For young people
Young people can experience a range of mental health problems. Childhood and teenage years are a time when you are usually changing rapidly and developing all the time.
You also often have to cope with many different situations and unfamiliar challenges like exams, relationships and the other pressures of growing up.
While often it’s possible to talk to parents or carers about feelings, you may find it hard to do so. You might express how you feel through being moody, getting in trouble at school or at home or by becoming angry easily. Some people also get odd aches and pains that can happen when you’re not able to say what you’re feeling.
If you’re able to carry on your usual life and don’t experience lasting unpleasant feelings, the best help is for parents, relatives or friends to be available to listen, to talk things through and to support you where they can.
More rarely, you may experience difficulties that are more severe or long lasting, or you may find yourself reacting to setbacks in a more extreme way. You may tell parents or friends that you are distressed or unable to cope, or you may try to hint that you are and hope they speak to you. This can lead to the support you want. Often though, you may find you show distress through acting differently, with more intense moods or behaviour, either at home, at school, or with friends.
Occasionally, your feelings or mood may be so extreme or upsetting that you need urgent help. If you’re self-harming, running away, or saying you no longer want to go on living then you may need immediate support. If this sort of feeling continues for some time it is a particular clue that you might need to look to get help to cope with your mental health.
If you are a parent living with a mental health problem you might find our guide to parenting and mental health useful. If you are concerned about a child then see organisations listed under Useful contacts for more information.
This information was published in November 2016.