Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Children & Young People Mental Health Support

How can I help myself?


There are lots of things you can do to help yourself stay well and have good wellbeing: including eating well, getting a good night's sleep and taking some regular exercise.

If you are going through a stressful time or would like to lift your mood you are on the right page. Check out the links below for information on taking time out, tips on being positive and happy, and ideas around mindfulness. Also have a look at the range of apps that you might like to try too.

Centre 33 - Looking after your wellbeing

Centre 33 have produced a range of short films to help with wellbeing which can be found here 

Topics include: Managing worries, Self-labeling, Managing anxiety, Help with low mood, Help with sleep, Wellbeing, Sense of self, Staying connected. 

Please get in touch if you need support and we can discuss your options.

Drop-in to one of our hubs (when we are open again)  here

Phone us on 0333 4141809 

Text us on 07514 783745

Email us at

We can tell you a bit more about the service and ask you for some basic details, and you can ask us questions if you want to.

You can organise this yourself. You don't need to be referred by a parent, carer or professional.

NEW - Looking after your mental health and wellbeing while social-distancing/self-isolating:

During what may be a worrying and stressful time for many of us, it's important that we look after ourselves both physically and mentally. For more information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), and for tips on how you can look after yourself and others, have a look at our 'Resources' page. For suggestions about how to look after your wellbeing more generally, see our 'Wellbeing Tips' page.

Please also check our 'Current News' page for updates and information.


 Anna Freud Centre has some great self help information aimed especially at young people including activities ,tips and ideas to help your improve your wellbeing.


  rise above

Rise Above is about us all sharing our experiences, questions and challenges to get us ready for anything life throws at us. It is where you will find interesting and useful stuff from the web and beyond to get us all talking about the things that matter to us. You’ll find inspiring and useful stories, videos, games and advice. 



Turtle Dove  Cambridge supports existing organisations in empowering young women aged between 15 and 23.They work with young women to improve their confidence in a supportive and fun way, they aim to offer a sense of achievement through improving their skill set and employment opportunities.



Big White Wall is an online support and recovery service for people aged 16 and over who are stressed, anxious, low or not coping. Big White Wall enables members to support and help each other and share what’s troubling them in a safe and anonymous environment. There is also guidance from trained professionals, who are online 24/7. There is a charge for this service. 


Relax Kids logo

Relax Kids resources and classes can help children manage stress with breathing and stretching exercises. These are resources that need to be paid for. 


ChatHealth is a confidential text messaging service that enables children and young people (aged 11-19) to get help and advice from their local public health nursing (school nursing) team. 

To access the Cambridgeshire service simply send a text to 07480 635 443

This service is available Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 4pm (except bank holidays). During these times they aim to respond to all messages within 24 hours. 

See this video for a more detailed description of the Cambridgeshire service.


Mood juice logo

Mood Juice is a self-help resource website that has a helpful guide on anxiety and another on depression.



Mood scope logoMoodscope helps you to track your mood each day with an interactive game, you can then share with your friends. MH HubYouth Mental Health is a hub of information on the NHS Choices website. It brings together lots of useful information and resources. Resources that you might find helpful include:



Books on prescrip

Reading well can help you to cope with the pressures of life, feel better about yourself and boost your confidence using books.

Shelf Help - The Shelf Help scheme is available in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Libraires. This scheme is already available nationally. It is a range of books that have been recommended by young people and health professionals about mental health that are available in public libraries. The books are aimed at 13 to 18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and difficult experiences like bullying and exams. A similar service, called 'books on prescription' is already available for adults. Recommended books



Youthoria banner

Youthoria has lots of information for 11-19 year olds, but the 'It's Your Choice' section presents you with stories that young people have faced and gives you the chance to decide what you would do, and advises on some good options. Different scenarios include coping with an eating disorder and dealing with depression.



Living Life to the Full logo

Living Life to the Full  .......Helping you to help yourself - Check out this website with advice on 'Why do I feel so bad?', 'How to fix almost anything' and many more....


reach out logoReachOut provides practical tools and support to help young people get through everything from everyday issues to tough times. You will find help through: factsheets, tools, apps, community forums, stories, videos, other stuff, like lists.


the mix

The MIX provides essential help for those under 25. Have you had trouble getting help for mental health? Check out this resource.


beatBEAT is the UK's leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders.  For further information on these conditions visit Young Minds


CALM - The Campaign Against Living Miserably is a registered charity, which exists to prevent male suicide in the UK. Check out the website for further support or Click here for their helpline.




We all have mental health, and just like our physical health there are many ways we can look after it. There are lots of things that we can do to keep our mind well, or help us to recover when times are tough. Exercising, eating well, spending time with friends and helping others out are all good ways of looking after our wellbeing. For more information and suggestions visit the Young Minds and the Mental Health Foundation websites. 

If you live in Cambridgeshire, you can also find a range of fun activities near you on the Youthoria website or visit the new 'Be Well' site for information on keeping your body and mind well.

 MHF wellbeing

When Healthwatch recently asked local young people what they did when they felt stressed or anxious, these were some of the things that helped them: 

  • Talking to someone
  • Listening to music
  • Dancing
  • Art or colouring in books
  • Writing things down
  • Going out with friends
  • Doing sport.

We all have times when we feel stressed, low or anxious, or have trouble sleeping. For free practical tips and expert advice to improve your mental health, visit Every Mind Matters and take their free quiz to get your own personalised 'Mind Plan'.

Some people find the '5 ways to wellbeing' a useful way of thinking about how you can look after your wellbeing:



Connect with the people around you and make time for family and friends.                  

 Be active - Go for a run, play football, cycle to college or sign up for a dance class...whatever it is, make sure it is something you enjoy

Take notice - Be aware of the world around you and how you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will help you appreciate what matters to you.

Keep learning - whether it's learning how to cook your favorite food or taking up a new sport or hobby, it's all good for our mind!

Give - Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile :) Volunteer your time. It can be incredibly rewarding.

Action for Happiness Poster


Exercise stimulates positive endorphins, clears your head and lifts your mood.

Healthy body = healthy mind

Action for happiness ~ more info can be found HERE ~

Self Care

self care


Feeling sad, low, down or lonely can be difficult feelings to bear.  These feelings are uncomfortable, even painful at times.  However they are important feelings to have from time to time and inform us when difficult things are happening in our lives. These feelings in themselves don’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.

So how do you know when you have depression?

Depression is a condition which can develop over time.  It can happen when the sad, difficult feelings just won’t go away, and start to have an impact on everyday life.  Depression can affect us in lots of different ways and might have an impact on how you feel, think or behave.

You might feel:

  • down and tearful all the time
  • tired, lacking energy and motivation
  • bad about yourself, guilty or worthless
  • numb or empty
  • hopelessness or helplessness
  • that there’s no point to anything, that life isn’t worthwhile 

You might think:

  • a lot of negative thoughts
  • suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • you are a burden to other people
  • people are better off without you

Your behaviour might change and you might:

  • not be able to sleep- or the opposite, sleeping too much
  • experience a loss of appetite – or on the other hand comfort eating or eating too much
  • have problems concentrating
  • not be able to enjoy the things that used to be fun
  • become withdrawn, shut down

If you notice that you have been feeling low for weeks at a time and it doesn’t seem to go away or even gets worse, you don’t have to through this by yourself.  Talking to someone you can trust might make a big difference to how you feel.

You can also talk to your doctor who will discuss the different options for you.  This might include medication.  This is not always appropriate for everyone, and is not the only option. There are also “talking therapies” which can be very effective.
Centre 33 offers someone to talk to in confidence about how you feel. You will be listened to, taken seriously, and not judged.



Be the reason someone smiles


A little bit of stress can help us to get motivated, but sometimes our stress levels can rise a bit too much. There are lots of things we can do to take control and manage our stress. 


Stress LessThe local Stress LESS campaign has been specifically designed to help young people combat stress. Their website has lots of advice and guidance that can help you get on top of stress and get through exams. The campaign asks us to change small things over the course of 5 weeks to feel better, see the #Take5 challenge. 



Radio 1 larger versionBBC Radio 1 have compiled a fact file on the signs of stress to look out for and some helpful tips to keep your stress levels in check!


Young Minds logo



Young Minds have collated lots of information for parents and carers on helping your child through problems at school. There are further links to lots of websites and resources that you may find helpful.  



NHS choices logoThe NHS Choices site provides information for parents and young people on dealing with exam stress. 


Family Lives logo


The Family Lives website has information for parents on helping your child through exams from revision right through to exam day and beyond. 


 Top tips for dealing with stress can be found HERE!

If financial problems are causing you stress or anxiety, or if mental health issues are affecting your handling of money, have a look at Making Money Count's website here for information and guidance on getting support.


Feeling Overwhelmed?

You are not alone around 3 Million people in the UK suffer with some kind of anxiety.

Anxiety is a normal, if unpleasant ,part of life. It can affect us all in different ways and at different times.

Whereas stress is something that will come and go as the factor causing it ( be it work, relationships, exams etc.) comes and goes, anxiety is something that can persist.

Anxiety UK offers lots of information on the types of anxiety conditions and ways of managing anxiety. Phone:03444 775 774(Mon-Fri 9.30 am-5.30 pm)

Health for teens offers some information on anxiety and how to deal with it here

No Panic

No Panic is a voluntary charity offering support for sufferers of panic attacks and OCD. Offers a course to help overcome your phobia/OCD and includes a helpline Phone: 0844 967 4848



If you are having a fretful moment then try this'5-4-3-2-1' mindfulness tip: This helps to ground you and helps to feel more calm, especially in moments of panic and anxiety.


Count 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch,3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell,1 emotion you feel


Little Mix star Perri talks about her anxiety and panic attacks HERE

Anna Freud has produced a poster to help with anxiety.


OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which is a type of anxiety disorder. 

People with OCD have repeating thoughts, images or feelings that are distressing (obsessions). They carry out rituals or habits (compulsions) to temporarily feel better.

OCD rituals can be obvious to other people such as checking door locks or they can happen inside your head like counting.

OCD thoughts come in all shapes and sizes, but they often revolve around things danger, dirt and contamination or worries around sexuality and religion.


Further information can be found at Youngminds  and OCDaction


Anger is the name we give to a particular form of human energy, it is an emotion that we all experience at some point. 

If you are struggling to manage anger or aggression, there is a lot of support and advice online to help you.

Mind logo

This link from Mind talks you through what anger is

The Good Life Service at CPSL Mind will be running a new 8 week workshop ‘Anger and what to do about it’ for anyone 18+ living in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough. We all feel angry at times, and this is a healthy, normal emotion that only becomes a problem when it is harming you, or people around you. If your anger may be becoming destructive our 'Anger and what to do about itworkshop can help take back control. We will explore CBT style materials, opportunities to engage peer support, a space to create your own anger management plan and tool kit and encouragement to practice these learnings outside of the sessions. 

To apply, please email or call 0300 303 4363  

The first sessions will take place from the 18th May 2021 and they are aiming to offer at least 1 workshop per quarter.

Each workshop session will last 1 hour 45 minutes and will take place via Zoom.

Anger Management tips from Centre 33

Young Minds logo

There is a great page on young minds to support young people who want to manage anger issues, as well as a support page for parents who are worried about their child's anger.

 NHS choices also have great advice for parents on managing anger

Recommended reading

There are also a number of books that can be useful in understanding anger in yourself or others:


Managing Anger:Simple steps to dealing with frustration and threat by Gael Lindenfield ( Thorstons ,2000)

Working with Anger and Young People By Nick Luxmore (Jessica Kingsley, 2006)

Anger Management :A pratical guide for working with Children and Young People by Adrian Faupel. Elizabeth Herrick and Peter Sharp ( Routledge,2017)



Self-harm is when someone chooses to inflict pain on themselves in some way. It is a sign of distress and can take many forms. Often self-harm is someone's way of coping with feelings,and is a sign that something is wrong. Self-harm can be dangerous, and it is a sign that there is an underlying problem, therefore you should get help. Below are some organisations that give more information on ways to address self-harm as well as some key services that can help in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. There is also more information on services available on the following pages: Local Support and National Support

It can be hard to know what to do if someone tells you they are self-harming, but there are things you can do to help people get the support they need:

Young Mind's 5 tips for when a friend tells you they are self-harming:

  1. Don't panic
  2. Offer to listen
  3. Help them to find support (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough support):HERE!
  4. Be there for them in the long haul
  5. Look after yourself

For more information on any of these tips visit:


These are also some leaflets that you may find helpful:


Centre 33 leaflet:                       For parents and carers:               For professionals:                             

 Self harm leaflet  Coping with SH  Understanding and responding to SH 



Young Minds & The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust have produced a range of resources and films for young people, parents and professionals. 

in our hands, no harm done 




About Calm Harm

The urge to self-harm is like a wave.

It feels the most powerful when you start wanting to do it.
Learn to ride the wave with the free Calm Harm app using these activities:
ComfortDistract, Express YourselfReleaseRandom and Breathe


self harm logoRead stories, ask questions get answers and information on self-harm.


Life SIGNS logo

 Life Signs provides lots of helpful advice and information about self-harm which is shaped by those that use the site. 


 National Self Harm Network logo

The National Self Harm Network has a supportive forum for those that are experiencing self-harm. 




 Harmless logoHarmless is shaped by the people that use the website, and 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.


Recover Your Life logoRecover Your Life offers an open and non-judgemental support community for those who self-harm or are struggling with other mental health problems. 

 Distraction Techniques

Alternatives to self-harm


The Teen Help Forum has a list of distraction suggestions which you do not need to sign in to access.

Teen Help logo


student lights

Sleep is really important for maintaining good health, both mentally and physically. During sleep many key processes happen: we digest the information and events from the previous day, our brain and body rest and re-energise ready for the next day and our immune system recuperates. Because of this, sleep is essential for functioning well and staying healthy. However, sometimes people experience sleep difficulties which can be linked to mental health problems. Struggling to fall asleep, waking up during the night or experiencing nightmares are some common problems. Insufficient sleep can increase risk of becoming ill and slows the healing of injuries, it can reduce concentration and memory recall, as well as impacting mood regulation making it more likely that people feel anxious stressed or low.

There are some simple changes that can help maintain a good sleep pattern. Developing a bedtime routine is one way to improve the quantity and quality of sleep. Things to avoid just before bed include: strenuous exercise, caffeine, large meals, and screen time. Instead, try to do gentle relaxing activities e.g. reading/meditation, taking a warm shower/bath, and enjoying a hot drink. By sticking to a bedtime routine it helps train the brain to become more relaxed and ready to sleep at night. Sticking to the same sleeping and waking hours each day is also important and avoiding taking naps during the day will positively impact your sleep pattern too.

See the great advice on sleep foundation website.

Can you see on this picture what could be stopping you from sleeping ??

 Teen sleep room

8 ways to sleep well

A good night's sleep is vital for your wellbeing and health. Sleep helps to keep your brain in tip-top shape.

Try the following tips to help:

1) Sleep-friendly bedroom

Have a bedroom that is uncluttered, dark and not too hot 

2) Get Regular

Keep regular sleeping hours, then you'll programme your brain and internal body clock into a set routine.

3) No caffeine

Try not to have caffeine after noon, this gives it chance to leave your system  before bed time

4) Get active

Regular exercise will tire you out, release tension and help you to sleep better

5) Switch off

The blue light from screens is a major sleep disruptor- switch off at least an hour before bed, this gives your brain a chance to wind down.

6) Relax

Relax before going to bed, warm bath, dim the lights,quiet music


Tackle tomorrow

Write a list of things to be tackled the next day to help your brain switch off

8) And breathe....

Breathe in for four seconds, holding for four then out for four to slow your heart rate and quieten your brain activity.

Top tips on help with sleep can be found on this leaflet HERE!

Suggestions for Parents and Carers 

We suggest you take a look at this website as at the Sleep Charity they know that there are so many different factors which can affect children’s sleep and they have provided a range of resources and information:

Home - The Sleep Charity

Children - The Sleep Charity

Mental Health Foundation logoThe Mental Health Foundation has information on how to sleep better, looking at 4 key factors that affect how we sleep: Health, Environment, Attitude and Lifestyle.  


Also, see this Public Health Matters blog by Public Health England on Mental Health and Sleep in teenagers and the MindEd free online training on sleep in teenagers.


student face in hands


If you are being bullied, or are worried that someone you care about is being bullied, then do not feel alone as there is support available. The most important thing to do if you are being bullied is to tell someone. See the Learn Together Cambridgeshire page on anti-bullying, our page for children and young people, support for families, and support for schools. Youthoria, a website for young people in Cambridgeshire also has a vast amount of information on bullying (Youthoria).


For additional support see Radio 1 website and for support on cyber bullying, and sexting see Kidscape and the NSPCC

If you are a bully, you can change. Visit the Youthoria website or NHS Choices for advice.




 LTC4 Radio 1 larger version Kidscape NSPCCYouthoria banner


Parents and Carers

It can be very distressing to find out your child is being bullied - the NSPCC have a helpful guide to keeping children safe from bullying and cyberbullying. The guide also has helpful information on what to do if your child is bullying others. There is also lots of information and resources available for teachers on preventing and addressing bullying in schools.The Anti-bullying Alliance also offers training and information for teachers.



                                                   Find out more



Internet safety - Lots of interesting information below on internet safety and also HERE

internet safety

internet safety






Most people with Tourette Syndrome (TS) are diagnosed as children or teenagers. Children generally start to tic between ages five and seven, but they can start as young as three years old.

Tourette Syndrome is an inherited, neurological condition, the key features of which are tics, involuntary and uncontrollable sounds and movements.

CHUMS have some good information on Tics and Tourettes it gives information on what it is and how it can be managed. There is also some useful tips for parents.

Tourettes Action

Tourettes action offers some great advice for young people .


There are many apps out there that you can use to support your mental health and wellbeing. All these are available to download free from the App Store.

Anna Freud website has information and guidance on self help apps.

Some good Apps include:

 For me logo

For Me is a discreet Childline app that gives you access to: 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor, 'Ask Sam' problem page and a space to track your mood and write down your thoughts privately. Topics include issues such as school and exam stress, personal issues, self-harm and mental health.  

 Child Bereavement UK App

Child Bereavement UK have developed an app for 11-25 year olds who have been bereaved of someone important to them. It can also be used by friends, teachers, parents and professionals who would like to know how to support bereaved young people.



Calmharm is an app that  provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm. 

distrACT provides information and advice about self-harm and suicidal thoughts. It is free, and available for anyone over the age of 17.


In HandIn Hand helps you to focus yourself when you are feeling low or are in a moment of stress. Once the app knows how you feel, it will take you through steps to help you feel better. 

Smiling Mind logo

Smiling Mind is a free app that helps put a smile on your mind. The app takes you through guided meditation. 


Stem 4 logo Stem4 Support with self-harm provides activities to support you with urges to self-harm (comfort, distract, express or release).


Thrive helps to manage and prevent stress and anxiety. It is suitable for all aged 11+ and uses games to help track your moods, suggest ways to control stress and anxiety, and teach relaxation techniques. The app is free to download, but charges may apply for access to all functions. and available for anyone.  Alternatively you may be able to access the YMCA trinity group version via your school.  Click here for more information.

 Student Health App created by NHS doctors, provides reliable health information for university students. 

Big White Wall provides information, advice and self-help guidance about mental health, as well as access to a peer-support community. It is free, and available for anyone age 16+.

Anxiety Canada have a free app called 'MindShift™ CBT' which "uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety."

Thinkninja picture

Healios have launched Thinkninja an app specifically designed to educate 10-18 year olds about mental health, emotional wellbeing and to provide skills young people can use to build resilience and stay well.

Other helpful websites that are worth taking a look at...


DOC ReadyDoc Ready can help you feel more confident when you go to see your GP about a mental health issue.


Taylorfitch website