Children and young people's mental health

When to ask for help

Seeking help is often the first step towards getting and staying well, but it can be hard to know how to start or where to turn to. It’s common to feel unsure, and to wonder whether you should try to handle things on your own. But it’s always ok to ask for help – even if you’re not sure you are experiencing a specific mental health problem.

You might want to seek help if:

  • You or your child are feeling stressed, anxious, tense or depressed
  • The way you or your child is feeling is impacting on relationships, school or life generally
  • Your feelings/your child’s feelings is having a big impact on other people
  • The way you are feeling/the way your child is feeling is stopping them from doing things

There are lots of options for support out there, although you may find some are more suitable for you, or more easily accessible. There’s no right or wrong way to try things, as different things work for different people at different times.

Kooth is an award winning online counselling and support service which is available to all young people across South Tyneside aged between 11-25 years. It is a safe, confidential and anonymous way for you/your child to access emotional wellbeing and early intervention mental health support.

You can access lots of helpful tools online via the Kooth website including:

  • Interesting articles about issues such as bereavement, anxiety and stress
  • Anonymous support from the Kooth community
  • Access to fully trained and qualified counsellors and emotional wellbeing practitioners via web-chat, who are available until 10pm each night, 365 days per year.

Kooth poster 1

Kooth poster 2

Kooth poster 3



Moodzone is a good online tool developed by the NHS to help you with stress, anxiety or depression. The website offers practical advice, interactive tools, videos and audio guides to help you feel mentally and emotionally better.

There are also lots of organisations who can offer confidential advice and support via a helpline or website. Some helpful contacts may be:

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Helpline for 15 -24 year old males:
Tel: 0800 58 58 58

24 hr helpline: 0800 1111

National helpline: 0844 44779400

Cruse: Youth Involvement Project
Tel: 020 8939 9530

Health and Wellbeing/Mental Health

Tel:0191 238 2937

The Matrix Service
Tel: 0191 497 5637

Mental Health Foundation

MIND Info line
Tel: 0845 766 0163

National Self Harm Network
Tel: 0800 622 6000

Papyrus HOPELineUK
Tel: 0800 068 414

Rethink Mental Illness
Tel: 0300 5000 927

Tel: 08457 90 90 90

Tel: 0191 230 5400

Young Minds
Tel: 0808 802 5544

Youth Access
Tel: 0208 772 990

More mental health helplines and resources can be found via the NHS Website.


It’s not a spelling mistake! South Tyneside libraries offer ‘Shelf-help’ where a number of specialist self-help books are available on loan. Books in this section can support you with your emotional health and wellbeing.

Speaking to someone

It may seem obvious, but it can often help to talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling.

Don’t feel embarrassed talking about mental health. Remember that one in four of us will experience a mental health problem each year, so it is much more common than you think.

Mental Health Champions

Mental Health Champions are your ‘go to’ person in school to talk to about how you are feeling or anything you are worried about. Every school in South Tyneside has at least one Mental Health Champion.

Champions have had specialist training to make sure they can offer the correct help and advice to young people.

Mental Health Champions are trusted adults who offer help confidentially. Anything you say to your Mental Health Champion won’t be passed on unless you or someone you know is being hurt or is likely to be hurt.

Healthy Minds Teams

The Healthy Minds Teams offer advice and support to all students across South Tyneside.

The teams can help you to understand how to keep your mind healthy and develop positive strategies around emotional wellbeing and mental health. They will offer things like assemblies and information sessions to teach you howto maintain emotional wellbeing and a healthy mind.

Healthy minds summary

MATRIX Service 

South Tyneside’s young people’s drug and alcohol service provides help, support and advice to those whose lives have been affected by drug and alcohol misuse. They can also work with those who are at risk of developing drug and alcohol problems.

Young people who access this service also have access to specialist mental health support and advice, and is also available to parents and carers.

You can get more information from the Matrix website .

Lifecycle Service

South Tyneside’s Lifecycle service is a single point of access to all mental health support. This makes it easier to understand how to get help, and to ensure that you seen by the right service at the right time.

Lifecycle is available Monday to Saturday and can offer late-evening appointments Monday-Thursday. Lifecycle is available for people of all ages, and covers a wide range of mental health issues including:

  • Low mood and depression
  • Worry and anxiety
  • Controlling anger
  • Bereavement/loss
  • Bullying
  • Eating difficulties
  • Self-harm
  • Relationship and family difficulties

If you are experiencing more severe issues, Lifecycle may not be the most suitable service for you, but they will make sure that you get the correct help and support.

Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service (CYPS)

For children aged 0-18 who need more intensive support, the Lifecycle service may refer you to the CYPS service.

If you are already under the care of CYPS, you should contact them directly for support with issues such as:

  • Psychotic symptoms (such as hearing or seeing things that aren’t there)
  • Medication reviews
  • Advice and support about the care and treatment they are already offering you

If you are aged under 18 you can contact CYPS directly by using the contact details on their website

If you are over 18 you can contact CYPS directly by accessing the website here.

Advice packs

The Healthy Minds Team have produced a series of advice leaflets which you may find useful.

Advice for parents pack

Primary school age children mental health pack

Secondary school age mental health pack

Support in a crisis

If you or your child is at imminent risk of harming themselves or others linked with a mental health crisis and their safety cannot guaranteed, you may need to contact the Intensive Community Treatment Service (ICTS) linked with:

  • Persistent suicide threats
  • Significant emotional and/or psychological distress
  • Suicide threats and/or intention or actual attempts to carry this out
  • Significant increase in behaviours which may cause serious or fatal harm to your child or others
  • Serious overdose threats
  • Serious self-harming behaviours

Under these circumstances you should get help from:

  • 16 and over and experiencing mental health crisis requiring immediate response via the Crisis Team telephone 0303 123 1145.
  • Under 16 years, contact ICTS on 0191 566 5500

If your child/young person has taken an actual overdose (attempted or reported) they need to go directly to the nearest local A&E department.


Other sources of support in crisis

If you are concerned about the safety of your child or yourself or another person (due to abuse, neglect or exploitation) please contact:

  • South Tyneside Children’s Services (Within Office Hours) Tel: 0191 424 5010
  • South Tyneside Children’s Emergency Duty Services (Out of Hours) Tel: 0191 456 2093
  • South Tyneside Adult Safeguarding (Within Office Hours) Tel: 0191 424 6000
  • South Tyneside Adult Safeguarding Emergency Duty Team (Out of Hours) Tel: 0191 4562093
  • Click here for a link to Worried About A Child web page


To make a referral for mental health support, please click here. 

Professionals such as GP’s, social workers and teachers can make a referral on your behalf. However, Parents/carers and young people are encouraged to make a self-referral should they feel that they need help.

There is a Self-Referral Booklet available.