What to do when life is tough.

If you are feeling sad or low it is very important that you know it is OK to feel that way. There is no shame in finding life difficult and if something matters to you, then it matters. One of the most important things we can do when life is difficult is to talk to someone.

It isn’t always easy to talk, and you might be worried about what to say, what might happen if you do talk or even if it will work. You might think your problem is too big or too small. All these feelings are normal and we know it can be tough to talk, but it can make a massive difference to your life if you do. If you are struggling now or in the future try and reach out to someone. It could change your life. Ideally talk to someone face to face that you trust like a family member, a friend, a youth worker or a teacher. There are also counsellors, GPs, helplines, websites and other places that can offer support. Here are some that we know of:

Young Minds

Really useful website packed with helpful information on a wide range of different mental health topics helping you to make sense of how you are feeling and helpful tips on how to cope. Great for young people, parents and professionals. There is also provided a parent’s helpline.


Young Minds Text Line

Part of Young Minds they provide a free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis. All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors. Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

Text YM to 85258.


Childline (part of the NSPCC) offers telephone, online chat and email support for service for young people. Their website is also packed with lots of helpful information and video clips on a range of issues effecting young people.



Advice and information on bullying with sections on their website for young people, parents and professionals.



Kooth is a wellbeing community for young people offering helpful articles, discussion boards and online chat services.



Support to anyone in the UK who is feeling down and needs to talk. They offer a helpine and online chat. They also have a useful search tool for other charities offering support on a range of issues.



A charity that specialises in supporting young people who are suicidal. Lots of useful information for young people and adults supporting them. They also provide a helpline.



Samaritans provide a helpline 24 hours a day. You can email them if you prefer and they also offer a self-help app.


Be Headstrong

Be Headstrong is operated by the charity Youthscape and is great place for talking, sharing and reading about all kinds of topics. The website is packed with articles and information around wellbeing.


Calm Harm

Calm Harm is an award-winning app for young people that provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm. You can make it private by setting a password, and personalise the app if you so wish. You will be able to track your progress and notice change.



MeeToo is a moderated chat app aimed at young people aged 11–25, making it easy to talk about difficult things. It’s free, safe and anonymous.


Student Minds

Empowers students and members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support others and create change. There website is full of practical guidance and sources of information of where to get support. For young people age 18+.


Finding local support

At a local level it is often worth doing a internet search for ‘youth counselling services’ or ‘mental health services for young people’ in your area. Just type those words into the search engine and add the name of the county or place you live in to the search request. This might give details of places locally you can get some help.

Always rememember If you or someone you know needs urgent medical advice call the NHS 111 or if you need immediate medical help or attention call 999 or visit Accident and Emergency.

This page is here to signpost you to organisations that, to the best of our knowledge, are known to offer information and services that may be helpful to you. We cannot however be held responsible for any inaccurate or incomplete information; or the quality of anything contained on the sites or services listed. If you can, we would encourage you to find a trusted adult you can talk to as well.