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Health & Wellbeing

Keeping well is important to keep good mental health. Eating well, being active, being with the people who make you feel good and care about you, getting out and about and doing the things you enjoy helps maintain good health and wellbeing.

Below are ways to build and maintain good health and mental and emotional wellbeing and where you can get information and support.  The coronavirus pandemic and measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 may also have an impact on your mental wellbeing at this time.

The Go-To-Emotional wellbeing and mental health website has lots of useful information on wellbeing and mental health for young people in North Yorkshire. They can help you find the right help and support, to help you stay well, whatever is going on in your life.


Me Time Activities and Things to Do

Keeping engaged in the things you love and enjoy ca really support with keeping good mental health.

Check Shine for ad hoc activities happening throughout the year and during the school holidays.

Also search for activities and things to do, happening on a more regular basis using the online services directory search


Emotional Wellbeing 

Feeling different from usual or noticed a change in your behaviour? Find out more about some common feelings and mental health symptoms, how to cope, and where to go to get help. 

Sad feelings and depression

Everyone feels down, sad and upset sometimes especially when we are faced with difficult situations. These feelings usually pass over time and we get back to feeling like ourselves again. Sometimes sad thoughts can last longer and start to effect the way you enjoy life. If you've been experiencing sad feeling for a while it could be a sign of depression. 

Depression happens to lots of people and can be caused by many different reasons. Sometimes there is no obvious reason for why someone might feel depressed.

Some of the signs of depression include:

  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling tearful
  • feeling guilt-ridden
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • having no motivation or interest in things
  • finding it difficult to make decisions
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • unexplained aches and pains
  • changes in appetite and/or weight
  • disturbed sleep
  • feeling anxious and worried
  • having thoughts of harming yourself

It can be really hard to deal with and even though it might seem hard it's important to talk to someone you can trust about how you are feeling.

Loneliness and isolation

Loneliness can affect everyone, all of us will experience feelings of loneliness at some point in our lives.  There are many reasons why someone can feel lonely or isolated. Sometimes it can feel difficult to cope with and to talk about. Even though you may feel like it now, you are not alone. There are things that you can do to help you feel better and there is lots of information and advice available to support you. 

If you feel that your loneliness is impacting on your day to day life, then it’s important that you speak to someone that you trust; this might be family and friends, or a teacher, mentor, your GP or an organisation who offers support.

Worries, stress and anxiety

Everybody feels stressed or worried from time to time. It's completely natural to feel worried when you are thinking or stressing about particular things, but that doesn't make it easy to deal with. You may also feel anxious when you are experiencing worries.  Anxiety is a normal part of life and most people feel anxious sometimes about certain life situations. Sometimes we can feel anxious without even knowing the reason why.

All sorts of reasons can make you feel worried like;

  • New experiences
  • Arguments 
  • Worries about money
  • Making friends / fitting in
  • Being bullied
  • Being ill or someone in the family being ill
  • Dangers in the world.

Keeping your feelings to yourself can leave you feeling upset, angry or alone. It’s OK to feel worried or anxious but it’s also important to talk about what’s going on and make sense of things. Try talking to someone you can trust or to one of the many organisations on this page who can provide you with support and advice. 

Self-confidence and self-esteem

If you are lacking confidence and not feeling good about yourself then you are not alone. Lots of people feel like this sometimes and it can be caused by many different reasons. Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves. When we have a healthy self-esteem, we tend to feel positive about ourselves and about life in general.  When our self-esteem is low, we tend to see ourselves and our life in a more negative way. We also feel less able to take on the challenges that life throws at us.

If you have low self-esteem or confidence, you may hide yourself away from social situations, stop trying new things, and avoid things you find challenging. Sometimes your confidence can go up and down depending on the situation you're in.

Building up your confidence can take time but there are lots of ways to boost your confidence and self-esteem:

  • recognise and celebrate what you are good at
  • be kind to yourself
  • build positive relationships around you
  • be more assertive
  • challenge yourself to try new things
  • Think about your social media usage

Have a look at Young Minds - 6 tips for boosting your self-esteem for more helpful advice about boosting your self-esteem and building confidence. 


Anger is a normal emotion that everyone experiences. It’s ok and perfectly normal to feel angry about things that you have experienced. You can feel angry for lots of different reasons, we all have different triggers.  Sometimes you may not know why you feel angry. You might get angry about something that has just happened or something that you have bottled up for a long time. Learning to identify and manage your anger in a safe way will help ensure you don’t hurt yourself, others or the things around you.

If you have experienced any of these things whilst feeling angry, it might be a sign that you need some support:

  • hitting or physically hurting other people
  • shouting at people
  • breaking things
  • losing control
  • spending time with people who get you into trouble 
  • constantly ending relationships or getting in trouble at school or work 

If you often feel angry there are things that you can do to help yourself. Other people can help too. Talk about how you are feeling with family members/ carers, friends or someone else you can trust like a teacher or your GP.



Losing someone important to you is one of the hardest things to experience in life. If you're young, bereavement can be even more difficult. But support and advice are available to help you get through it. 

Grief is a natural part of recovering from the loss of someone important in your life. Everyone grieves differently and you may feel a mixture of different emotions:

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Sadness
  • Guilt
  • Despair and helplessness
  • Fear, anxiety and worry about how life will be now
  • Relief  (particularly after a long illness)
  • Anger

The NHS Bereavement and young people has lots of information and support on how to cope with bereavement. 

If you are finding it hard to cope after the loss of someone close to you please speak to someone that you trust and get the help and support you need. 

Where can I find out more information?

There is a lot of information and support available to help you if you are experiencing any of the feelings mentioned on this page. 

The Go-To-Emotional wellbeing and mental health website has lots of useful information on wellbeing and mental health for young people in North Yorkshire. They can help you find the right help and support, to help you stay well, whatever is going on in your life.

Young Minds - My feelings website has lots of information about some common feelings and mental health symptoms, including how to cope, and where to go to get help.

Childline - Your feelings website also has lots of useful information and support to help you make sense of how you are feeling. 

I want to speak to someone

If you are experiencing any of the feelings mentioned on this page and would like to speak to someone for advice and support, there are organisations who can help. 

York Mind Young Peoples Service offer a range of different support for children and young people aged 8 to 25 experiencing struggles with emotions or mental health, such as often feeling low, stressed or worried. You can self-refer and if you are thinking about accessing support for yourself but feel anxious or unsure, a member of their young people's team can talk this through with you to help you with your decision. Tel: 01904 643364 or email

Kooth is an anonymous online mental wellbeing community offering free and safe support to young people.  Find out more about how it works here.

Childline If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call free on 0800 1111, chat online or email about any problem big or small

The Mix offers support to anyone under 25 about anything that’s troubling them. You can call their free helpline for young people on 0808 080 4994 available 7 days a week from 3pm-12am, email via their online contact form or chat one-to-one 7 days a week from 3pm to 12am. 

Mental Health Crisis

Experiencing mental health problems can be frightening and sometimes lonely.  If you haven't felt like this before you may not know what is happening. It is important not to feel alone. There are lots of great places where you can get information and support to help you. 

If your mental or emotional state gets worse quickly, this can be referred to as a mental health crisis or a mental health emergency.

A mental health crisis often means that you no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation. You may feel many things (although this may be different for individuals) including emotional distress or anxiety, that you can’t cope with day-to-day life or work, you might think about suicide or self–harm, or you might experience hallucinations and hear voices. You are not alone and there are a range of different options to help provide the right support for you

If you are experiencing difficult thoughts about wanting to hurt yourself it is important to get help quickly.

If you, or someone you know, have injured themselves or taken an overdose please dial 999 or go to A&E



Self-harm can affect us in lots of different ways. You might have self-harmed before, be thinking about self-harm, or wanting to support someone else who is self-harming. You might have also heard people talking about self-harm but aren’t sure what it means.

You can find out more information about self-harm and how to cope with self-harm as well as support on the Mind - information for young people on coping with self-harm website.


I want to talk to someone


Talking to an adult you can trust 

Are there any adults in your life you feel you can talk to? This doesn’t need to be a parent, it could be a relative or a teacher or someone else you feel you can talk to.

Health Services crisis line

The Tees, Esk and Wear Vallys NHS Foundation Trust offer support to people in York who are experiencing mental health crisis. Their free phone crisis number will help in a mental health emergency.  Tel: 0800 0516171. Open 24 hours a day, seven days  week, callers, including those with learning disabilities and/or autism, will be offered a series of options which will divert them to their local crisis service. You can also find advice about what to do in a mental health emergency on their website.


You can also text the SHOUT National Crisis line on 85258. Shout 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.


Young Minds

The Young Minds Crisis Messenger offers free 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors. Text: text YM to 85258. 


Papyrus UK suicide prevention

Are you, or is a young person you know, not coping with life?  Papyrus can help you. For confidential suicide prevention advice contact their HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 or email They are open 9am–12am (midnight) every day of the year. 



If you would like to talk to someone  York Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, every day. You can phone them free from any phone on 116 123 or 01904 655888 (local rate). You can also email them on and they will respond to you within 24 hours. 


Eating Well


Eating a varied and balanced diet will help to keep your body healthy and maintain a healthy weight. The Eatwell Guide is a simple and useful way to understand how much of each type of food we need to eat in order to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.

More information about eating well, including 5 A Day, eating well on a budget, vegetarianism and veganism can be found on the NHS Healthy Eating for Teens website.



The Change4Life website has lots of information and support to help you eat well, move more and live longer. You can also find healthy eating tips, quick and easy recipes and fun activities for you to become happier and healthier.

It offers free apps, available to download from Google Play and Apple App stores. The Change4Life Food Scanner app is a great way to make sense of food labels and find out what is really in the foods you buy. You can download the app for free and use it to help you find healthier swaps when you shop.

It's so easy for sugar to add up throughout the day. Find out how much sugar there may be in the food you eat and get tips for making healthier swaps Change4Life Sugar Calculator.


Get Active

No matter how much you do, physical activity is good for your body and mind. There are many ways which you can build physical activity into your day. A brisk daily walk can boost your energy, lift your mood and make everyday activities easier.

The Active 10 app records every minute of walking you do (anonymously). It tracks your steps, helps you set goals, and monitors your achievements. Just pop your phone in your pocket and away you go! 

You should aim for 30-60 minutes (depending on your age) of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity a day. Try to include a variety and different types of activity across the week.

Examples include:

  • walking to school, college, work or walking the dog
  • playground activities, including jumping, running and catching
  • physical education
  • sports, like football or tennis
  • swimming
  • skipping
  • dancing
  • skateboarding or rollerblading
  • cycling

The NHS Get active your way website has useful information, exercise tips and fitness guides to help you keep active and healthy.


Healthy Weight

It is not always easy to tell if you are healthy weight. The NHS website offers a wide range of services to help you take control of your health and wellbeing, including a healthy weight BMI calculator. You can use the calculator to check your body mass index (BMI) and find out if you are a healthy weight. If you are under 18 years use the children’s BMI calculator. The website also has useful information to help you understand your BMI result.

NHS Managing your weight website has information and advice about how to manage your weight if you're overweight or underweight.

If you are concerned about your weight you can contact your school nurse for further information and advice telephone 01904 555475 or email or speak to your GP.


Counselling, Help Lines, Support Groups and Wellbeing Services

There are many services offering support by a range of methods including text, face to face, telephone, email and face to face support. Find out more information on services providing emotional health and wellbeing support using our online search.

Alternatively get in touch with the Young People Information Service and we will try and help you find support.

School Nurses 

Need to talk to a school nurse? The City of York Healthy Child Service (5 - 19) team is made up of Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHNs) and Children and Young Peoples Outreach Nurses (CYPHONs) who work with school age children in the York area.

The school nurses are there to offer support and advice around all your healthy needs and have a key role in supporting children and young people in school settings.


  • help support the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people
  • provide advice on healthy choices (healthy eating, dental health, sexual health and substance misuse)
  • offer health reviews to ensure your child continues to reach its full potential
  • provide specific support for families with complex needs such as diabetes and asthma
  • offer advice and information on health issues such as bed wetting and behavioural problems
  • work closely with your child’s school to promote a healthy lifestyle
  • offer the childhood immunisation programme to protect against disease and infection

Young people can contact the school nurses confidentially by texting or calling telephone: 07833 437363, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm

You can now book online appointments with the nurses using Attend Anywhere, an online appointments service allowing you to talk to a nurse using your phone, tablet or laptop.

To book an appointment email with your name, email address and mobile number. The school nurses will organise a time and date for your virtual appointment and send you a link to access the virtual waiting room where a nurse will admit you to the call.

The link contains all the information you need to get started with the Attend Anywhere service. It is very straight forward to access and can be accessed via mobile, tablet or computer wothout the need to install any applications. Having a virtual appointment is often more convenient as it will not require travel, however the face to face options are still available.

For more information about Attend Anywhere visit

You can access the Consultation Attend Anywhere Guide online.

School Wellbeing Service

The School Wellbeing Service provides support for young people who are presenting with mental health issues and concerns, which are below an intervention from CAMHS, but above what school pastoral structures can support.

In addition to The School Wellbeing Service information, the webpage contains lots of useful resources for both young people and parents/carers; including additional support services; website information; information about apps to download; links to self-help booklets; helpline information and practical information.

Search for Services

The service directory has details of local and national organisations that provide information about services for young people. Find services to support with Emotional Health and Wellbeing.


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