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Helping yourself

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Useful links

There are lots of ways you can get help when you need it. Have a look through the links below to find out more:

ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen; you can contact a ChildLine counsellor about anything – no problem is too big or too small – call free on 0800 1111, have a 1-2-1 chat online or send an email

Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people; they offer comprehensive and accessible information about mental health and emotional wellbeing, including resources for you to download

Choice and medication provides information in the form of downloadable leaflets about a range of mental health conditions and the types of medication prescribed

Doc Ready is a digital tool that helps you prepare to speak to a doctor about mental health – it helps you build a checklist of things you want to talk about, and gives information and advice about speaking to a GP

Epic Friends is a website, developed by the NHS in Sheffield to help young people know how to help friends who might be struggling to cope emotionally

My CAMHS Choices aims to provide young people accessing CAMHS with the information you need to make meaningful choices about your care, including a really useful  list of links and resources

My Mind is a website created by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership which has lots of self help resources for young people

HeadMeds is a new website for young people, created by YoungMinds, providing accessible and useful information about mental health medication; it has lots of videos of young people talking about their experiences of medication

OCD Youth aims to increase awareness and access to support for anyone under 25 affected by OCD; it is run by and is for young people with OCD

Samaritans provides a helpline and email contact for anyone who has something that’s troubling them; you can call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Rethink Mental Illness offers information about mental health problems and self-help strategies for coping with them

Youth Health Talk offers information about a range of illnesses and other health-related issues from the perspective of people’s real life experiences

The Campaign against Living Miserably, or CALMis a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK; it has a helpline and webchat facility and is targeted at men, including young men

FRANK offers friendly, confidential advice about drugs; it can help you find out everything you might want to know about drugs (and some stuff you don’t)

Illustration of a young person.

Check out our “good advice” section. 

This provides clear, straightforward information about common condition, as well as advice on how to improve your health and wellbeing. 

There’s also a handy glossary.

Difficulties we can help you with

Anxiety and phobias

Young people from the CAMHS Participation team created this comic to show what a panic attack feels like for them:

Anxiety & Phobias comic

Everyone worries but if it becomes excessive then you may need some help.

Common worries include concerns about relationships, social situations, self-confidence and coping with crowds. People may also have specific phobias, for example, spiders or being sick in public!

It is possible to have very intense periods of anxiety called ‘panic attacks’. These are often associated with thoughts about wanting to escape and physical sensations such as feeling ones heart beat very fast and struggling to breath.

Talking therapies work well to reduce anxiety in young people.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

People with ADHD can struggle to concentrate and are often easily distracted. There are more likely to be disorganised, often fidget, have excessive energy and can be impulsive. This can lead to difficulties at school and at home.

We do not routinely help people with ADHD unless there are associated mental health difficulties.  But if you have ADHD as well as other difficulties such as anxiety or depression then therapy or medication could help treat these.

Here are some good sources for extra information:

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

People with an ASD and Asperger’s syndrome (a milder form of ASD) can find it more challenging to communicate and cope with social situations. They may have intense interests and play in a repetitive manner. They can also struggle to cope with change.

If a child or young person might have an ASD then an assessment by CAMHS or a paediatrician should occur. If a person with an ASD has other difficulties such as anxiety or ADHD then therapy or medication could help treat these.

Here are some good sources for extra information:

Bipolar disorder

People with bipolar disorder can struggle to regulate their mood and it is commonly described as ‘manic depression’.

They can experience episodes of depression (lows) and periods of elevated mood (highs), the latter is often associated with raised energy levels and a reduced need for sleep.

Medication and therapy can help reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder.

Here is a useful website for more information:

Depression

Young people from the CAMHS Participation team created this comic to show what depression feels like for them:

Depression comic

People who are depressed will often feel down for longer than a fortnight, frequently feel tired and can lose interest in activities they usually enjoy.

Low confidence, poor motivation, and changes in appetite and sleep can occur. Depression can cause people to develop thoughts about hurting themselves and killing themselves.

CAMHS can provide some very effective treatments including therapy and medication.

Here are some good sources for extra information:

Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa

Young people from the CAMHS Participation team created this comic to show what an eating disorder feels like for them:

Eating disorder comic

Worries about ones body, weight and shape are common in young people. They can become excessive and may be associated with strategies to control weight or unpleasant thoughts.

Dieting, exercise, binging food and self-induced vomiting can occur.

Often people suffering from an eating disorder may not recognise that they are unwell and they can struggle to seek or accept help.

It is easier to recover from an eating disorder if treatment occurs in the early stages of the illness. Therapy is the primary treatment and this includes family therapy and individual therapy.

Here are some good sources for extra information:

Sexuality and Gender Identity (LGBTQ)

Although being LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer or Questioning) is not a mental health issue, young people experiencing mental health issues associated with their sexuality/gender identity may benefit from support from CAMHS.

N.B. ‘Questioning’ includes young people who have questions about their sexuality/gender identity or questions about these issues. It also includes young people who are being affected by these issues because someone close to them is having difficulties or is identifying as LGBTQ.

Here are some good sources for extra information:

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

OCD is an anxiety disorder. Obsessions are unpleasant recurring thoughts and can include concerns about germs, preventing disasters occurring, and completing tasks in a set order.

Compulsions are behaviours associated with obsessions and can include washing lots to remove germs, lining up or touching objects, checking in mirrors, and counting. Therapy and medication can reduce the symptoms of OCD.

Here is a good sources for extra information:

Psychosis

Someone experiencing psychosis can lose touch with reality and this can be characterised by unusual experiences and perceptions.

A person may develop thoughts that others are out to harm them and hear voices or see things that others cannot. Medication and therapy are used to treat psychosis.

Here is a good sources for extra information:

Self-harm

Approximately one in every fifteen young people has experience of self-injury.

Methods of self-harm include cutting, scratching, burning and taking over-doses. Self-harm is often hidden and young people can feel isolated and guilty about the behaviour.

CAMHS can help young people cope in a more positive way with difficult emotions and situations. With the right support it is possible to stop self-harming.

Here are some good sources for extra information:

Suicidal thoughts

Thoughts about ending ones life are more common in people who are suffering from a mental illness.

Stress, anxiety, coping with a traumatic event, feeling hopeless and depression are often associated with these thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can be reduced and stopped with the right support.

It is very important to get help as soon as possible if you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts.

Here are some good sources for extra information:

Coping with traumatic events & abuse

Experiencing a traumatic event may predispose someone to developing a mental illness, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Someone with PTSD may experience flashbacks and be distressed. Sometimes the trauma a person experiences can be a ‘one off’ experience such as being in a car crash, or it can take place over a longer period of time.

Abuse can be physical, sexual, and emotional. Abuse and neglect of children and young people is always wrong. Making sure you are safe is the priority and if you are immediate danger call 999.

Talking with someone you know and trust may help. Therapy with CAMHS can help.

Here are some good sources for extra information:

Tic disorders, including Tourette’s syndrome

Tics are jerky movements usually of the face, head and neck. Tics can also involve making noises such as grunting or clearing ones throat.

These can be involuntary and the person may have little control over this behaviour. Symptoms can fluctuate over time. Medication can help to reduce the frequency of tics.

Here are some good sources for extra information:

Last updated: 9 November, 2018