Use the below times to jump to a specific question or read the answers to these and other questions below:

0:20 Do I have to work with an NHS service?

1:04 What if the wait for an NHS service is too long?

1:50 What support is available if I can't access an NHS service or if I am having to wait to get therapy?

3:01 What if I need immediate help?

Alternatives to the NHS

Do I have to work with an NHS service?

There are a lot of different services in the community, some of which you might not know are NHS services, but which are funded by the NHS.  These may include services provided by charities, or third sector services, or social enterprises and they often offer very similar supports or treatments to NHS services.  These services may also have a shorter wait time to access support.  For help finding local services that may be able to help you, please see the Youth Wellbeing Directory.

More infoYouth Wellbeing Directory

What if the wait for an NHS service is too long?

If you are waiting too long to be seen by an NHS service, it can be useful to contact them to see if there are any partners or other services that they work with that they can direct you to whilst you wait to be seen.

Some NHS services may also run ‘waiting list groups’ or other group interventions which you can access whilst you’re waiting to be seen.

If you are still in school, many now offer in-house counselling for young people if you feel that you can approach someone within the school to help you. 

For help finding services in your local area, please see the Youth Wellbeing Directory.

More infoYouth Wellbeing Directory

What if I need immediate help?

If you feel like you need immediate help with your mental health or feel like you might hurt yourself or others, you can go to your local A&E who should offer you an immediate psychiatric assessment.  Our Urgent Help page also has the contact details for Childline, Samaritans and the Emergency Services which all offer 24 hour help.

If you’re situation is less serious that that, please see if you can talk to a trusted parent, guardian or professional, such as your GP or teacher.  Sometimes this can help speed up access to NHS support.  Our Urgent Help page also lists the contact details for a range of trusted services who you can contact for help and support on specific issues.