Concerned about a child or young person?

This site is designed to give expert-informed guidance to help school staff understand and promote children’s mental health. We are not expecting staff to become mental health experts.

If the child or young person is at immediate risk, please ensure that they are taken, urgently, to their GP or A&E – either by their parents/carers or, where parental contact is not possible, by the school DSL.


Starting a conversation about mental health

It can feel difficult to start a conversation about mental health. The following pages contain tips, advice and guidance for opening up conversations about mental health and wellbeing with pupils and parent/carers:


Specific concerns

If you are looking for help or guidance around a specific concern or issue, the following sections of this website may be helpful:

  • Mental health needs: focuses on those children or young people who have already become mentally unwell, have a condition such as autism or hyperactivity which may impair their ability to thrive and learn without further support or adjustment being made by schools, or are on the threshold of being mentally unwell.
  • Risks and protective factors: helps school staff understand the many risk factors that may challenge and undermine children and young people’s mental health. It also helps schools understand what they can do (on their own and working with partners) to help build good mental health and resilience, and reduce the risks that can harm pupils' mental health.


Need further help?

There are several national agencies and helplines that can provide further help, advice and support:


If you're worried about a pupil, even if you're unsure, contact their professional counsellors for help, advice and support.

You can contact them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by email or through the online reporting form. You can also call the Helpline Monday to Friday 8am-10pm or 9am-6pm at the weekends.

Call: 0808 800 5000




Free, confidential helpline or online/email chat available 24/7 for anyone under the age of 19.

Children and young people can contact Childline about anything - they are there to support them and help them find ways to cope.

Calls to Childine are free, can be made without credit and will not show on the phone bill.

Call: 0800 1111

Email: Sign up to send an email

Online chat


Education Support 

A free and confidential helpline available 24/7 to everyone working in education. You can speak to a British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited counsellor for:

  • In the moment emotional support
  • Up to six sessions of telephone counselling
  • Information and signposting
  • Action plan coaching

Call: 08000 562 561

Text: 07909 341229


Online chat


YoungMinds Parents Helpline

A helpline that provides information and advice to parents/carers who are worried about a child or young person’s wellbeing/mental health.

The service is available 9.30am–4.00pm, Monday to Friday. 

Call: 0808 802 5544

Send a message



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