Transformation Partners in Health and Care > Children and young people’s mental health > Advice and resources for children and young people

Advice and resources for children and young people

1. Returning to education after lockdown

  1. Going back to school or colleges as lockdown with underlying health condition – Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children provides hints and tips for children and young people on how to manage your worries and where to ask for help if you need support.
  2. A safe return to learning-primary school  -YouTube video about how to return to learning safely in primary school
  3. A guide for accepting change – This booklet is for children to understand how to accept change and what kind of changes might happen in your life. It also includes techniques on how to handle change and who to go to for support.
  4. My Back-to-School Bubble book. – Free book by Hilary Rogers called ‘My back to school bubble’. It explains with illustrations what a bubble is and why it is used now in schools.

2. Young People – under 13 years old

  1. Coping with the pandemic (Children 7-12 years) – Course for children by Recovery College Online which includes multiple lessons which explains what the coronavirus is, how to stay healthy, tips for your mental health and more.
  2. It’s okay to worry about coronavirus- Resource for children under 12 A resource pack for children under 12 years old to help manage difficult feelings about coronavirus. It includes relaxation techniques and ‘coping card’ which can be printed out and used as reminders.
  3. The Stay Home Superheroes Book  – Free book by Sophie March called ‘The Stay-at-Home Superheroes’. This book helps children to understand what is currently happening in the world with the pandemic and help them to understand how they are saving the world by staying at home!
  4. Coronavirus fact sheet for children – Information for children by National Geographic Kids about what coronavirus is, how it started, what social distancing means, and what you can do to help!
  5. How to look after your mental health during the pandemic- Advice for young people by the mental health foundation which directs you to resources in dealing with returning to school, feeling lonely, change and loss and tips on how to relax.
  6. Coronavirus Q & A’s for young people – The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provides Questions and answers on COVID-19 for Children aged 1 – 18 years and explains the role of school settings.
  7. Our feelings diary – Partnership for Children have created a ‘feels diary’ for children so they can identify and understand emotions better. The activity sheet allows them to draw a picture and write down a sentence, and parents can talk to them about this.
  8. Dealing with change – Partnership for Children have provided an activity for parents to do with children, which encourages the child to write down positive and negative changes they are dealing with. This allows opportunity for conversations on how to make them feel better as well as good things that are happening.

3. Young People – over 13 years old

Good Thinking

  1. Advice on Coronavirus & Mental Health – Good thinking is a digital mental wellbeing support for London. This section of the website provides mental health tips for children and young people, health and care professionals, older people, parents and carers and non-English speaking communities.
  2. General mental wellbeing advice for young people- Good Thinking provide information on what coronavirus is, what social distancing is and why it’s important, why schools may close, what to do about stress and sleep problems. There is also a list of 8 fun things to do and top tips on how to stay well.
  3. Advice on How to face uncertain times and focus on the positives – This Good Thinking webpage talks about 4 ways to face uncertainty during this (Covid-19) pandemic. It also advises on how to stay positive and what other resources there are to support you.
  4. How to stay mentally healthy at university – This Good Thinking webpage provides a toolkit for staying mentally healthy at University. Due to this pandemic, life has changed significantly, and this page provides you with top tips, information on anxiety, advice for if you are feeling down or stressed and links to podcasts and interviews.
  5. Good Thinking apps
Be Mindful Be Mindful is a free NHS approved online mindfulness course. It helps people to reduce stress levels, anxiety, and depression through mindfulness techniques.
MeditainmentMeditainment is a free app which provides lifetime access to an online library of 20 guided meditations. It allows the user to explore and reflect on a range of wellbeing topics.
MyCognitionProMyCognitionPro is a free NHS approved cognitive fitness and mental resilience programme to be used 15 minutes per day. It optimises your general mental wellbeing and supports you to manage your life. The app can be used on both iOS and Android devices.
My Posssible SelfMy possible self is a free app that has been clinically proven to improve the mental health and wellbeing for people. You take a questionnaire to identify areas you may need help with, eg. stress/anxiety and the app will suggest modules and apps which help you tackle these issues. You can also track how you feel everyday with the app’s mood tracker!
TomoTomo is a free app to support with anxiety, poor sleep and keeping on top of everyday tasks. Tomo’s personalised suggestions, prompts and feedback help you to identify positive habits and build achievable change over time.
Apart of MeThis game app is for young people who have lost a loved one. The app transports you to an island where you are given a guide to support your journey. As you move through the game you learn about grief and how to understand and accept all the emotions you will feel during this time. You can hear other people’s stories and generally feel safe and calm.

4. More advice for young people

  1. Every Mind Matters – This Every Mind Matters webpage has information on how to look after your mental health, tips on working from home, how to sleep better and provide access to a ‘mind plan’ that is tailored to you.
  2. Anna Freud – Advice on Self-care – Anna Freud is a national centre for children and families. This web page is dedicated to self-care and how children and young people can try to help themselves, and these strategies help to manage mental health and wellbeing. Some strategies include meditation, letting off steam, getting a job, distraction techniques, reading and many others.
  3. Resilience, Mindful Living and Wellbeing for 14-25 year olds – Mindkit is a peer-led, mental health resilience programme, delivered by trained young volunteers who have personal experience of wellebing/mental health issues. This site provides information on free wellbeing and mindful sessions for 14-25 year olds and extra services in your borough.
  4. How to look after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak – Advice for young people by the mental health foundation which directs you to resources in dealing with returning to school, feeling lonely, change and loss and tips on how to relax.
  5. Mental health and self-care for young people – Every Mind Matters provides some self-care tips, videos, and ideas for young people. There is also important information on all the different ways to get further support for yourself or someone else.
  6. Coronavirus advice for children and young people – Good Thinking article on Coronavirus and information for children and young people.
  7. Practical advice for mental health support during the pandemic – The Student Room provides practical advice on how to take care of your mental health during the pandemic, especially if you are struggling with anxiety and depression.
  8. It’s okay to worry about coronavirus- Resource for teenagers – This is a brilliant resource for teenagers who are worried about coronavirus and want ways to deal with their feelings. Some information it provides includes how to tailor your social media to mute unhelpful words, tackling negative thoughts, relaxation, mindfulness, and activities you can do at home as well as exercise.
  9. Coping with uncertainty about school and exams – The Mix provide advice to children and young people on how to cope with uncertainty about school during this pandemic. This provides information on changing situations and how to stay on top of things, staying focused and how to revise/study at home.
  10. Our feelings diary – Partnership for Children have created a ‘feels diary’ for children and young people so they can identify and understand emotions better. The activity sheet allows them to draw a picture and write down a sentence, and parents can talk to them about this.
  11. RZL Home Learning – RZL Home Learning is a resource aimed at children to provide them with simple and fun activities they can complete at home.
  12. How to cope with money during bereavement or illness – The Mix provide advice on how to cope with money issues when you are grieving. There is a guide from Experian telling you what you need to know and The Mix’s guide to borrowing money. There is information on bill and debts, sickness benefits and dealing with fraud.

5. Eating Disorders

  1. How to manage eating disorders- 10 tips from Good Thinking on how to manage eating disorders. This also provides information on BEAT, their services and how they can help.
  2. BEAT- Eating Disorders and Coronavirus BEAT is an eating disorder charity, and this webpage provides information on how to manage eating disorders and what support services are available during this time.
  3. Q&A on Eating Disorders – This webpage on Good Thinking provides you with a Q&A on what the symptoms are, what types of eating disorders exist, next steps and how you can support someone you know who is suffering from this.
  4. PHE- Our Healthy year resources – Public Health England resources for KS1 and KS2.
  5. Worry about weight and eating problems – The Royal College of Psychiatrists provide advice on worries about weight for young people. This webpage has information on how to stay at a healthy weight, what causes problems with eating, signs of an eating disorder and how to get help.
  6. What is Otherwise Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder? – Molly who is a volunteer at First Steps ED (an eating disorder charity) explains what OSFED is, what symptoms are, Molly’s own experience with it and where to get support.
  7. Recovering from an eating disorder – Rachel Elder who is an ambassador with The Mix (support service for young people) talks about recovering from an earing disorder, the reality of recovery, taking the leap and where to seek professional help for this.
  8. How to cope with an eating disorder during lockdown – Molly who is a fundraiser for The Mix, provides advice on 12 ways to deal with an eating disorder during lockdown. She also provides links to Instagram accounts that spread positive messages that can help during this time.
  9. Learning self-compassion after recovery – Maria Sharp, an ambassador for The Mix and student, provides advice on how to learn to be self-compassionate after recovery. She gives advice on the road to recovery and what to do next.

6. Anxiety and Worrying

  1. Audio: Anxiety control training – This NHS webpage has many different mental wellbeing audio guides to help you boost your mood. There is audio on low mood and depression, anxiety control and training, sleep problems, low confidence and assertiveness, and unhelpful thinking.
  2. How to overcome fear & anxiety- Mental Health Foundation offer a guide on how to overcome fear and anxiety. This talks about what effects fear and anxiety can have on your body. It provides a general outline as to what symptoms you might experience and what you can do to take your mind off it. It also has a section on when and where to get further help.
  3. Advice for children and young people who are being bullied- Good Thinking article on six tips to help you deal with bullying, whether it is physical or online. There are also useful websites and helpline numbers if you need further support.
  4. When I worry about things – A collection of short, animated films by the BBC for secondary school children where mental health issues are explored from the perspective of young people.
  5. Self-help guides – CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) have many downloadable free self help guides that are useful for young people and parents. There are guides on mindfulness, stress, anxiety, self esteem and more.
  6. COVID, Anxiety & Stress – This webpage by Safe Hands Thinking Minds, has a range of resources to support children and adults around anxiety, worry, stress and fears. There are also free videos by Dr Karen Treisman to support relaxation and other links to worksheets, tips, books, and cards.
  7. Ways to feel better – Partnership for Children have created a poster sheet to help children feel better when they are dealing with difficult feelings. They can choose 3 ways that suit them the most and use these regularly.
  8. Worry jar – Partnership for Children have created an activity sheet for children and young people called ‘Worry Jar’ to deal with all the worries you might have. You write down your thoughts and put them in a jar or container and use ‘worry time’ (15 minutes per day) to address them.
  9. Anxiety- Things You Can Do – YouTube video by Every Mind Matters (NHS), around tips and advice on what you can do to deal with anxiety,
  10. Support with worries and anxieties – This Royal College of Psychiatrists webpage has information on worries and anxieties for children and young people. It includes different types of anxiety that may be experienced, what causes these feelings, and how it can be treated.

7. OCD

  1. How to manage anxiety and OCD during the pandemic – BBC Health Video on how to manage OCD and anxiety during the pandemic by Dr Andrew Iles who is a consultant psychiatrist and expert on OCD at the priory group.
  2. OCD and Coronavirus Survival Tips – OCD UK is a national run by and for people who live with OCD. In this article there are 9 survival tips on how to deal with OCD during this pandemic and how to stay on top of things.
  3. Tips for coping with OCD during the coronavirus pandemic – Young Minds article with tips for children and young people during the (Covid-19) pandemic. Charlie (21) shares their own experience about the challenges they faced with OCD during this time and strategies for managing this.
  4. Support and advice with OCD – The royal college of psychiatrists provide information on why obsessions become compulsions and offer advice on how to deal with this. They also offer information on where to get further support.

8. Advice for Carer’s Children in Care Children & Young People Who Receive Counselling & Support

  1. Advice for children in care – Advice from Good Thinking for children in care and young care leavers. It advises you on different issues such as feeling anxious and stressed, missing family, meeting with friends, needing to meet your social worker, feeling isolated and how to deal with moving to a new home.
  2. Advice for young carers – Good Thinking article on 5 ways in which young carers can look after themselves and links to various websites which have advice for young carers.
  3. Advice for children and young people who receive counselling and other support – Good Thinking provides children and young people with advice about what to do when you may not be able to see your support worker or team, face to face at this time. This advises you on some of the people or services you can talk to in the meantime and where you can go for urgent help.

9. Young People – living with ADHD

  1. Advice for young people with ADHD– Good Thinking (Digital mental wellbeing platform) provides 8 top tips for children and young people with living with ADHD as well as directing you to other resources if you need further help.
  2. ADDISS – National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service Website – The ADDIS Website has lots of information on ADHD and associated conditions with specific sections for children and young people, parents, and educational professionals. You can speak to them via telephone, or email and they also have a link to local support groups.

10. Coping under pressure – Stress

  1. 10 stress busters – This NHS webpage advises you on 10 ways to deal with stress. It outlines 10 healthy coping mechanisms and directs you to audio guides to address unhelpful thinking and sleep problems.
  2. Coping with stress – The royal college of psychiatrists give advice to young people on what stress is, what the effects can be, how to cope with it, when and where to get help and provide a case study for information.

11. Coping with exam pressure

  1. Tips on preparing for exams– The NHS gives children and young people some advice on tips on how to prepare for exams and overcoming stress and anxiety. Here you can find revision tips, advice on how to handle exam days and a video from teenagers themselves about how to sit exams confidently.
  2. Student stress: self-help tips – The NHS describes what stress might feel like for students, signs of stress, what problems it can cause eg. sleep / concentration / anxiety, and tips to help with stress. There is also a video in which a GP explains the mental effects stress can have and when to seek help.
  3. Coping with exams being cancelled – This is an article by Young Minds about how to cope with exams being cancelled due to the (Covid-19) pandemic, which can cause anxiety. Elsa (18-year-old student) explains how she is coping.

12. Low mood and depression

  1. Audio Guide: Low mood and depression – The NHS provides some mental wellbeing audio guides by doctors for low mood, depression, anxiety, sleep problems, low confidence, and unhelpful thinking. They provide advice on how to cope, tips to build confidence and how to replace negative thought with positive thinking.
  2. Help with Supporting Your Child with Low Mood and Depression – Young Minds article on how parents can support their children with low mood and depression. It also advises you on where to go for professional help and how to look after yourself whilst looking after someone else.

13. Suicidal Thoughts & Self Harm

  1. What is self-harm?
  2. Self-harm and suicidal thoughts
  3. Papyrus Website – Advice & Guidance on Suicidal Thoughts & Self Harm
  4. The Calm Zone Website – Advice, Helpline, Webchat & Support regarding Self Harm & Suicide
  5. Childline Website
  6. The Samaritans Website
  7. The Mix – The Mix is a digital UK charity and support service for young people up to the age of 25. They help to support you with challenges you are facing either through their online community, their free helpline, or their counselling service.
  • How I decided to honour my self-harm scars – An article by Janet who is a mental health blogger, on her journey to accept her self-harm scars and how she honoured them.
  • Breaking the self-harm stigma – An article by Rachel Elder who is a young ambassador for The Mix. Rachel talks about the stigma around self-harm, misconceptions around certain issues, and the emotions that may be influencing your actions.
  • Recovering from self-harm – Maddie Bruce (YouTuber) gives an insight into her recovery journey after self-harming. She talks about the challenges she faced, what helped her most, and advice to other people who want to start recovering.
  • Self-harming? Here’s how to talk to someone about it– An article by Sian Bradley (The Mix) on how to talk about self-harm and how to acknowledge you need help. Sian talks about her own experience and provides advice on next steps.
  • How to cope with a self-harm relapse – This article by The Mix provides information on how to cope with a self-harm relapse – what may have triggered it, how to recover and who to speak to following a relapse eg. their crisis messenger line, Samaritans 24-hour helpline, ChildLine and more.

14. Ideas & activities to help your mood

  1. Things to do During Lockdown – Advice from Save the Children on how to keep children entertained during lockdown . This includes things to make with children, things to play, things to watch and even things to cook!
  2. Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors During Lockdown – The BBC give children advice on 18 ways to enjoy the outdoors during lockdown. These activities are great for your health and wellbeing.
  3. Go Noodle – movement and mindfulness – Go Noodle is a website to help kids get moving so they can be at their best. The site directs children to game apps that can be downloaded for free on iOS or Google Play. The games are designed so that children have to get up and play and to engage their minds.
  4. Joe Wicks (The Bodycoach) Workouts & Healthy Eating Tips – Joe Wicks offers PE lessons for children who are learning from home due to the current situation. The ‘PE With Joe’ series is aimed at all children, from toddlers to teenagers, the workouts include a warm-up and cool down and they are only 30 minutes long!
  5. UK active kids– Move Crew is a programme developed with teacher, athletes, kids, and coaches. The missions are designed to help children and young people to be active for the recommended 60 minutes per day. The videos are entertaining and easy to follow!
  6. Interactive games- CBBC Website – The CBBC website is a part of the official BBC website but it is solely for children and young people aged 6-17. There are a number of entertaining activities, quizzes and games to play and the website also has information on upcoming shows and events and a section on the news.
  7. Interactive games- CBeebies Website – The CBeebies Website has free online games for children age 0-6. There are lots of fun games and activities for babies, toddlers, and young children. They also have educational games for kids to play and learn at the same time!
  8. Exercise and mental health – The Royal College of Psychiatrists give advice to young people on how exercising can help depression and anxiety. They provide information on how active you need to be, what exercises you can do and some case studies for reflection.
  9. Yoga and Mindfulness – Cosmic Kids Yoga is a YouTube channel which has many videos for children and young people on yoga and mental health and mindfulness. There are clips which vary in length (really short or longer sessions to suit your day) and many different fun themes for children to enjoy!
  10. Food a fact of life – This YouTube channel has many videos on how to eat well, a guide to various food groups and how they benefit you and learning how to cook.

15. Sleep problems

  1. Audio: Sleep problems – This NHS webpage provides you with mental wellbeing audio guides. These guides have ben created to boost your mood and help you through feelings such as anxiety. This page also has a link to a mood self-assessment to help you understand what you may be experiencing.
  2. Young Minds – Advice on Sleep problems– Young Minds provides advice on sleep problems you may be having for various reasons including anxiety and worries due to friendships/bullying, school work, family and relationships, changes in routine etc. This article also lets you know where you can get help.

16. Bereavement

  1. Support after sudden bereavement– Thrive Ldn have put together a resource to support you after a sudden bereavement. It includes information about emotions you might be feeling, what might help, and where to get professional support both in London and nationally.
  2. Child Bereavement UK – Supporting bereaved children and young people – Child Bereavement UK provide information on how adults can support children and young people how to deal with various emotions during this period such as feeling anxious, angry, or stressed. They provide resources such as books and leaflets that children can fill in to understand their feelings better.
  3. Young Minds – Advice with Grief and loss – Young Minds article about how to deal with grief and loss. This includes information about what grief is, working through various emotions whilst grieving and where you can go to get help.
  4. Action for Children – Advice on How can I help my child when someone dies? – Action for Children offers advice to parents in how to support children who are dealing with the death of a loved one and provide information on the various emotions when grieving.

17. Coping with loneliness

How I’m coping on down days in self-isolation – This is an article by Young Minds for young people on how deal with self-isolation. It gives advice on how to make routines, how to stay connected and where to get help.

18. Depression

How you can recognise and support yourself and loved ones with depression – The royal college of psychiatrists provide information for young people who may have depression. It gives advice on what depression is, recognising symptoms, how it is treated and where you can go to get help.

19. Substances and your mental health

  1. Facts about cannabis and how it might affect your mental health – The royal college of psychiatrists provide information about cannabis, what it does, how it affects your mental health and where you can get help. There is also a case study available to read for further information.
  2. Club drugs – The royal college of psychiatrists explain what club drugs are, how they can you and where to go for help. This information is for people who use club drugs and for professionals who may be supporting someone who uses them.
  3. Advice about drugs and alcohol – The royal college of psychiatrists provide information about the problems with misusing drugs and alcohol and how to avoid falling into this. They also provide some services available for those who may need further support.

20. Homelearning

  1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zn9447h – This BBC Bitesize webpage informs parents and children how to navigate the website and how to access lessons via BBC iPlayer / BBC sounds. Mums and dads can get advice on how to teach anyone who is home-schooling and the Bitesize website will also have guides for pupils with SEN (special educational needs).
  2. Oak National Academy- Online Classroom – Oak National Academy is an online classroom made by teachers for teachers, parents and children. They provide over 10,000 high quality video lessons and resources which cover a wide range of subjects for children’s remote learning. The lessons also have quizzes, worksheets and creative activities which can be accessed on many devices.