As a young person, the multiple challenges that you encounter may be immense; exams, relationships, school, identity, family, bullying, online issues, worries about the future, the environment, financial concerns, mental and physical health - it is little wonder that life may sometimes feel overwhelming. In addition to this, the neuroscience has shown that your brain is undergoing massive changes in its organisation, which will be impacting how you think, how you feel and how you interact with others. The most recent research shows that these changes are not complete until the age of 25!
Counselling sessions can help you make sense of some of these challenges and changes. I have worked with young people for many years, and offer a common sense and non-patronising approach. As an adult who is not connected to you in the same way as a relative, friend or teacher, I can offer a neutral space without agenda or judgement.
Confidentiality and Consent
As a young person, the contents of your counselling sessions will remain confidential - I will not discuss our sessions with other people, including your parents or carers. There are exceptions to confidentiality, where sharing of information may be necessary for your safety, if I feel that you or somebody else is at serious risk of harm, or also in the light of specific conditions related to the law. When we first start working together, we discuss this in more detail and agree how we will work together through a Counselling Agreement and a Confidentiality Agreement. Where appropriate, your parent or carer will also be provided with a Parent Agreement ensuring that they understand confidentiality in your sessions, and its exceptions.
It is highly recommended that you speak with your parents or carers about your wish to attend counselling sessions so that they are able to support you in your decision and throughout the course of your sessions. However, I am aware that not all situations are clear cut and there may be circumstances where this would be challenging. You are able to access counselling without parental consent under the age of 16 if you are deemed to be 'Gillick Competent' - this is a term which refers to your ability to make decisions for yourself and have an awareness of the consequences of them. There is no specific age associated with Gillick Competence and different young people will be assessed as competent at different times. There is a presumption that young people aged 16 and over are generally Gillick Competent.
Gillick Competence does not affect the exceptions to confidentiality already mentioned, and information causing concerns around risk of harm or with legal implications may still need to be shared.
WHERE CAN I GET SOME MORE HELP?
SHOUT CRISIS TEXTLINE
The UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
PAPYRUS HOPELINE UK
If you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned for a young person under 35, you can contact HOPELINEUK for confidential support & practical advice.
Opening hours: 9am – 10pm weekdays, 2pm – 10pm weekends, 2pm – 10pm bank holidays
Telephone, text or email support for young people under 19. Childline is a counselling service for children and young people up to their 19th birthday in the United Kingdom provided by the NSPCC. They deal with any issues which cause distress or concern; some of the most common issues include child abuse, bullying, mental illness, parental separation or divorce, teenage pregnancy, substance misuse, neglect, and psychological abuse.
Chat Health is the free school nursing text service available to all young people aged 11-19.
Young people can use this service to text a school nurse about a number of health topics such as:
Mental health such as depression, anxiety or stress
Drugs and alcohol
Kooth offers emotional and mental health support for children and young people aged between 11 – 24 years and is available up to 10pm every day.
Eating disorders can be deeply isolating for the people affected by them. Our online support groups and regional support services allow people to talk to others with similar experiences, helping them to feel less alone with their eating disorder. We run phone and email helplines 365 days a year for anyone who needs us.
The YoungMinds resources library is full of useful toolkits, publications, reports and policy information about children and young people's mental health.
CEOP is here to keep children and young people safe from sexual abuse and grooming online. We are here to help and give you advice, and you can make a report directly to us if something has happened online which has made you feel unsafe, scared or worried. This might be from someone you know in real life, or someone you have only ever met online. We take all reports seriously and we will do everything we can to keep you safe.
Mermaids supports gender-diverse children and young people until their 20th birthday, as well as their families and professionals involved in their care.
‘Grieftalk’, is thethe brand new helpline from Grief Encounter, providing support for you, when you need it.
Are you a child, teenager or adult who has recently experienced the death of a loved one? Do you need to talk? You can call, email or instant chat with trained professionals at grieftalk, 5 days a week, 9am – 9pm.
Helpline: 0808 802 0111
B-TOWN YOUTH SERVICES
We support young people aged 13 to 19, particularly the vulnerable to develop knowledge, skills and confidence to help them realise their potential. Incorporates advice centres in Kinson and Boscombe, youth groups, street based youth support and Young Carers provision.