Mental Health & Wellbeing

There is no doubt that the current reports and statistics relating to young people’s mental health are very concerning. The Children’s Society reports that 1 in 6 children aged 5-16 are likely to have a mental health problem with just under 40% of 6 to 16 year olds have experienced deterioration in their mental health since 2017. In fact, their research concludes that 50% of all mental health problems start by the age of 14.

While there are many mental health disorders, it is emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression are the most common ones experienced by young people. It is an incredibly challenging time to be a child or young adult and, by extension, it is also the case for parents, carers and family members. It is particularly emotionally hard when your child discloses or presents with a mental health concern and it often leaves people being unsure of how best to support. This guidance is here to help you with this.


Student Support Provision


Promoting mental wellbeing
While there is lots of avenues of additional support, the first thing to focus on is the need to promote mental wellbeing within our children. Children’s physical, social, cognitive and emotional wellbeing are all significant in positive wellbeing and supporting good mental health. Whether we are adults or children, we are all responsible (to varying degrees depending on age and emotional maturity) for taking care of ourselves and our mental health is no different. Eating healthily, keeping yourself hydrated, getting outdoors, going to places you feel calm and doing things you enjoy are important first steps that must be taken if you begin to feel you are becoming mentally unwell. This Early Help for Mental Health poster is a fantastic starting point for anyone who begins to struggle.

There is one particular step that we would encourage you all to take to promote mental wellbeing. Please consider the amount of time young people spend on their devices such as their smartphones or tablets. Children that spend significant time on their devices are more prone to stress, anxiety and depression. Staying on their phones late at night or keeping their phones by their bed at night time leads directly to disturbed or restless sleep. This is due to both interruptions through the night and because, research suggests, the blue light emitted by the phone screens lowers levels of melatonin which interrupts the sleep cycle. A lack of sleep or problems sleeping is recognised as a contributing factor in the onset or worsening of mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. This is before we consider what they are actually doing on their phones. An important question to ask is do

you, as parents and carers, know what your child is accessing? There is so much to consider. Are they accessing harmful content, are they at risk of being bullied online or groomed? It is not just the amount of time they spend on their phone that can harm their mental health, it could also be what they are viewing or doing. Please contact the safeguarding team if you are worried or would like more details.

Is there a problem?
Before any intervention should be considered, we must determine to what extent the current issue a response to a situation in the child’s life at the time or whether there is the beginning of a disorder. The phrase mental health refers to anyone’s state of mind and emotional wellbeing. At any time, an individual may feel anxious or low, this does not automatically mean they have an illness or disorder. Anxiety experienced on a Sunday afternoon/evening or at the end of a school holiday is normal, as it is before important events such as exams or presentations. Feelings of anxiety or sadness do not automatically mean a child has a mental health disorder. However, if you are worried and feel you would like some advice or support from the school, please fill in the online referral form below.

Mental Health Request for Support


Y-Smart – Provides support and advice for young people who experiment with drugs and/or alcohol, those with more complex needs and whose drug and alcohol use may be beginning to affect other parts of their lives. They also support young people whose lives may be impacted by parental, carer or sibling substance abuse. Referral through agency (including school) or by family.

Children and Families in Grief – Support for children and families experiencing grief, providing help and making connections with others who are suffering. To access this service, the family must all engage. It cannot be used for just an individual or the children. Referral through agency (including school) or by family through online form.

Cruse Bereavement Care – Telephone or text support for those affected by the death of a loved one.

Pete’s Dragons – Support for those coping with the suicide of a loved one. Referral through agency (including school) or by family through online form.

Beat – Helplines, chatrooms and resources that provide help and support for those experiencing eating disorders. Website also allows people to find support in the local area

Anna Freud – This is a children’s charity dedicated to providing training and support for child mental health services

Builds Sound Minds – A campaign for improving young people’s emotional wellbeing

Checkpoint – The Children’s Society – Help for young people aged 8 -18. Support through phone, online or face to face

Child Line – Provides 24/7 support via phone and online chat; 0800 1111

Epic Friends – A site that helps young people help their friends who might be struggling to cope emotionally

Healthy Place – A website providing information about various mental health issues

Kooth – Free, safe and anonymous counselling support for anyone that is 11 years old or older.

Mental Health Foundation – A UK charity whose mission is “to help people to thrive through understanding, protecting and sustaining their mental health”

Mind – The mental health charity that provides support and advice

MindEd – Online courses around different mental health issues and support for families

National Self-Harm Network – Provides resources and a forum to support people who self-harm

NHS Inform – Mental Health – A website with self-help resources supporting young people’s emotional and mental wellbeing

NSPCC – Supporting young people in every area of their lives; 0808 800 5000

The Mix  – Free information and support for under 25s in the UK across a range of areas of emotional wellbeing and aspects of life

Young Minds – The UK’s leading mental health charity supporting young people and families

Intercom Trust – Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ with regular meetings and support sessions in school

Proud2Be – Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ with online and face-to-face youth groups

Please be aware that these services can have long waiting lists.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) – Support for emotional or psychological wellbeing. Support covers depression, problems with food and eating, slef-harm, abuse, violence or anger, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety, among other difficulties. Requires a referral. Can be done through school, the NHS, social care (among others) or by families.

Mental Health Support Team for Schools – An alternative to CAMHS. 1-1 or group therapeutic interventions for mild to moderate anxiety, low mood, panic, parenting support, phobias and OCD. Referral through school.

Young Devon – provides counselling and support services across multiple areas of need. Can be 1-1 or group. Can be contacted directly although sometimes easier to go through school.

In the event of an emergency, please call 999 urgently

CAMHS (Crisis) – Support for young people experiencing a mental health crisis. Phone 0808 196 8708

Hopeline247 – Papyrus – Telephone support for children and young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide. Support for anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking of suicide.

NHS Helpline – Urgent mental health helpline. Provides advice, gives the opportunity to speak to a medical professional and helps people find the right support

Samaritans – A registered charity aimed at providing support for anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope or at risk of suicide. Often reached through their helpline 0800 116 123

Shout – 24/7 text support for young people experiencing a mental health crisis

Fear-Less – Provides victim support for adults and children with experience of domestic abuse. Also provides support for perpetrators (formerly SPLITZ)

Women’s Aid – Online and email support for survivors of domestic abuse (women and children)

ADHD Foundation – An integrated health and education service. Provides support for people who live with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Tourette’s syndrome

National Autistic Society

OCD UK – The national OCD charity, run by and for people with lived experience of OCD