Supporting young people through the coronavirus pandemic

The pandemic has had an impact on all of us. But young people have been hit very hard – with a rise in those troubled by anxiety, loneliness and social isolation.
young people's mental health Cambridgeshire CAMHS

Updated 23 September 2021

Even with social restrictions eased, lots of young people are anxious about mixing again and returning to school or college, heading to university and returning to "normal" .

The pandemic has brought lots of changes, worry and uncertainty.  Many more young people have been struggling with their mental health and wellbeing and are asking for help from local services. 

But on top of existing high demand, there are now big waits to get help.

Tips and advice 

The Public Health England/NHS Every Mind Matters Website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities.

It is designed to help spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and offer information and advice on how to support them.

Young people can also find self-care videos and information.

Find out more

Top 5 Tips for parents and carers

  1. Be there to listen - Ask children and young people how they are doing regularly so they get used to speaking about their feelings.
  2. Stay involved in their life - Show interest in their life and the things that are important to them.
  3. Support positive routines - Be a positive role model and support positive behaviours including regular bedtime routines, healthy eating and getting active.
  4. Encourage their interests - Being active, creative, learning things and being a part of a team are all good for mental health. Support children and young people to explore their interests.
  5. Take what they say seriously - Help the children and young people you look after feel valued in what they say and help them work through difficult emotions.

Local and national resources and support

Some face to face services have restarted but organisations may be still limited in what they can offer. 

Chat Health text service 

Confidential health advice for 11-19s in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Topics have ranged from relationships and self harm to bullying, healthy eating, drugs and alcohol. It's run by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Child Programme and is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm. 

07480 635 443 to start a conversation.

Centre 33

Offers support for young people from 13-25 in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on any issue, including mental health.

The young person's helpline is open 12-5pm, Monday to Friday and Saturdays 10am to 1 pm. The rest of the time messages and emails will be picked up and they should get back to you within 24 hours. 

 0333 4141809

Text/WhatApp: 07514 783745

Mental health and emotional wellbeing help via YOUnited

This referral hub started on 1 July 2021 and aims to help children and young people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough find mental health and emotional wellbeing support.

Support on offer includes therapies, counselling and guided self-help.

YOUnited is a partnership involving Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, Centre 33 and Ormiston Families.

You can be referred to YOUnited only by your GP or other professional such as a teacher or social worker. You cannot currently self-refer.

YOUnited will assess your mental health and wellbeing needs and refer you to appropriate support. This could be with Centre 33, CPSL Mind or NHS mental health services for young people or adults.

However, young people needing support can also ask for help themselves:

If you are 13-25 – contact Centre 33

0333 4141809

Text/WhatsApp 07514 783745

If you are 17+ – your GP can also help you access services including NHS adult mental health.

If you are a young adult aged 18-25 – emotional wellbeing support is also on offer from Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind.

0300 303 4363

Keep Your Head  

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough website offering emotional and mental health information and resources for children and young people.

Counselling and support

Stop. Breathe.Think.

Up to six free counselling sessions for young people aged 13-21 provided by JHD Counselling thanks to funding from charity Snow-Camp.

CPSL Mind/Qwell

Online wellbeing support and chat-based counselling for anyone aged 18+ from via Qwell, part of CPSL Mind's Good Life Service.


Free, anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform. Open12pm-10pm Monday to Friday and 6pm-10pm Saturday and Sunday.


Mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18+ and living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 11am - 11pm every day.

Freephone 0808 808 2121. 

The service supports people to manage their wellbeing, provide self-help advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.


Helps anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through.

Monday-Friday 7.30am-3.30am, weekends 9am-3.30am 

Call free on 0800 1111

Young person in a crisis?

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger

Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.

text YM to 85258

  • Shout 

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.

Text 85258

  • The Samaritans 

Call 116 123 

  • First Response Service

Call 111 – and choose option 2 to talk to specially-trained mental health staff if you are worried about a young person harming themselves or feel they are at serious risk. The service is for anyone, of any age, who is registered with a GP in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough. 

Share your experiences

Tell us about the services your use.  Have the changes to services due to Covid-19 affected you? 

We can share what you tell us with local NHS and care teams to help them respond and restore services.

Call 0330 355 1285

Text 0752 0635 176

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