Are they ok?

This page is for individuals who have concerns about a teenager or young-person that they know. It aims to provide information and some guidance on what to do and who to contact for help. This advice is provided by our Early Intervention Service (Buckinghamshire).

What to do

There are many services for available for young people, however identifying the correct one is often difficult.

Evidence indicates that the earlier one seeks help, the less distressing the situation is for all involved.

This page is aimed at those experiences that are likely to lead to involvement with the NHS and may require a referral from your GP.

Common questions

What should I do?
Discuss with your GP the concerns that you may have and encourage the young person to talk to a professional. Please see our leaflet ‘A guide for parents’ for further information.
What if my GP thinks there is nothing wrong?
You can often consult services directly and seek their advice independently. See the link to useful resources for further information.
What if the GP says they cannot talk to me about the patient due to confidentiality?
If the patient is over the age of 18 this may be the case but it is normally with just cause rather than to keep you in the dark. You can request a home visit if you believe it necessary and can voice your concerns about information sharing with the GP or service involved.
What service might we be referred to?
There are a variety of services available depending on a person’s age and needs. Those aged 14-18 with a possible mental health issue would be referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and those aged 14-35 may be referred to Early Intervention in Psychosis teams. A more comprehensive list of services is available in the ‘useful resources’ section and consult service websites for specific details.
What if my son/daughter thinks there is nothing wrong with them?
Encourage them to talk to someone about what they are experiencing. Speaking to a GP is often the first way to access services but sometimes you can go directly to the services themselves and seek advice.Encourage them to talk to someone about what they are experiencing. Speaking to a GP is often the first way to access services but sometimes you can go directly to the services themselves and seek advice.
What if my son/daughter requires help from more than one service?
This is often the case and most services work in tandem to each other. If this is the case, always make sure services are aware of each others involvement as the best care can be delivered this way.
What if mental health services think nothing is wrong?
It is important to keep your GP informed of developments and relay concerns that you may have regularly. You can often speak directly to services as well and seek their opinion.
Will my son/daughter need to take medication?
This is a possibility and will be discussed with all parties should it be deemed necessary.
I think my son/daughter is a danger to themselves or others. What should I do?
It depends on your concerns. If there is a risk to others then emergency services must be contacted or if there is a risk to the young person themselves either a GP referral or trip to Accident and Emergency at a local hospital may be necessary. If the situation arises your local out of hours medical service should be contacted and a link to the NHS choices site is below to find local resources.
Will my son/daughter end up in hospital?
The earlier somebody accesses treatment generally the better the outcome. Most services try to keep clients in the community for as long as possible and only employ hospital admittance as a last resort.
Will my son/daughter recover?
The earlier services become involved the more effective they can be. Recovery is unique to each individual and must be defined by both the client and the service. Services now adopt a more positive approach to treatment plans than in the past and everyone has the potential to recover depending upon level need and individual circumstances.

Useful resources

Please find below a list of other resources that you may find useful. We have tried to categorise them however some services cover more than one area and this list is by no means exhaustive but to be used as a sign-posting service only.

If there are any services that we have left out please feel free to mention this in the feedback section and we would be happy to look into including them.

Drug and Alcohol Use
Family Carer Services
Health/Mental Health Services
  • Bucks Mind
  • People’s Voice Voluntary organisation working in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes that enables people with disabilities and mental health service users to make their own choices and speak for themselves
  • Sane National service that aims to raise awareness and combat stigma about mental illness, provides care and support for people with mental health problems, their families and carers
  • Rethink National mental health charity that runs a National Information and Advice Service and produces a lot of information about different aspects of psychosis. Rethink also runs carers’ groups and you can find where the nearest one to you is by visiting their website
  • Depression Alliance
  • Manic Depressive Fellowship
  • Health Talk
  • Get Help Early
  • Bucks Early Intervention Service
  • Mental Health Care
Self Harm
Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual Wellbeing
Young Person Specific Services

How to find your GP

If you need to register with a GP practise or find the address of a GP practise that you are already registered with please visit the NHS website.

Important: Need to talk now?

It is difficult to know exactly what to do when someone that we care about is distressed but there are some links to useful sites below which we hope will help.
However, if you have serious concerns about the welfare of someone that you know and believe that there is an immediate danger either to them or someone else, we strongly advise that you contact emergency services immediately.

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Page last reviewed: 8 July, 2021