CHILDLINE: Let's talk about improving mental health for young people

​Tomorrow, is Youth Mental Health Day, which aims to get young people and those who support them – like parents and carers – talking about how to improve mental health and highlighting the importance of early support and intervention.
It's important not to sweep mental health under the carpet.It's important not to sweep mental health under the carpet.
It's important not to sweep mental health under the carpet.

It’s vital that parents speak often to children about how they are feeling, as it will give them the confidence to speak out when something is wrong.

In recent years, our Childline counsellors have seen an increase in the number of young people contacting them for support about their mental and emotional health.

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Top amongst their worries in 2022/23 were stress and anxiety, low mood and unhappiness, depression, loneliness, confidence and self-esteem issues.

Others found it difficult to access mental health support. Some said they experienced intrusive thoughts, sleep problems, panic attacks and social anxiety.

Whenever a young person needs help, our counsellors are here. We can offer support and advice over the phone, but also through the Childline website (, where young people can explore their feelings and seek support around the clock.

We know some young people might prefer to speak with our counsellors through messaging, or they might want to speak to others their own age through our moderated Message Board where they can talk to their peers about their worries and see how they worked through similar issues. There are pages and pages of advice around mental health awareness, along with resources, games and exercises which are specially designed to help children and young people who are experiencing mental health issues. They could explore the Art Box to express their feelings creatively or visit the Calm Zone to find out more about mindfulness and relaxation techniques. The most vital thing they can do is take the first step towards support by speaking to someone about how they are feeling, picking up the phone, or visiting the Childline website for guidance.

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The theme of this year’s Youth Mental Health Day is #BeBrave. We know it can be difficult to take that first step, but it will be easier for them if we speak to young people openly and often about how they are feeling.