasons. Sometimes the small things can affect us more than we realise.

You might be feeling stressed, worried or down about.

  • Preparing for your upcoming exams - here is some information to help you prepare for upcoming exams. 
  • Student stress - here is some information and support if you are feeling stressed about University. 
  • Loosing someone important to you - bereavement support, how you're feeling and how to look after yourself.
  • difficult things going on in your life 
  • life experiences, such as trauma, violence or abuse
  • physical health problems
  • pressure at school, work, or about money
  • difficult relationships with partners, family or friends
  • family history of mental health problems

Often it isn’t just one of these things and sometimes there is no obvious cause. Whatever the reasons you might be struggling it’s important to remember that it isn’t your fault and that things can get better.

Life affects us all differently. No one is the same. That’s why the right mental health support will look different to different people. What works for one person might be not work the same for you, and that’s ok.

Who can i talk to

Most of us will struggle with our mental health at some point in our lives, just like we all get sick once in a while. If you notice a negative change in how you’re feeling, or you find yourself doing things that worry you, speak to someone you trust.

Trust your instincts – you know if something is up. Don’t wait for things to get really bad before reaching out. The earlier you get help, the more likely it is that you can stop your problem getting worse.

Talking to a trusted adult, friend or family member about how you are feeling can really help. 

Examples of trusted adults include:

  • a teacher or member of staff at your school, college or setting
  • a youth worker or mentor
  • a family friend, or relative
  • your councillor, therapist or CAMHS worker
  • your GP or other health professional

Your feelings are valid, and there is always someone ready to listen. 

Signs to look out for

  • feeling hopeless – struggling to see the positives in life, or wishing you didn’t exist

  •  getting into lots of arguments or fights

  •  feeling sad all the time

  •  feeling angry all the time

  •  feeling anxious all the time

  •  numbness – not feeling any emotions at all

  •  extreme highs and lows, or mood swings

  •  feeling worthless

  •  changes to your eating patterns – starving   yourself, over-eating, making yourself sick

If you recognise any of these signs, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary, or not ‘normal’ for you, then it is important to reach out for help. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have a mental health problem, but it’s likely that some support will help you on your journey to feeling your best.

  •  hearing voices or seeing things that aren’t there

  •  hurting yourself on purpose

  •  keeping away from friends and family

  •  relying heavily on alcohol, drugs or sex

  •  obsessive behaviour or thoughts – feeling there   is something you have to do/think about all the   time or something bad will happen 

  •  experiencing nightmares, flashbacks or upsetting thoughts

  • obsessing about how you look

  • Constant unwanted thoughts

Mental health apps for children and young people

Calm Harm

What: Calm Harm provides tasks to help children to resist or manage the urge to self-harm. They can make it private by setting a password, and personalise the app. They will be able to track your progress and notice change. (Age 12+)

Recommended by the NHS.

Catch it

What: Learn how to manage feelings like anxiety and depression with Catch It. The app will teach young people how to look at problems in a different way, turn negative thoughts into positive ones and claims to improve their mental wellbeing. (Age 12+)

Recommended by the NHS.

MeeToo

What: The MeeTwo app provides a safe and secure forum for teenagers wanting to discuss any issue affecting their lives. They can anonymously get advice from experts or other teenagers going through similar experiences in a wide range areas such as mental health, self-harming, bullying, relationships and friendships.(Age 13+)

Recommended by the NHS.

DistrACT

What: Easy and discreet access to information and support about self-harm and suicidal thoughts through the award-winning distrACT app.(Age 17+)

Recommended by the NHS.

What can i do to help my mental health?

If you are feeling stressed, worried, anxious or even angry, try doing something to help you feel happier. You could:

  • go for a walk, run, swim, cycle or to the gym
  • talk to a friend - in person or virtually
  • read a book
  • play with a fiddle toy
  • talk to a trusted adult
  • get creative - draw, paint, create, design
  • bake a new recipe, or cook yourself a meal
  • watch some TV
  • have a nap
  • remove yourself from the situation that is making you feel this way
  • pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness) 

Mental health contacts

If you want to speak to someone about your mental health, you will find some useful contacts below.

It is important to speak to a trusted adult (for example a parent/carer, a teacher, a family friend) when you're feeling down or in a low mood.

  • Childline - a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of 19
  • Samaritans - you can contact them any time you like and off the record. about whatever is getting to you, you don't have to be suicidal to call
  • Youth Mental Health Hub - advice and help on mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and stress
  • child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) - provides support in the community for young people with mental health illnesses
  • Health for Teens  - gives further information on feelings and relationships
  • Young Minds - the UK’s leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people
  • Kooth - a free safe and anonymous online mental wellbeing community. 
  • SHOUT - free 24/7 text message support for anyone who is struggling or needs support. 

There are many other community groups and support organisations in your local area that may be helpful for you and your family. Contact your local library and children’s centre or see our useful contacts section for more information.

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sign post for help
SEND Team

SEND Team contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ

SENDIAS Service

SENDIAS contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) contact information

Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ