Children and young people's mental health

When to ask for help

Seeking help is often the first step towards getting and staying well, but it can be hard to know how to start or where to turn to. It’s common to feel unsure, and to wonder whether you should try to handle things on your own. But it’s always ok to ask for help – even if you’re not sure you are experiencing a specific mental health problem.

You might want to seek help if:

  • You or your child are feeling stressed, anxious, tense or depressed
  • The way you or your child is feeling is impacting on relationships, school or life generally
  • Your feelings/your child’s feelings are having a big impact on other people
  • The way you are feeling/the way your child is feeling is stopping them from doing things

There are lots of options for support out there, although you may find some are more suitable for you, or more easily accessible. There’s no right or wrong way to try things, as different things work for different people at different times.

Support in a crisis

If you or your child is at imminent risk of harming themselves or others linked with a mental health crisis and their safety cannot guaranteed, you may need to contact the Intensive Community Treatment Service (ICTS) linked with:

  • Persistent suicide threats
  • Significant emotional and/or psychological distress
  • Suicide threats and/or intention or actual attempts to carry this out
  • Significant increase in behaviours which may cause serious or fatal harm to your child or others
  • Serious overdose threats
  • Serious self-harming behaviours

Under these circumstances you should get help from:

  • 16 and over and experiencing mental health crisis requiring immediate response via the Crisis Team telephone 0303 123 1145.
  • Under 16 years, contact ICTS on 0191 566 5500

If your child/young person has taken an actual overdose (attempted or reported) they need to go directly to the nearest local A&E department.

Other sources of support in crisis

If you are concerned about the safety of your child or yourself or another person (due to abuse, neglect or exploitation) please contact:

  • South Tyneside Children’s Services (Within Office Hours) Tel: 0191 424 5010
  • South Tyneside Children’s Emergency Duty Services (Out of Hours) Tel: 0191 456 2093
  • South Tyneside Adult Safeguarding (Within Office Hours) Tel: 0191 424 6000
  • South Tyneside Adult Safeguarding Emergency Duty Team (Out of Hours) Tel: 0191 4562093
  • Click here for a link to Worried About A Childweb page

To make a referral for mental health support, please click here. 

Professionals such as GP’s, social workers and teachers can make a referral on your behalf. However, Parents/carers and young people are encouraged to make a self-referral should they feel that they need help.

There is a Self-Referral Booklet available.

Other mental health support services in South Tyneside 

Kooth & Qwell is an award winning online counselling and support service which is available to all young people across South Tyneside aged between 11-25 years. It is a safe, confidential and anonymous way for you/your child to access emotional wellbeing and early intervention mental health support.

  • Provide podcasts, discussion boards and live forums for young people aged 11-25 on topics covering physical, mental, and social wellness
  • Provide access to fully trained and qualified counsellors and emotional wellbeing practitioners via web-chat, who are available until 10pm each night, 365 days per year. is an anonymous site which helps adults (aged 26+) to feel safe and confident in exploring their concerns and seeking professional support.

  • Offer anonymous mental health support via digital therapy, community support and over 100,000 pieces of therapeutic content and personal development tools.


Lifecycle is South Tyneside’s Primary Care Mental Health Service and provides mental health services across all age ranges registered with a South Tyneside GP surgery. If you are a parent or carer for a child, or a young person (aged 16 and over), you can make a self-referral to this service.

Contact the lifecycle service via telephone at 0191 283 2937 and see below for their address and opening times.

South Tyneside Lifecycle Primary Care Mental Health Service, Cleadon Primary Care Centre, Prince Edward Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear NE34 8PS

Opening times
Monday-Thursday 09:00-20:30

Fri – Saturday 09:00-17:00

(excludes bank holidays)

If you would like to find out more information about this service, you can speak to a Duty Officer between 9.00 – 4.45pm Monday to Friday.

Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service (CYPS)

For children aged 0-18 who need more intensive support, the Lifecycle service may refer you to the CYPS service.

If you are already under the care of CYPS, you should contact them directly for support with issues such as:

  • Psychotic symptoms (such as hearing or seeing things that aren’t there)
  • Medication reviews
  • Advice and support about the care and treatment they are already offering you

If you are aged under 18 you can contact CYPS directly by using the contact details on their website.

If you are over 18 you can contact CYPS directly by accessing the website here.

LGBT+ service

The LGBT+ South Tyneside Support Service provides support to young people aged 11-25 through a range of projects across South Tyneside. Specialist support includes one to one support, interventions, workshops, peer support and family work.

It is also a delivery partner for the Rainbow Flag Award; a quality assured framework for schools to ensure that they are providing inclusive and positive environments for LGBT Students and their staff.

They also deliver training to professionals working in the fields of health and social care; as well as mental health and wellbeing services.

Contact the service at by telephone at: 0191 466 1389 or 07711 591 691, or via email at

Healthy Minds Team

The South Tyneside and Sunderland Foundation Trust Healthy Minds Team are available to offer support to children / young people, parents/ carers and teachers.

They provide a free and confidential NHS service for children and young people who attend a school or college in South Tyneside and/or are registered with a local GP

Provides access to a wide range of information including self-help packs and resources for teachers, parents and carers. Topics ranging from:

  • Alcohol/substance abuse
  • Lesser-known mental health symptoms such as disassociation and childhood grief
  • Antibullying

Available now via Padlet, on the Lifecycle website or on Twitter @HealthMindsST

The Healthy Minds Team have produced a series of advice leaflets which you may find useful.

Advice for parents pack

Primary school age children mental health pack

Secondary school age mental health pack

Mental Health Champions in schools

Mental Health Champions are your ‘go to’, trusted person in school to talk to about how you are feeling or anything you are worried about. They will offer help confidentially, anything you say to your champion won’t be passed on unless you or someone you know is being hurt or is likely to be hurt.

Every school in South Tyneside has at least one Mental Health Champion. Champions have had specialist training to make sure they can offer the correct help and advice to young people.

Schools, workplaces and voluntary organisations can establish a mental health champion programme. This voluntary position puts a face to a team’s commitment to the mental wellness of their staff.

A five week programme is also available for professionals looking to be a mental health champion for children and young people.

Stronger Schools

Stronger Schools is a free information and guidance platform for all professionals, working with KS1 and KS2 children in South Tyneside. It aims to support early intervention in mental health and wellbeing, giving clear information to users about how to support children and their families.

Pathways are developed in collaboration with partner agencies across South Tyneside. Examples of recent pathways include:

  • Anxiety
  • Grief, Loss and Change
  • Settling Children Back into School
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Teacher and Staff Wellbeing

Further topics are developed and updated each month based on feedback from professionals. Information can be found at:

Other useful contacts:

There are also lots of organisations who can offer confidential advice and support via a helpline or website. Some helpful contacts may be:

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Helpline for 15 -24 year old males:
Tel: 0800 58 58 58

24 hr helpline: 0800 1111

Cruse Bereavement care
National helpline: 0844 44779400

Cruse: Youth Involvement Project
Tel: 020 8939 9530

The Matrix Service (Drug and Alcohol abuse)
Tel: 0191 497 5637

MIND Info line
Tel: 0845 766 0163

National Self Harm Network
Tel: 0800 622 6000

More mental health helplines and resources can be found via the NHS Website.