Children and young people

We all know what to do when we have a cold or break a bone, but just like our physical health, our mental health can become unwell too, and it’s often hard to know where to turn.

Mental health problems are very common. In fact, by the time they’re 16, three children in every classroom will have experienced a mental health problem.

If you’re at all concerned about your mental health, or the mental health of a friend or family member, it’s really important to seek help. Sometimes this can be as simple as discussing it with a friend or trusted adult, but sometimes professional help is needed. Making an appointment with your GP is a good place to start. We've got some useful guidance on attending that first appointment.

The following resources might help you with how you're feeling. If you are a parent or guardian seeking more information on supporting a young person with their mental health, please see our parents and carer's page.

‘Am I OK?’

A SAMH guide for young people.

‘How to help a friend’

A SAMH guide for young people.

Testing Times

​A guide to dealing with exam stress.

Five ways to better wellbeing - for young people

We all have mental health

​A guide to understanding mental health and wellbeing for 10 to 14-year-olds.

We all have mental health

A guide to understanding mental health and wellbeing for 10 to 14-year-olds, now also available in an audio format, narrated by two young people from a local high school.

This guide provides practical advice about mental health for young people. There are five sections:

Thank you to Co-op for supporting the development of this resource.

National organisations that offer support


A free, private and confidential service for anyone under 19 in the UK.

Available: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Phone: 0800 1111



Support and services for those dealing with an eating disorder, including a YouthLine open 4pm – 10pm, every day.

Available: 4pm -10pm every day

Phone: 0808 801 0711


Breathing Space

A confidential out of office hours telephone line for people over 16 experiencing low mood, anxiety or depression.

Phone: 0800 83 85 87



Offers information and advice to those experiencing troublesome thoughts, feelings and actions.


NHS 24

NHS24 is a 24-hour health service for Scotland.

Phone: 111


Aye Feel, by Young Scot

Information about how to look after your emotional wellbeing, support from organisations around Scotland and tips on how to promote a positive mindset.




24-hour helpline offering emotional support for anyone feeling down, distressed or struggling to cope.

Phone: 116 123



The Mix

Free, confidential support for young people under 25 via online, social and mobile.

Phone: 0808 808 4994



Shout 85258 is the UK's first free, confidential, 24/7 text support service. It's a place to go if you're struggling to cope and need mental health support.

Phone: Text 85258