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Guidance for professionals in Gloucestershire working with young people with mental health or emotional wellbeing concerns

Articles, Leaflets and Campaigns

Articles, campaigns and blogs about depression, self-esteem, anxiety, stress, mindfulness and the stigma attached to mental health.



  • 11/09/15 BBC - Twenty four hour social media 'link to teenage anxiety' Glasgow University researchers questioned 467 teenagers and found those spending a lot of time on social media, especially at night- were more likely to feel depressed and anxious. Many felt a pressure to respond immediately to posts or texts. Sleep quality, self esteem, anxiety, depression and the subjects' emotional investment in social media were also measured.
  • 21/05/16 The Telegraph - The anxiety survival guide, how to conquer your worries Anxiety is a hugely common condition. It is hard to grasp the precise scale of it, but we do know one thing; it is increasing. There were 8.2million cases of anxiety, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Furthermore, according to charity No Panic it affects more women than men. For potential causes and possible solutions click on the title and read more.

"Depression is when you don't care about anything and Anxiety is when you care about too many things!"

A fantastic Ted Talk explaining how the brain develops and how we can look after our brains.


Case Studies


Natasha Devon

Natasha Devon is a writer and was the government’s first ever mental health champion for schools, education and childcare. She co-founded  the Self-Esteem Team, which is designed to educate teenagers, teachers and parents about mental health and body image issues.

Professor Green

Professor Green is a rapper and singer/songwriter who lost his father to suicide and has spoken out to encourage young men to talk about their mental health.

Professor Green is a patron of The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. In 2015, 75% of all UK suicides were male.

Ruby Wax

Ruby Wax is a comedienne and mental health campaigner Ted Talks - Ruby Wax - What's so funny about mental illness?


Zoella is a fashion and beauty vlogger, YouTuber, and author who has also spoken out about her anxiety.



Ditch The Label have the following advice for anyone supporting someone else who has depression:

  1. Compassion
  2. Understanding
  3. But, don't become a psychologist...
  4. Patience
  5. Spend time with them

There's no getting around it- depression is hard. And sometimes, it can take so much out of you that it feels impossible to look forward. But it won't always be that way. Many people with depression can live rich and productive lives. With proper support, a person with depression can find meaning and success in their life.

  1. Depression=Sadness
  2. You can 'snap out of it'
  3. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain
  4. Depression feels the same for everyone
  5. Depression comes in one form
  6. Depression is all in your head
  7. It's a women's disease
  8. You can always tell when someone is depressed
  9. Your depressed partner will eventually get better if you love them enough
  10. Depression is cured by antidepressants
  11. You have to be on antidepressants for the rest of your life
  12. How you deal with depression is a sign of mental strength or weakness
  13. You need a reason to be depressed
  14. You can be too young to be depressed
  15. There is nothing you can do yourself, to alleviate symptoms of depression
  16. A depression diagnosis means your life is over

These and many other myths are clouding many judgements and not helping our friends and family members going through the difficulties related to depression.

Pooky Knightsmith - 10 ideas for making it through the darkest days (updated 24th September 2018)

It’s one of those days where my key focus needs to be on making it through to bedtime unscathed. It seems a tall mountain to climb at 10am when I’ve been up since 3am. I know that I’m not alone in facing these kinds of days so here's 10 ideas to help you through them:

  1. Break the day down into manageable chunks
  2. Set achievable goals, even if they seem ludicrously unchallenging
  3. Make a plan
  4. Get dressed up
  5. Get out if you can
  6. Make a commitment about what you will NOT do
  7. Reach out in any way that works for you
  8. Celebrate small successes
  9. Focus on distraction
  10. Do not dwell on what you cannot change

You may not agree with all of these ideas, but use what you find useful as you see fit.

This video from the World Health Organisation explains depression in a simple way, and encourages people to get help



What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.


For Young Men

07/12/15 Times Education Supplement - How do you solve the problem of "banter"? by Natasha Devon. In a powerful call to arms, one mental health expert describes her work persuading boys to think beyond the constraints of male culture. Older teenage boys were (ironically enough) actually bantering with one another while they were telling us that they were worried about banter and other taking the 'piss'. We asked them, if they hated it so much, why they were communicating with one another in this way. They replied that this was, simply, their only blueprint for man-to-man communication. That every man they knew – their dads, brothers, uncles, every other boy in their school – spoke to each other in this way. Read the full article by clicking on the title above

The Self Esteem team made a You Tube video "Switch on the Light" featuring seven high-profile men, including Stephen Fry and Professor Green. They were asked the simple question: Tell us your worry. These varied enormously from "will I be a good parent?" to "I never feel that I deserve the things I have been blessed with". 


For Young Women

Dove Evolution

The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty is a worldwide marketing/public relations campaign launched in 2004 that includes advertisements, video, workshops, sleepover events and the publication of a book and the production of a play. The principle behind the campaign is to celebrate the natural physical variation embodied by all women and inspire them to have the confidence to be comfortable with themselves. Dove's partners in the effort include such marketing and communications agencies as Ogilvy & Mather, Edelman Public Relations, and Harbinger Communications (in Canada). Part of the overall project was the "Evolution" campaign.
Dove Evolution
Famous Faces Without Makeup

Sport England

Taking exercise can improve your mental health and self confidence. "This Girl Can" is a nationwide campaign to get women and girls moving, regardless of shape, size and ability 


#LikeAGirl is the Always’ campaign to keep girls' confidence high during puberty and beyond. Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a knock against any adolescent girl and can have a huge impact on a girl's self-confidence. 
At last there's no shame in acting like a girl - Telegraph


Heads Together Campaign

The problem with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues- is it becomes insular and you feel as though you're the only one suffering with it and because you don't talk to someone about it, you don't ever realise that you are not alone. A YouGov poll found that only 46% of adults have talked recently about mental health, with men and older people still reluctant to talk. William, Kate and Harry have led the campaign to produce this video resource consisting a series of short films. They are encouraging the use of the #oktosay. Click on the image above to access the Heads Together YouTube channel. The Duchess has also launched a new project for children's mental health.



Mindfulness improves mental health and wellbeing. Mindfulness interventions have been shown to help address the problems of the young people who take part and reduce their worries, anxiety and distress, and improve behaviour, sleep and self-esteem. YouTube has some really good videos on Mindfulness:


Self Harm

  • Young people and issues of self-harm This guidelines have been produced in response to the increase in self-harming behaviours amongst young people, and consequent concern from a number of agencies in the county who are concerned for the health and well-being of young people. The guidelines are intended to:
    • Help anyone who provides support to young people who harm themselves
    • Dispel some of the myths and misunderstanding around self-harm
    • Raise awareness and promote more positive coping strategies for young people
  • Coping with Self Harm This guide was developed from talking to parents and carers of young people and is aimed at helping parents, carers, other family members and friends cope when a young person is self harming. It includes information on the nature and causes of self-harm, how to support a young person when facing this problem and what help is available.
  • Beyond Fed Up – self-harm, a young person's perspective

  • 30/07/16 The Mighty - How to explain why you self-harm to people who don't understand [PLEASE NOTE: THIS POST COULD POTENTIALLY BE TRIGGERING] So many people why people cut themselves. Due to depression, some people feel as though they have to hurt themselves in order to live a normal life. Their sense of normality becomes skewed by their mind. Some people find ways to numb their emotional pain by causing themselves physical pain. Some people feel like they deserve to be hurt because they may have hurt others. It is of course, extremely complicated, but the article explains more and gives potential solutions.



How people treat mental illness vs how people treat physical illness Click on the image below for the whole list.



 Voices of children: "Are they shouting because of me?"

Much of the research into the impact on children of living in households with domestic abuse, parental substance misuse and mental health is from the perspective of adults – with limited insights from children themselves. We wanted to hear directly from children what it was like to live in these households. This article (August 2018) highlights the voices of children living in households with domestic abuse, parental substance misuse and mental health issues. Click here to read the full article.


Asking about suicide saves lives but it can be hard to know where to start or how to help. Below are some example conversation starters if you are worried about someone. 

Conversation Starters


Creating Hope Through Action – Suicide Prevention, A Priority For All

Read the article from The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health 


Time to Change

Time to Change is England's biggest ever attempt to end the stigma and discrimination that faces people with mental health problems. Their website includes lesson plans and information for professionals to use with young people.


The Mental Health Handbook for Primary School

Belinda Heaven

Many young people live with an adult family member who has mental health issues or may face problems themselves. An increasing number of young people have a diagnosed mental health disorder and incidences of self-harm and eating disorders are on the rise.

This comprehensive programme will help teachers deal sensitively with these issues, and includes:

  • Background information and clear guidance, including working with parents and answering children’s questions.
  • PowerPoint material for staff.
  • Wide-ranging lesson materials with comprehensive teacher notes and photocopiable resources.
  • Glossary of Terms and Resource Directory.


Understanding Treatment Options

It is important for individuals seeking support to understand their treatment options, and what each option may involve. Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families have a webpage dedicated to this which includes information on: 

  • How evidence ratings work 
  • How treatment may be manged for individuals with co-existing conditions
  • Information on treatment options for 18 different mental health challenges. 

Explore the guidance here



Ways to Wellbeing Report -The Children’s Society
5 Ways to wellbeing toolkit

Where Does Compassion Come From?


Pupil and teacher wellbeing 'It is time we put pupil and teacher wellbeing back at the heart of curriculum'  We would do well to revisit policies of the past – including Every Child Matters – if we are to change the culture of our schools - Colin Harris

To read more of Colin's articles, visit his back catalogue


Anxiety, stress, noise, or even your phone or computer, could be coming between you and eight hours of delightful rest. So here are some simple steps that will get you blissfully back to the land of dreams. (13/01/2020) 


Top tips for a healthy mind and body 


PHE Mental Health resources for teachers and teaching staff


Action for Happiness - 10 keys to happier living



Thousands of new roles to be created in mental health workforce plan - Gov.UK - July 2017

New measures will aim to transform mental health services by treating an extra one million patients by 2020 to 2021.


Tagged under: mental health, emotional health and wellbeing, self harm, anxiety, depression, sports, body image, self esteem, discrimination, talk, materials, map, chatter box, every child matters, pupil and teache

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