As we develop our new emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people, we expect that whoever they talk to about their mental health will be able to provide them with support or signpost them to available support options.

There are many people this could include, such as a teacher, GP or social worker, football or hockey coach, guide or scout leader, members of the emergency services, or the school lunchtime assistant and many more.

Anyone helping them with their mental health will:

  • know the best ways to ask them for their views about what is important to them and what they want to be different, so that there is genuine shared decision-making about ways of helping
  • be able to identify practical things the young person, their family and friends can do to support the mental health needs of the young person who is struggling, including accessing community groups and resources such as drama, sport and volunteering.

People giving a young person more specialised mental health help would:

  • support the young person to evaluate their progress towards their goals and to check that what has been tried is helping
  • have supportive but transparent conversations about what different treatments are likely to lead to, including their limitations.

If there are ongoing concerns about potential harm to troubled young people who have multiple problems, and different attempts to help are not effective, we will make sure a plan is in place to help manage the risk of harm, drawing on people the young person feels closest to.