What’s Worrying You…?

We have worked with some young people at local schools to develop this “What’s Worrying You?” page.

They attended a workshop to inform us of the kind of things they would find helpful if they were looking for support or advice

Anxiety & Panic

Sometimes we all feel scared or worried and this is as normal as feeling other things, such as happy or excited. For some people, this can lead to us feeling very worried (Anxious) which can start to affect us in other ways.

Anxiety and worry can have different effects on us. Sometimes we feel sick, breathless or tense, whilst sometimes we feel scared or panic, grumpy or upset.

One of the ways to reduce anxiety is to understand it better. By understanding how anxiety works, you can understand why you are feeling anxious and learn how to control it.

Here are some booklets and webpages for you and your parents to help you learn more about anxiety:

Young People and Anxiety Factsheet

NHS Choices Website

YoungMinds Website

Bullying & Cyber Bullying

Bullying is when somebody means to hurt someone on purpose, more than once.  This can involve hurting them physically (such as hitting, pushing, kicking, pulling hair) or emotionally (making someone feel or think something).

People get bullied for different reasons, such as where they are from, what they look like or what they believe in, but it’s important to remember bullying is never the fault of the victim.

Bullying that takes place online is known as cyber bullying. It is as harmful as any other bullying and just as unacceptable. It is really important to learn how to safely use the internet and social media apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

The most important thing to do if you are being bullied is to tell someone.  Bullying is a scary experience, so try not to deal with it on your own.  Telling an adult what is happening is the first step to making it stop.

For information on bullying please take a look at the following websites:

Self Harming

Self harm is when somebody hurts themselves on purpose. It can be a reaction or way to cope with another problem. It is also used as a way to express sadness or as a “release” for difficult emotions. Unfortunately, this relief can be quickly followed by guilt, leading to an unhelpful cycle that can be really difficult to break out of.

If you are self harming, it is important to speak to somebody you know and trust to help show you other ways to cope rather than self-harm.

There is lots of useful information on the Young Minds website and here are some leaflets from the Self Harm Network on self-harm, including distractions and alternatives that we share with professionals and families that come to CAMHS.

Obsessional Thoughts and Compulsions

Obsessions are thoughts or impulses that cause unpleasant feelings or anxiety and pop into our mind when we don’t want them to. Many things can cause these obsessions, and they usually leave the person feeling out of control and frightened. A compulsion is a behaviour or act that people do to try and reduce these feelings or “put right” the obsessional thought.

Some people may experience obsessions and compulsions and live with this without it causing too many problems. Sometimes, these obsessions are so frightening, and people are doing so many compulsions that it really starts to interfere with their life.

There is a really useful Information Guide  HERE and a specific guide aimed at young people HERE.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT)

There are some people who prefer to be with someone who is the same gender as them or perhaps, find themselves attracted to more than one gender.

It is common for people who are Lesbian (girls who like girls), Gay (usually this is men that like men but can apply to girls too), Bisexual (when someone likes girls and boys) or Transgender (when you want to be a different gender to what you were born) to experience mental health problems.

There are some really good support networks out there that help people with these types of problems:

Stonewall – an organisation that campaigns for the rights of LGBT community in a range of different settings

RUComingOut – a website where people who have come out as LGBT share their stories to support others

• Mermaids – a supportive website that helps Young People and their families in the face of adversity, specialising in gender identification issues

• Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS)  – The Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) is for children and young people, and their families, who experience difficulties in the development of their gender identity. It’s a national specialised service, based in London and Leeds, and is the only one of its kind in Great Britain.

Hearing Voices

Did you know that around 8% of children and young people hear voices that others don’t?

Many more (up to 75%) have one off or fleeting experience in their childhood.

Most aren’t bothered by these experiences, and they don’t need extra support from mental health services.

Hearing voices is therefore not necessarily a sign of mental illness and can be related to a traumatic event such as a bereavement or family breakdown.

Sometimes people’s internal thoughts can even feel and sound like voices in their head.

Though it is important to understand that not everyone hearing voices needs support or help with their mental health and wellbeing, it may be wise to seek help if the voices become hostile, intimidating and start to have a negative impact on your day to day living.

This “Hearing Voices” Booklet is a helpful guide for parents and young people.


Difficulties with sleep come in many different forms.

These can include disturbed sleep, not sleeping at all, nightmares or bed wetting.

It is common for people of all ages to experience problems with sleep. Though lack of sleep does not always mean there is a mental health condition, we do know from research that regular sleep is key to feeling good.

Problems with sleep can be associated with stress, diet, lifestyle or big changes in our life.

If you have trouble with sleep and this is impacting upon your daily life, there us is some useful sleep hygiene tips on the NHS Choices website, the Young Minds website.

Feeling Low and / or Depressed

At some point in life, many people feel low but this normally stops with the support of family, friends and the people around you. However, with depression, the feelings don’t go away after a few days, and they can carry on for weeks or months.

Feeling low can interfere with our daily lives and make us not want to do things we previously enjoyed.  It can also lead to spending lots of time on our own or harmful thoughts if it becomes more serious.

If you are experiencing these kinds of thoughts, it can be scary and confusing, but there is no reason to feel alone. There are many people out there who can offer support to help with these feelings, such as Young Minds and the The Blurt Foundation  which try to make it easier to understand them.


Coping with the loss of someone we care about is one of the hardest things to go through. Dealing with loss can take time and we experience lots of different feelings and thoughts as part of the process.

It is really important to speak to people around you, such as parents, teachers and friends. They can help you cope with how you are feeling and can often tell you what worked for them when they were in a similar situation (because loss is something we all experience at some point).

Experiencing loss is a very individual and human process, it is important to give yourself time and not to rush or put pressure on yourself.

It’s also important to look after yourself during this difficult time e.g. eating regularly, having a regular sleep routine.

NHS Choices “Bereavement and Young People” webpage is full of tips to help cope with the death of a loved one.

Loss can include parents getting divorced, and this can trigger the same sorts of feelings and emotions as physical bereavement or loss.  This can be a very difficult time but it is important to remember it is not your fault.  Childline has some excellent coping strategies for this situation.

Self Confidence

Self-confidence issues are very common amongst young people.

75% of all young people have experienced low self-confidence at least once.

Having low self-confidence (also known as self-esteem) can be caused by different things. This can be things such as comparing yourself to your friends or other people, problems with family, or receiving a negative comment.

Sometimes this passes and you can regain your self-confidence, and even use the negative experience to develop yourself. Sometimes it takes a little push to get over it.

Here are some top tips to break the cycle and start to recognise and value your strengths and your value!

Building confidence and self-esteem
Believe in Yourself

Eating & Body Issues

It is common for young people to experience problems with eating.  This can range from controlling food in order to lose weight to eating a lot of food in one go (binge eating). Problems with eating and body image can cause distress for the individual as well as the people around them.

Many eating difficulties can make you feel quite lonely and as though nobody understands. There is rarely one reason why the eating problems began as not everyone experiences the same things. BEAT is a useful website for help and advice around eating disorders.

Issues with body/body image can be a difficult struggle for everyone, and it affects both boys and girls. Body image is how and what you think about your body, and can be good or bad. A negative body image can lead to lower self-esteem, and can be difficult to cope with on a daily basis. However, there is advice out there on how to create a more positive Body Image