How are you feeling?

If you’re not feeling yourself, or have noticed a change in your behaviour, read on to find out about some common feelings, experiences and mental health symptoms.

There are some tips and tools for self-help, signposts to places you can get more information and support, and also how the Isle of Wight Youth Trust can help.

Please remember there is always someone to talk to…

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a Neuro Developmental Condition. Young people who have a diagnosis of ADHD may feel that they have less concentration, difficulty organising themselves, appear forgetful, very chatty, impulsive, they may be unable to take turns. People who have ADHD can often have sleep issues, that might require medication. Many of these signs can also be identified as symptoms that are common in mental health conditions. ADHD can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed or out of control. It can sometimes feel hard to feel accepted and understood. When others misunderstand your behaviours, it can make you feel isolated and depressed.

Positives of ADHD
  • Amazing problem solver
  • Creativity and Imaginative
  • Caring for others especially less fortunate people
  • Brilliant sense of Humour
  • Perseverance and Strength
  • Keen memory and sense of observation
  • Multi-tasker
  • Hyper-focus
  • Endless energy
  • Love of life
  • Acceptance
  • A good sense of what is right or wrong
Sources of Support

The ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity have a great resources hub with lots of useful information.

Parenting Programs are also available across the Isle of Wight that help parents to understand how they can effectively support children and young people with ADHD in a more effective and positive way. 

Sometimes medication can be useful for children and young people with ADHD, your GP or Paediatrician would be able to identify if medication is needed.

Make sure your school know how ADHD affects you and the best ways to help manage your behaviours. This can be achieved by having regular meetings and sharing information about how to cope with your needs. If more help is needed in school, you may want to contact SENDIASS on the Isle of Wight. They offer advice and guidance for families with children who have special educational needs from 0-25 years.

What support is available from the Youth Trust?
  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust – link to referral form
  • The Youth Trust may offer you CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) which helps to manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours that will help you to implement practical ways of managing challenging or difficult situations. You can make a referral here.

How can Autism impact your mental health?

Just like everyone Autistic young people can have good or poor mental health. Autistic young people may have a greater risk of having a mental health condition due to the complexities of how they connect with the world around them. Unfortunately, we still live in a world that is often not very autism friendly. Sensory difficulties like loud noises or bright lights, misunderstanding of other people’s intentions, or other people misunderstanding the Autistic persons needs, change in environment or routine, or needing longer to process information can increase levels of stress (or in fact could be empowering depending on how it is managed). 

How can others help Autistic people.

One way that support could be implemented is if we were able to raise awareness and increase knowledge so that we could decrease the negative effects that Autistic young people face, this is particularly important for children who have difficulties in schools. Create more ASC friendly spaces and be more awareness to sensory needs such as changing lighting, taking away clutter, turning volume down, using less busy patterns. 

Another way to help autistic people is to use visuals, keep instructions simple and to the point, find out what helps them to regulate and feel calm. Provide opportunities to meet these needs, it may include using fidget toys, changing lighting, volume, or smells in the environment. 

Self Help


Autistica have created an app that has been developed with Kings College University called Molehill Mountain, this can help self-manage anxiety, understand triggers by tracking worries and situations. 

Local sources of support

Barnardo’s Parenting Program- Cygnet, this helps to raise parents’ awareness so that they can support their Autistic child more effectively. 

AIM- Autism Inclusion Matters Isle of Wight AIM is organised, supported and run by Autistic adults. They run groups and activities to reduce isolation, meet people and support each other. Anyone who is Autistic, going through diagnosis, or thinking about getting a diagnosis can get involved.

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

Book onto our ‘Managing Social Anxiety’ or ‘Low Mood’ information sessions – 

Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust – 

Parents and carers looking to support their young people with anxiety can book on to our Anxiety or Low Mood Information Sessions for Parents –

What is bereavement?

Bereavement means the feeling of sadness after someone has died. Another word for bereavement is grief. 

Coping with grief can be a very hard thing to do, especially if someone close to you, or someone you loved has died. It can be very difficult for both adults and children to adjust to a big change in your life.

It’s incredibly important to speak to people around you such as friends, family, or teachers as they can help you cope and comprehend what has happened.

Grief is different for everyone, and it is important to look after yourself during this process. Remembering to eat regularly and having a sleeping routine is key. Do not put pressure on yourself to feel a certain way. Your emotions are valid and important.

Self Help

  • Take your time, some days will be good, and others will be challenging. Focus on each day and set yourself small but achievable goals.
  • Figure out your coping strategies. This could be listening to music, taking a walk, or talking to someone.
  • Make a memory box – you can fill this with happy memories, photos, keepsakes, quotes, and letters.

Useful websites

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

  • Drop into the Hub on a Wednesday afternoon and speak to one of our Wellbeing Practitioners
  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust

What is Body Image?

Most of us are concerned from time to time with how we look and how we will be received.  That’s normal. Our ‘Body image’ is how we look at ourselves and how we think others view us. This can be both positively and negatively.  How many of us who have periods can relate to that “ugh” feeling just before we come on?  Feeling that nothing looks good on or maybe we don’t feel like we want to go out?  Well, if you can relate to that then what you are experiencing is the impact of your hormones on body image.  

Another thing that can impact it is comments from others, from friends or family.  Bullying that includes comments about how we look can also have a huge effect on how we feel about ourselves. Viewing photos of others online and worrying about the number of comments or likes we get when we post, can also distort our thoughts of how we look.  Remember… a lot of photos online will have had a filter applied or been photoshopped.

When your thoughts about your body image start becoming more prominent and confusing, you may notice things like:

  • Feeling as though no one looks like you 
  • Comparing yourself to other people 
  • Feeling as though you are not attractive 
  • Feeling like you need to hide your body
  • Feeling like you do not belong in your body

Sometimes, without the correct support in place, these thoughts can lead to feelings of: 

  • Isolation 
  • Low mood 
  • Obsession
  • Anxiety 

What can help with this? 

  • Be honest about how you feel with someone you trust 
  • Talk to yourself as if you were a friend – would you ever say the negative things you say to yourself to a friend? 
  • Be aware of things that trigger the thoughts, for example do you get more negative thoughts after being on Instagram?
  • Recognise that humans need 9 positive comments to outweigh 1 negative so perhaps write the good ones down and look at them if needed
  • Accept and embrace compliments you receive
  • Find ways to make yourself feel cared for, even if it’s just moisturising your skin after a bath 
  • If being on social media is having a negative impact, then consider giving yourself a rest from it
  • Talk to a GP about how you feel. Everyone’s reasons for their feelings about their body image will be for individual reasons. Your GP will be able to signpost you to the best support available to suit you and your needs. 

Self Help

Useful websites

 Young Minds have some more useful information on managing body image


Offers information and support for anybody affected by eating disorders.

There offer 1:1 web based support, and run a range of online support groups, which are all fully moderated and anonymous, including a chat group for under 25s.

Talk ED

Talk ED is the new name for Anorexia and Bulimia Care. They offer support to anyone affected by eating disorders.

Talk ED also has a range of real stories, blogs and advice from young people with lived experience.

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

  • Drop into the Hub on a Wednesday afternoon and speak to one of our Wellbeing Practitioners
  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust

What is bullying?

Bullying is repeated behaviour that is intended to hurt others either physically or emotionally. People can be bullied for many reasons (religion, sexuality, appearance etc) but it is important to understand that bullying is never the fault of the victim.

If someone is bullying you it can be very upsetting and scary so it is important to reach out to someone if you are being bullied. A trusted adult, parent, teacher or support worker can help you.

There are three different ways in which people can bully;, they are:

Verbal – saying or writing mean thigs (includes teasing, name calling, put downs, mimicking)

Social – hurting someone reputation or relationships (includes excluding someone, spreading rumours, embarrassing someone, encouraging people to not be friends with them)

Physical – Hurting someone’s body (hitting, kicking, biting, pushing)

What is Cyber bullying?

Bullying that takes place online is known as cyber bullying. It is as harmful as physical, verbal or face to face bullying. Bullying and cyber bullying can take place in different ways and at different places like at home, at school or out in the street. With the growing use of smartphones and as we play out more of our lives online, it’s important to consider how to safely use the internet and deal with any peer pressure that comes along with it.

Self help

The most important thing to do if you are being bullied is to reach out to someone you trust and tell them.

Ignoring bullying won’t make it go away.

If bullying is happening at school tell your parents/carers and a teacher/welfare officer/classroom assistant. If you don’t feel like you can say anything, maybe ask a friend to do it for you.

If you are being bullies outside of school talk to your family, you can even talk to youth workers or sports coaches.

If your bullying is happening online – tell a trusted adult. You can report abusive posts and private messages on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

If you are not ready to tell someone you know that you are being bullied you can contact Childline anonymously online or on the phone on 08001111

If something has happened online which has made you feel unsafe, scared or worried please report it to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection service 

Useful websites

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

What is climate anxiety?

Climate anxiety is an intense sense of fear and worry or tension linked to climate change and can impact our wellbeing and mental health. Heatwaves, floods, and drought become a regular feature on her news and social media feeds recently. This has led to the term climate anxiety and someone experiencing climate anxiety may be worried, anxious, nervous, or scared of the consequences of climate change, and what the future holds for a planet. They may also feel low, down, or depressed and this could be linked to the broader sense of hopelessness and helplessness and what is occurring in the world.

Self Help

What can we do to ease climate anxiety?

Keep active. Exercise proven to have a huge positive impact on the quality of life of people affected by mental health problems including improving mood, reducing stress, reducing anger, and easing anxiety.

Reconnect with Nature. One way to love the planet and look after your body may be to go for walk and reconnect with nature and the things you love and remember there is so much beauty out there.

Give your time to the environmental cause. To do a little bit for the environment. You could reach out to your local council found out ways how you can help the local community and help cut litter, and waste and improve the places you love and living. Supporting your local community is both a worthwhile activity and one that can contribute to well-being.

Challenging negative thoughts. Negative thinking can lead to feeling stressed and this prevents us from enjoying our lives. Cognitive behavioural therapy CBT can help address negative thinking.

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust

Sometimes it can help to talk to someone about your worries and concerns such as counsellor or CBT therapist can help you challenge negative thoughts and manage your stress and worries better.

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to food. But if the way you eat, or what you are eating is starting to have an impact on your life and / or health, then you might need some help.

What is disordered eating?

It is important to highlight the difference between disordered eating and eating disorders. 

Disordered eating may involve:

  • eating for other reasons other than hunger or nourishment, such as stress, boredom, or to mask emotions
  • eating the same thing every day
  • stopping eating certain food groups completely
  • occasionally or regularly engaging in destructive behaviours, like binge eating, purging, or abusing laxatives

These are abnormal eating behaviours that without support could potentially lead to the development of a diagnosable eating disorder like anorexia nervosa or bulimia.

Self Help

Maintaining a positive relationship with food can be a complex process, especially for those living with or recovering from disordered eating. It’s not something that can be fixed by just chatting to friends or reading information from the internet. If it important to get professional help.

However, when used as an addition to appropriate professional help, technology in the form of properly vetted Apps can be helpful in eating disorder recovery.

Useful apps

Useful sources of support

Beat Eating Disorders have a great website with lots of useful resources, their helpline is available 365 days a year from 9am–midnight during the week, and 4pm–midnight on weekends and bank holidays. They also have a one-to-one web chat facility on their website.

Talk ED offer 1:1 support calls (Zoom, telephone or online chat) 5 days a week. Appointments are 40 minutes, you’re welcome to book multiple sessions, just no more than one a day. 

National Centre for Eating Disorders website is full of information & support for those impacted by eating disorders.

Katie our Youth Social Action Fund Administrator wrote a blog about Eating Disorder Awareness Week and her experience with an eating disorder. Read Here

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

The first port of call when looking for help with disordered eating or eating disorders is your GP. 

It is an incredibly brave thing to speak out and ask for support, & if it’s something you’re anxious about, you can take a family member or friend with you.

Beat Eating Disorders has a really useful leaflet about how to prepare for that appointment with your GP – Read here

Your GP will then refer you to a specialist who will assess your needs & develop a treatment plan with you.

On the Island, those specialists are based at CAHMS (for under 18’s) and Chantry House (for over 18’s).

Sometimes people consume drugs and alcohol for a variety of reasons. It can be used as a way to escape when life gets tricky (such as changes in life or relationship troubles). When people use drugs and alcohol in this way it is known as “self-medicating”.

Due to the contents of drugs and alcohol, they can make us feel very different. Sometimes it can portray confidence, appear to overcome anxiety or sometimes it can be used as a way of fitting in with people around us and “having more fun”.

Due to their addictive nature, drug and alcohol use can quite easily become hard to control and people can find that they use substances more regularly. This can impact life in a negative way and can affect wellbeing, physical and mental health, relationships and confidence.

How to know when things are becoming a problem

When someone depends on drugs or alcohol they may have red, puffy and watery eyes, impaired memory, understanding, reasoning and vision. There are changes in their behaviour, showing a lack of attention, disturbed sleep routine, depression and anxiety.

If you feel that you or someone you know has an unhealthy dependency on drugs and alcohol, please seek help.

Self Help

The following websites have lots of useful information:

Honest information about drugs | FRANK ( Frank also has a free confidential advice line (03001236600) and a text support line (82111) available 24 hours a day 7 days per week

Inclusion Isle of Wight

Home – With You (

Drugs & Alcohol | Mental Health | Guide For Parents | YoungMinds

Alcoholics Anonymous Great Britain (

Welcome to UKNA | UKNA | Narcotics Anonymous in the United Kingdom

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust

Exams and tests are something that the majority of us find stressful, it’s normal to feel this way.  In fact, the adrenaline that’s going round our bodies can actually help with performance!  However, it’s about balance and if we’re feeling stressed to the point we are not sleeping or eating well and perhaps exams are all we can think about then there are things we can do to help ourselves:

  • Remember, first and foremost, we can only do our best and there is such a thing as too much revision (30-40 minutes revision followed by a 10-15 minute break is ideal)
  • It’s a good idea to devise a revision timetable to help organise yourself, but remember to factor in breaks
  • To finish revising early enough in the evening to ensure you have time to do something fun and relaxing
  • Eat well
  • Get exercise, this is great at helping us to destress and rhythmic exercise (like swimming, running or cycling) actually helps to put our thoughts in order!!
  • See friends and have fun
  • Try meditation (plenty of Apps available) and/or yoga
  • Try and stay in the moment, look around you.  What can you see?  Hear?  
  • If you feel anxious then breathe deeply and slowly
  • Talk to a friend or family member
  • Banish negative thinking by changing it to positive, what if you DO pass?

Self Help


Sleepiest: Sleep Meditations (a free app – with the option to pay to ‘upgrade’ but there is lots of free content)

Headspace (a free app – with the option to pay to ‘upgrade’ although it does look like you have to pay you can click past the ads to access free content)

Calm (a free app – with the option to pay for access to ‘premium content’ again it does look like you have to pay, or sign up to the free trial, but you can click past the ads to access free content)

Useful meditations on YouTube

Hot Air Balloon Ride: A Guided meditation for Kids, Children’s Visualisation For Sleep & Dreaming – YouTube


The Charlie Waller Trust has a useful guide on looking after yourself during your exams

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust

If you are finding your stress difficult to manage then we at The Youth Trust can help, we run a monthly information session on Managing Anxiety, and during major exam periods we offer Exam stress workshops.

More information on these sessions can be found on our Get Support pages.

It is important to know that not all families get on all the time – every family is different, and things can get tough times.

There may be disagreements about

  • Money and or having to move
  • Alcohol or drugs
  • Having different opinions or beliefs
  • Being hurt of abused

Whatever is going on, it really helps to talk about how you are feeling. Please remember, whatever the time, day or night, there is always someone you can talk to.

Childline have lots of great advice on what to do if your family are not getting on. OneplusOne provide free digital resources designed to support families and help parents understand how conflict in their relationship with current and/or ex partners impacts on their children.


Some adult relationships break down and can result in separation or divorce. There is usually never one reason why people break up, some people grow apart or sometimes things happen to change how people feel about each other.

The most important thing for you to know is that it is not your fault.

It is ok to feel upset when big life events happen. You may feel angry, miss how life was before, had to change schools, give things up (like a pet) or not get to see people that you care about as much as you did before. 

How you feel is important and it is essential that you understand the situation as much as possible. You should not be afraid to ask questions about things you are unsure about. Sometimes talking may feel difficult, so writing things down may help.

After a divorce or separation some young people feel that they no longer wish to see one of their parents/carers. This can be challenging as the people involved may be feeling worried or hurt.

Self Help

If divorce or separation is affecting your mood or behaviours, try

  • Writing a letter to your parents/carers to tell them how you are feeling
  • Keep a journal – so you don’t keep your feelings bottled up inside
  • Talk to a trusted adult (like a teacher) who is not involved
  • Read Childline’s advice on how to cope when parents divorce

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is how you value yourself: the opinions you have about yourself and the relationship you have with yourself.  

What is self-confidence?

Self-confidence is part of self-esteem: the opinions others have about you which, in turn, affects how you see yourself.  

Other people’s opinions colour how you value yourself and this affects your self-esteem.  Relationships with parents and carers, other people in authority such as teachers and your friends can impact on how you view yourself.  This impacts on how you feel and function in relationships.  It becomes a vicious cycle.  Once you are caught up in this, you can convince yourself you are no good and can therefore no longer fulfil your potential or have healthy relationships with yourself or others.    

What are the symptoms low self-esteem and low self-confidence?

Low self-esteem and low self-confidence mean that you do not feel good about yourself or your world.  Some of the symptoms you will recognise in yourself and in others could be:

  • Always feeling critical of yourself and saying things to belittle yourself and your abilities.
  • Only focusing on the negatives; things you feel you cannot do or have not achieved. 
  • Always ignoring or denying the positives; things you are good at or have achieved.
  • Tending to blame yourself.  Believing you are to blame even when you suspect, or know others are to blame.  
  • Believing other people are better than you and deserve more than you do.  This strengthens your belief that you are not of value or worthy.
  • Not wanting to try new things or to do the things you used to do and enjoy.
  • High anxiety and fear of getting things wrong.

How low self-esteem and low self-confidence can affect you?

Low self-esteem and low self-confidence impact on relationships and friendships.  You are no longer resilient and find it difficult to assert yourself.  You are held back by self-doubt and the negative beliefs you have of yourself.


There are lots of things you can do to help yourself.  Even though you may not find them easy, why not try some of the following:

  • Be kind and compassionate to yourself.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Understand you are unique and try to recognise your value.
  • Focus on the positives: things you know you can do and things you have achieved.
  • Build on your skills and develop your interests and relationships.
  • Learn from your mistakes to help you move forward.  
  • Do things that you enjoy or that help you with your sense of wellbeing:  Try to get out in the fresh air; exercise (run, walk or dance to increase endorphins; you will feel your mood improve); take up a hobby.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others.
  • Journal your feelings and moods; get to know the things that trigger self-doubt.
  • Block any negative input from your peers over social media.
  • Give back: doing something for others helps you to feel good too.
  • Look up and outward to look and feel more confident.
  • Take time to do one small act of kindness for yourself; to watch the sunset, listen to the birds, paint your nails.  It need not be time-consuming or expensive.  
  • Remember, you deserve to be valued and happy.

Useful websites & sources of information

Samaritans has a great set of resources on Positive Thinking

The Mix has a good article on Building Self Esteem

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust

What are obsessions/compulsions? (OCD)

We all experience anxiety but obsessions and compulsions are a type of anxiety that is often known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD.

If you are experiencing OCD you may notice that you have repetitive thoughts, feelings or images. These can be upsetting and are referred to as obsessions or obsessive thoughts. 

If you notice this happening, you may try to take control of your thoughts by doing something that feels safe, such as checking a door if your thoughts tell you that it is unlocked. Whilst this can provide some immediate relief, your obsessive thoughts will soon tell you that you need to do this again which can develop into rituals or habits which is known as ‘compulsions’ in OCD. 

If you have compulsions, you may feel that if you don’t do a certain behaviour that something bad may happen to you or someone else.

You may experience some of the symptoms listed below, this does not necessarily mean to have OCD but please speak to your GP or a mental health professional if you are concerned.

Common symptoms include:

  1. Feeling like your mind is preoccupied with distressing thoughts repeatedly. 
  2. Your thoughts may be about topics that you feel you cannot talk about. 
  3. Feeling scared and guilty about your thoughts or feeling like it is your fault. 
  4. Having an overwhelming urge to do something to distract from the thoughts and feelings.
  5. Feeling temporary relief after completing a checking behaviour/ritual but these thoughts re-emerging shortly after.
  6. Asking others for reassurance or checking people to check things out for you. 

Self Help

  1. Talk to someone you trust – this is often the first step to seeking help
  2. Talk to your GP or a mental health professional – there are various interventions available for OCD such as CBT, ERP, counselling and medication. 
  3. Notice what makes your anxiety worse – this will help you to avoid certain triggers 
  4. Use distraction – e.g., text a friend, go for a walk, listen to music.

Useful websites

OCD Action 

Offers support and information to anybody affected by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Opening times: 9:30am – 8pm, Monday – Friday

0300 636 5478

No Panic

Supports people struggling with panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety-related issues – and provides support and information for their carers.

They have a specialist youth helpline for people aged 13-20. The opening hours are 3pm – 6pm, Monday – Friday; 6pm – 8pm, Thursdays and Saturdays. 0330 606 1174 (Youth helpline)

They have a recorded breathing exercise to help you through a panic attack (available 24/7) on their website or you can call 01952 680835 to listen to it 

Their main helpline is available 10am – 10pm, 365 days a year on 0300 772 9844

Can the Youth Trust Help?

At the Youth Trust we support many young people with anxiety. As our work uses brief interventions, we are unable to provide appropriate support for a young person with OCD.

However, if you feel you are struggling and require help, please speak to your GP in the first instance and they will be able to refer you to CAMHS or Adult MH services.

What is a phobia?

A phobia is a something that occurs when a fear of a specific thing is overwhelming and changes the way you live. Take a phobia of dogs for example – your fear of them is so overwhelming that it stops you from being able to go to the park in case dogs are running around. 

Phobias tend to be put in to two categories which are:

  • Simple/specific phobias 
  • Complex phobias

Simple/specific phobias mean things such as: animals, the dentist, vomit, blood, flying, boats. These are considered as simple/specific as they tend to around a particular trigger. 

Complex phobias mean things such as: agoraphobia or social phobia. These are complex and they tend to have many reasons behind them and many situations that they can present themselves. 


  • Feeling sick 
  • Headaches
  • Shaking
  • Seeking reassurance 
  • Not going to certain places
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Feeling dizzy 

What causes phobias:

As with many anxiety disorders, it can sometimes be hard to identify a specific cause. Phobias can have various causes including:

  • Trauma 
  • Genetics
  • Learning from others 

Phobias are a common type of anxiety disorder and mental health professionals will be used to working with people with phobias. 

Self Help

The most important thing you can do is talk to someone.  Having someone listen to you and showing that they care can help in itself. If you find it hard to talk, try writing things down, which can help to help organise your thoughts. 

Apps – a FREE app developed to help teenagers manage fear and anxiety.

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

What is self-harm?

Self-harm is when we hurt ourselves, on purpose, as a way of coping with emotional difficulties, distressing thoughts and memories or extreme stress. 

People do it for many reasons including feeling numb, making physical the emotional, wishing to feel in control, punishing themselves or as a distracting ritual.  Self-harm can create a short-term feeling of relief but the trigger for this behaviour is unlikely to have disappeared through doing it.  In fact, some people report feeling worse after they have hurt themselves.  

If you have hurt yourself, it is important to tend to the wound or seek out the appropriate medical care and attention if you need it.

What helps?

Keeping a journal or diary can help.  It can be beneficial to write down what is upsetting you along with what is triggering the urge to hurt yourself.  Once you identify triggers it is easier to manage the urges.  

Many things can help to reduce the urge to harm including delaying the behaviour, by counting to ten for example.  This gives us time for the overwhelming emotions or thoughts to subside.  Other things that can help are tearing up paper or punching a pillow, especially if you are feeling angry.  If you are feeling sad or afraid then listening to calming music, talking to a friend or wrapping a blanket around you can help with these urges to hurt yourself.  Writing a list or tidying up can help if you are experiencing an urge to control.  If there are feelings of numbness, then flicking a rubber band on your wrist or splashing cold water on your face could give you something of what you need at this time.  If you feel like you hate yourself then try writing a letter from the part of you that feels this way, then reply from the part that doesn’t.  Think how you would speak to a good friend when you do this.  

If you are having thoughts of self-harm, or are hurting yourself, then it’s a good idea to speak to someone you trust and/or find a professional who can help you.  Many people find listening to music helps and/or getting creative with your feelings.  Do you draw for example?  Or write poetry? Anything that can help to express your feelings.

Self Help

Apps – award-winning FREE app developed by teenage mental health charity stem4 which provides tasks that help you to resit or manage the urge to self-harm – provide free online self-harm support for 11-19’s

Websites – provide support and information an award winning charity survivor lead charity providing a range of resources and support for those living with self harm provides support to parents, carers and professionals in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight who are supporting a young person who self-harms. if you are aged 10-17 you can order a free Discovery Journal which helps you build healthier tools to manage self-harm. 

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

Feelings of being disturbed in the night, insomnia, nightmares and sleep walking are all different ways in which people can be affected by their sleep. Disturbances in sleeping patterns can have a big effect on how you may feel in the daytime and can affect mood and behaviour and ability to learn and communicate.

It is normal for people of all ages to experience trouble with their sleep, and it does not necessarily mean that there is a mental health condition. Problems with sleep can be connected to stress, change in diet, lifestyle and big life changes.

Symptoms/when things are becoming a problem

If lack of sleep is leaving you feeling extremely tired, if there is a change in your mood or behaviour or if you are struggling to stay awake in the daytime you should seek help. 

Self help

Here are some tips on how to improve your sleep. Try not to put pressure on yourself and if something isn’t working, try something else.

  • Establish a routine
  • Breathing exercises
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Visualisation
  • Meditation
  • Complete a sleep diary
  • Make your sleeping area comfortable to you
  • Consider your screen time

Useful websites

Sleep and tiredness – NHS (

CountingSheepColour.pdf (

Sleep and mental health – Mind

MOODJUICE – Sleep Problems – Self-help Guide (

Sleep – Self Help (

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust

What are suicidal thoughts?

Life can feel overwhelming at times which can often lead to us feeling helpless, hopeless and unsure where to turn. 

Your problems may seem too big and out of control that you feel like you have no way out. The emotional pain may feel so difficult to deal with that you may feel like suicide is your only option. 

We all experience fleeting suicidal thoughts e.g., ‘I wonder if I’d be missed if I wasn’t here?’ or ‘sometimes I just want to disappear’. These thoughts can be confusing and sometimes scary, but you are not on your own. 

Suicidal thoughts are not commonly talked about but are very common. If you notice you are thinking about suicide frequently and are finding these thoughts difficult to manage, please reach out for support or talk to someone you trust.  

 Although suicidal thoughts can be scary and difficult to make sense of, there is always another option. When we are feeling depressed and overwhelmed it often feels like it will never end, and we will feel this way forever. Remember, emotions come and go, and your feelings will change.

Self-Help – How can I manage my suicidal thoughts?


  1. What makes you feel good or would help you to feel a little better? Do it!
  2. Create a ‘self-soothe’ box – this can include items that help you to relax, soothe or feel connected/grounded. Pop these items into a bag or box that you can access easily. Items such as a writing pad, pens, fidget spinners, stress balls etc are helpful. 
  3. Use your five senses! They are great for self soothe:

Vision – using vision look at a painting, picture, your favourite photographs, film or TV programme. 

Hearing – using your hearing focus on the sound of nature outside, listen to your favourite music or a piece of music that makes you feel good. Be mindful not to listen to music or lyrics that may trigger your thoughts.

Smell – using your sense of smell focus on the smell of food or get your favourite perfume/scent and spray this on a comfy blanket you can cuddle.

Taste – use your taste to focus on the sensation of food. Notice how it feels in your mouth, the taste and texture. Eat mindfully.

Touch – put on clothes that feel comforting, e.g. a dressing gown and comfy socks. Get a hot water bottle and hold this close to you. Stroke your pet or give someone you care about a hug. Get your favourite hand cream and give yourself a hand massage.

A really nice reminder for using your 5 senses to self soothe and shift your focus are:
5 things I can see

4  things I can hear

3 things I can touch

2 things I can smell or taste

1 breath.  Then continue to just notice your breathing and the sensations of breathing in your belly.

Things to avoid 

Try and stay clear of drugs and alcohol. As tempting as it can be to want to escape your thoughts they will not help in the long run. Alcohol is a depressant and will most likely make your thoughts worse.

Ask yourself 

  1. Are my thoughts facts or opinion? When we are depressed our thinking often becomes distorted and we begin to confuse facts with opinions. They may feel true but are they?
  2. What has helped me in the past? What could I do that I’m no longer doing?
  3. What are my future goals? What is important to me? Try writing a list of all the things that are important to you, e.g., friends, family, pets, hobbies, faith, interests, future aspirations. 

Remind yourself 

Try to coach yourself using positive statements such as:

  • ‘It feels terrible now but depression is temporary – this will pass’
  • ‘I’ve coped so far; I can keep going until I can get support’
  • ‘I do not have to act on my thoughts’
  • ‘my thoughts are not facts’ 
  • ‘People recover from depression. If I act on my thoughts, I will never get the chance to recover’

Reach out for support 

  • From a friend or family member or a health professional
  • Go somewhere you’ll feel safe – be with other people 
  • Most of all, please remember there is always someone to talk to – you do not have to manage these feelings alone. 

If you are under 18 you can call Childline on 0800 1111 for free, they are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you are aged over 18 you can call the Samaritans for free on 116 123, they are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Shout provides a free 24/7 text crisis support service, to start a conversation, just text the word ‘SHOUT’ to 85258. It is a confidential, anonymous service for anyone in the UK and details won’t appear on your phone bill.

How can the Youth Trust Help?

  • If your life is at imminent risk or you need urgent medical attention – call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
  • If you feel that you are likely to harm yourself or are in danger of harming others, please call 111 or attend St. Mary’s Hospital A&E
  • If you are finding your suicidal thoughts are becoming more frequent or concerning you, you can refer yourself to the Youth Trust for support.

Young carers do more chores than other children do. Sometimes they look after poorly family members or help them to look after other family members whilst they can’t. 

Young carers not only provide physical support (such as bathing and dressing) but can also provide emotional support too. Young carers can support all types of people such as a parent, sibling, grandparent or other relative who may be experiencing a physical disability, a mental health condition, a learning disability, addiction to drugs or alcohol, sensory impairments or life limiting conditions.

Symptoms/when things are becoming a problem

As a young carer you may find helping others really rewarding, and at other times you may find things quite hard. As a young person you deserve to be looked after too. If things are getting too difficult and you are finding life challenging, please seek help.

Self help

Talk to a trusted adult who may be able to help. This could be a teacher, support staff or GP.

Useful websites

Young Carers Service – IOW – YMCA (

Help for young carers – NHS (

Supporting Young Carers | The Children’s Society (

What support is available from the Youth Trust?

  • Contact your school’s Designated Mental Health Lead and ask for a referral to the MHST
  • Make a referral for support from the Youth Trust