Many children and young people find it really difficult and frustrating when they find it hard or impossible to go to school or college. You most definitely are not alone and there is lots of useful information which can help you to find the best ways to help support yourself with this.
The most important thing to know is that by making some very small changes, you can feel a bit better and more able to cope with things which may seem very difficult at the moment. These things may not cost much money and won’t take up much of your time either. There may be times when you just can’t face things but mostly, after a bit of perseverance you will find you are able to keep trying these things and feeling better too!
Depending on where you live, how old you are and what your own environment is, we aim to help you (and parents/carers and schools) to find appropriate resources and information to understand a bit more about how your thoughts and beliefs create feelings which then lead to particular behaviours (including avoidance in some cases) and we hope you will find information about why you may be finding your school or college environment difficult but also support and resources to help you to move forward to a place which is not so distressing for you.
We understand it is very hard to start a conversation about how you are feeling sometimes as you may be worried about the reaction you will get. You may be surprised to know that your parent/carer or teacher may already have an idea that you are finding things difficult and it may be an easy conversation to have. If you find face to face conversations hard you could think of other ways of letting them know for example sending a text or writing on a piece of paper and leaving it somewhere easy to find. Parents will usually have your best interests at heart and care very much about how you’re feeling, sometimes we make wrong choices and you may think we don’t care about how you feel or how hard you are finding things. If this is the case it may also be useful to speak to another trusted adult and let them know about this website so they can come and look at the resources for parents and schools.
Try hard to open up about your feelings and thoughts to someone you trust (if you feel unable to do this currently have a look at our list of other organisations who are there to listen and who may have really good ideas or suggestions) You may feel it is easier to hide your feelings away and ignore them, but this won’t help in the long run and nothing will change.
If you are worried about a particular event or situation it could really help to discuss this with the trusted adult too (or other organisation)
Try to remember activities you have used in the past when you’ve felt overwhelmed or anxious (things which help to distract you or calm you down such as walking, reading, listening to music, having a bath, exercise etc.) and make a list to refer back to if you need to.
It’s really important to take care of your sleeping routine and your diet. Both of these have a big impact on keeping your mental health positive which will lead to less anxious feelings and low mood. Exercise is also proven to have a really positive impact on raising your mood. Even a short dog walk is better than doing nothing.
Doing more of the things which you enjoy also gives you a boost of confidence and releases endorphins (happy hormones). It may be that you haven’t felt like doing too much recently but it’s important to know that by trying to do little and often you will remember how much you enjoy them and notice how it helps to give you a lift.
You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, it's better out than in. We're here to support you and help you find ways to cope.
There are lots of different ways to get in touch and you can also get help from other young people through our site.
Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people
Chat to friendly counsellors
Read articles written by young people
Get support from the Kooth community
Write in a daily journal
Stem4 is a teenage mental health charity aimed at improving teenage mental health by stemming commonly occurring mental health issues at an early stage.
Young Minds have 4 aims
On My Mind aims to empower young people to make informed choices about the mental health support they want, the treatments they receive and the outcomes they desire.
It contains information, advice and resources to help young people support their own mental health,
The Mix is for you whether you’re 13, 25, or any age in between. They take on the embarrassing problems, weird questions, and please-don’t-make-me-say-it-out-loud thoughts you have.
They give you the information and support you need to deal with it all.
They connect you to experts and your peers who’ll give you the support and tools you need to take on any challenge you’re facing
Eating Disorders Association – BEAT
Information and help on all aspects of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and related eating disorders.
An umbrella organisation for charities offering counselling, advice or information services to young people, including a page to help you find local services
A user led organisation that provides a range of services about self-harm including support, information, training and consultancy to people who self-harm, their friends and families and professionals.
SelfharmUK is a project dedicated to supporting young people impacted by self-harm, providing a safe space to talk, ask any questions and be honest about what's going on in your life.
A charity dedicated to the prevention of youth suicide.
Specialist telephone service staffed by trained professionals who give non-judgemental support, practical advice and information to children, teenagers and young people who are worried about how they are feeling
Whether you are experiencing mental health issues, you are worried about someone else, or you are interested in how to stay mentally healthy, there are lots of different ways you can look after your mental health and find support.
HeadMeds gives young people in the United Kingdom general information about medication. HeadMeds does not give you medical advice. Please talk to your Doctor or anyone else who is supporting you about your own situation because everyone is different.
LawStuff provides free legal information to children and young people.
LawStuff is run by Coram Children’s Legal Centre, which provides more detailed information both over the phone and online.
Many of the young people the Princes Trust help are in, or leaving, care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health issues, or have been in trouble with the law.
Princes Trust gives young people the practical and financial support they need to stabilise their lives. We help them develop key skills while boosting their confidence and motivation so they can continue to dream big.
Help 2 Make Sense is an online tool brought to you by Winston’s Wish. It aims to help young people who have experienced the death of a loved one come to terms with their loss.
We know how beneficial it can be to learn that you are not alone. That you are not the only young person going through this.
Growing up is not easy, and sometimes it's hard to cope with whatever life throws at you.
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) can help if you:
You can be referred to CAMHS by your parents, teacher, social worker or GP.
If you're old enough (over the age of 16), you can refer yourself.
Young Stonewall are here to let all young lesbian, gay, bi and trans people - as well as those who are questioning - here and abroad, know they're not alone. We want to empower all young people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, to campaign for equality and fair treatment for LGBTQ people, and against discrimination.
If you are a young person after some advice and resources, or looking for how to connect with other young carers, you are in the right place.
Anyone can contact Samaritans, no matter how old you are.
Doc Ready is a digital tool that helps young people to prepare and make the most out of mental health related GP visits. It helps young people to know what to expect during a GP consultation, plan what to say and record the outcomes of their appointments.
Rise Above is a new website developed by Public Health England to boost resilience among 11-16 year olds by teaching them the skills needed to make better decisions in ‘risky’ situations such as smoking, drugs, drinking, relationships and sex.
This link takes you to the MIND page which features a range of films about different aspects of mental wellbeing
Advice and information about anxiety
Lots of resources to help you cope with anxiety
What Survival Looks Like For Me (pdf)Download
Survival In Primary School (pdf)Download
Survival In Secondary School (pdf)Download
Primary School Cheat Sheet (jpg)Download
Secondary School Cheat Sheet (jpg)Download
My Interests, Hopes & Dreams workbook (pdf)Download
Colour Breathing (pdf)Download
Dealing Negative Emotions (pdf)Download
Emergency Bag Box (pdf)Download
Mindful Breathing (pdf)Download
Positive Affirmations (pdf)Download
The Parrot (pdf)Download