A directory of support services for mental health and wellbeing issues

5 steps to wellbeing

Evidence suggests that a small improvement in wellbeing can help to decrease some mental health problems and also help people to flourish. A document, produced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) used by the government (found here), sets out 5 actions to improve personal wellbeing:

  1. connect
  2. be active
  3. take notice
  4. keep learning
  5. give

For children, it is thought that a sixth way (play) helps to improve and maintain wellbeing.

Parents can work with the school to help provide opportunities for children to connect with people, stay active, practice mindfulness, learn new things, give to others and spend time engaged in creative play.

Where can you turn?

Support for your child

Your GP will be able to offer help and guidance. You could also ask school or ask for a referral for your child to the school nurse. The youth wellbeing directory is a list (12 pages!) of agencies that work with young people to provide mental health support and counselling.

CAMHS has provided this useful guide full of further helpful information. 

Support for you

Bristol Crisis Service – a telephone triage and referral/signposting service for individuals in mental health crisis, their family and friends. 0300 555 03 34

The Samaritans – 24-7 support for anyone in emotional distress

www.samaritans.org – helpline - 116123

Bristol Mind – Local mental health charity

www.bristolmind.org.uk - helpline - 01179080370

Wellaware – a local information database for health, wellbeing and community services in Bristol.

www.wellaware.org.uk - 08008085252

Support for older children and young adults

Off The Record - mental health support and workshops for young people – www.otrbristol.org.uk

Kooth – the online counselling service: www.kooth.com

Big White Wall - online peer support forum (subscription) - https://www.bigwhitewall.com

Help with parenting

Being a parent is one of the toughest challenges we face in life, and we get so little training in how to do it. It is a challenge that constantly changes as your children get older. Fortunately, there are plenty of people who have been there before you, and there is absolutely no shame in admitting that you would like some advice or support.

The following links may be useful:




Shelf help is available from your local library (or a good book store!) Reading Well books are available on a range of mental health issues. Michael Rosen’s sad book is such an example. A powerful read.

Finding a therapist

Counsellors and psychotherapists are listed in the Yellow Pages. The following organisations have national lists of therapists:

The British Psychological Society – www.bps.org.uk

British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy – www.babcp.com

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy – www.bacp.co.uk

Websites and helplines

General wellbeing


Self Harm

Eating disorders