Everyone has mental health and this can be described as:
• How we feel about ourselves and the people around us
• Our ability to make and keep friends and relationships
• Our ability to learn from others and to develop psychologically and emotionally.

Everyone experiences feelings such as being worried or stressed at some point in their lives. Being mentally healthy is also about having the strength to overcome the difficulties and challenges we can all face at times  – to have confidence and self-esteem, to be able to take decisions and to believe in ourselves.

This is normal, there are lots of things that we can do to boost our mental health wellbeing. Some websites are detailed below, or you could look at the MindMate site .

It is when these feelings don’t go away and become overwhelming  you might be in need of some help and support.

What to look out for?
• Issues eating and/or with food.
• The desire or act of hurting yourself
• Feeling scared and/or anxious
• Hearing and/or seeing things that others don’t
• Issues controlling your temper and/or anger
• Having difficulties with those around you (eg family and friends)
• Feeling low, with little interest in things around you
• Feelings of trauma, leading to feelings of insecurity and helplessness
• Feelings of anxiety when placed in a mixed gender social group

Talk to someone

It can be sometimes hard to talk to someone about how you feel. Some people feel comfortable talking to a family member, a friend or perhaps your GP,  teacher or tutor at college who could support you and, if needed, help you to contact CAMHS.


Want to speak to someone anonymously?

If you would like to chat to someone anonymously, you can call a helpline or visit sites such as the ones below:


ChildLine provides a confidential telephone counselling service for any child with a problem. It comforts, advises and protects.

• Call 0800 1111 any time for free
Have an online chat with a counsellor
Check out the message boards

Get Connected

Get Connected is a free confidential telephone and email helpline that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem. It provides free connections to local or national services, and can text information to your mobile phone.

• Call 0808 808 4994 for free – lines are open from 1pm-11pm every day
• Text 80849 for free and get a response within 24 hours
Email Get Connected



The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) helps young people up to the age of 18 years old, who are struggling with their emotions, relationships, personal development or their behaviour.

You will need to have a referral made to Contact Point, this could be via:

  •  a professional you are seeing who will complete an online referral form for you
  • or your parent could phone Contact Point
  •  If you are over the age of 16 you can phone Contact Point yourself.

Contact Point numbers:

Hull – 01482 303688
East Riding – 01482 303810

Following receipt of your referral you will be contacted by the team who will complete a telephone triage with you and your parents / carer.

After your triage a decision will be made and if you needs require CAMHS intervention you will be sent a letter which invites you and your parent or carer to an appointment. At this first appointment we will discuss with you and your parent/carer any difficulties that you may be facing, you may find it helpful if you record some of your thoughts and feelings beforehand. Typically, this first visit will happen between 9am and 5pm on a weekday and will last for around an hour. We aim to see you as soon as possible but it may take a while before your first appointment. If people are concerned for you and your welfare then we may organise to see you sooner.

After your appointment with us we will send you another letter. This letter will summarise what we discussed in our meeting and the next steps that we will have agreed on. We may only  need to see you for one appointment but occasionally we may want to see you again or we may inform you of another service which will be more suited to you.

We are here to listen, help and support you without any judgement so please don’t worry about meeting with us. If you have any questions or queries about your visit or the next steps please feel free to ask us.



People often get worried about coming to their first session at CAMHS, it’s normal to be anxious about meeting new people and not knowing what to expect.  We hope we can make a good first impression with you.  We promise not to judge you and we will aim to take things at a pace that is comfortable for you.

How will CAMHS help me?

Most children find that CAMHS helps by a mixture of talking listening and trying out different ideas about what helps.  Talking can help you to make sense of what is going on for you and CAMHS can give you and your family some practical advice on how to move forwards.  Some people also need medication to help them to feel better.

Very occasionally, we might think that more intense support is needed and then we might arrange for a stay in hospital.

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The 5 a day to wellbeing

These 5 ways have been researched as effective by the New Economics Foundation.

1. Connect with people around you – building these connections will support you.
2. Be active – exercising makes you feel good – find an activity you enjoy.
3. Take notice of the world around you, of nature, and what you are feeling, be curious.
4. Learn – try something new, rediscover an old interest, take a course, or a fun challenge.
5. Give – do something nice for a friend, or stranger, thank someone, smile, volunteer.
Source: New Economics Foundation

Self Help

There are many ways that you can improve your mental health through self-help:

  • Make sure you have time to relax
  • Learn and practice controlled breathing exercises
  • Mentally record your worries, then imagine yourself wiping them away.
  • Count to 100 lying on your back.
  • Think about your day in reverse.
  • Practice clearing your mind, imagine a curtain blocking any unwanted thoughts.

Small daily changes can improve your state of mind and how you feel about yourself, here are some helpful tips and changes that you can include into your life:


Research has shown that there is an increasing connection between the food that we eat and our emotions and how our emotions affect the food that we eat, this is called the “food-mood” connection.

How does your food affect your mood?

Blood-sugar levels

One aspect of your diet is the sugar glucose, which you get from carbohydrate-containing foods, it is responsible for giving your brain energy to think and work effectively. We all need glucose but different carbohydrates that provide glucose are better for us than others, foods such as biscuits, white bread and sugar will only provide you with a short rush of energy leaving you to then feel tired and irritable. If you eat lots of these foods and stimulants like coffee, then your blood sugar levels will vary causing you to feel annoyed and dizzy in addition to poor concentration. On the other hand, food such as brown bread, vegetables and beans are ‘complex carbohydrates’ and provide you with longer lasting energy which will leave you and your body feeling better.



Proteins are found in foods such as meat, fish and soya products. These proteins in our diets are broken down into vital amino acids which help aid the messages in our brains, without these amino acids you can be left feeling depressed and unmotivated.

Good fats

Many people are wary of fats but 60% of your brain is made of fat, this means that the fats we eat affect how we feel. Fats can’t be produced in your body so we have to get them from our food, vital fats can be found in foods such as nuts, oily fish and nuts. The connection has been made between the lack of the omega-3 fatty acids and various mental health issues such as depression.

But you don’t have to pay loads for healthy food., the Royal College of Psychiatrists provides ways to have healthy food whilst on a budget.

  • Avoid ready meals and takeaways. They’re usually bad for you and often poor value for money.
  • Crisps, ice creams and sweets should be kept as an occasional treat.
  • Buy fruits and vegetables in season when they’re cheaper.
  • Buy fresh foods like fruit, vegetables and meats often and in small amounts as they go off easily.
  • Avoid tinned foods as they’re usually more expensive. For example, dried beans and pasta are less expensive than canned beans and processed pasta.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks and fruit juices and drink water and eat fruit instead.
  • Compare prices in local shops and supermarkets and take advantage of special offers.
  • Use ‘generic’ supermarket brands instead of classic brands as they often contain the same ingredients but are cheaper.
  • Cook and eat with others to share costs.
  • Make a shopping list and plan your food budget every week. If you feel you cannot do this on your own, ask for help.

Other tips for using food to improve your mental health:

  • Aim to eat three meals a day alongside two healthy snacks such as fruit.
  • Breakfast is a very important meal, don’t skip it.
  • Aim to drink between 6-8 glasses a water per day.
  • Aim to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Exercise and Mental Health

Exercise and mental health

Exercise is not only beneficial to your physical health but it is also vital for your mental health too because it releases chemicals that are also found in antidepressants. In fact, research has shown that exercise can be as beneficial as antidepressants or therapy such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

How can exercise effect your mental health:

  • It helps aid sleeping.
  • Provides you with energy.
  • Increases confidence.
  • Improves your mood.
  • Decreases your stress and anxiety.
  • Provides you with a sense of achievement.
  • Keeps your brain and vital organs healthy.
  • Gives you the chance to meet and mix with others.
  • It burns off the chemicals that occur when you’re stressed.

How much exercise should you do?

It is recommended that you try to do some form of moderate exercise for 30 minutes 5 times a week. Moderate exercise means that you raise your heart rate without losing your breath, you could do this by bike riding, walking your dog or simply walking instead of taking the bus somewhere. It can be easily achieved by setting up an exercise routine and slowly developing it over time, but be careful not to overdo it, find the balance that is right for you. If 30 minutes is too much you can break it up into smaller sessions.

Try and find activities that you enjoy, otherwise you will find it more of a chore and will be less likely to do it. Another idea to make it more enjoyable and to make it more likely that you will stick to your routine is to do it with a friend, this way you can socialise and stay motivated. A final tip is to record what you do and to set yourself goals, this way you can see how you are improving and the results will keep you interested.

If you want to research more tips on how exercise can help improve your mental health have a look at these websites:

Positive Mental Wellbeing

Some mental health problems like depression are quite common but it’s still important that you get the right treatment. But treating a mental illness is not everything when it comes to having good mental health, there is positive mental wellbeing. Positive mental wellbeing does not only lead you to feeling good about yourself, it also leads you to feeling good about the world around you. Having a positive mental state allows you to operate effectively.

Often people think that your wellbeing is what you own such as the amount of money you have. However, it is more to do with how we think and what we do, it might be easier to imagine it as what you do not what you have. It is something that you have to act on to achieve, try thinking about what has helped in the past and any new things you can try.

Even with good wellbeing you may still experience upsetting emotions and/or situations but the difference is your ability to cope and overcome them.

To find out how happy you are: use this interactive Wellbeing self-assessment tool.

Improving your self-esteem

Self-esteem is how you personally see and think about yourself, low self-esteem can lead to a variety of mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety. Once you have a low opinion of yourself it can be hard to break the cycle, often making you focus on your weaknesses rather than strengths. Improving your self-esteem and having positive thoughts can help improve how you feel.

Many things can affect a person’s self-esteem. It could be down to an individual’s personality, a result of bullying, childhood abuse or the feeling that they haven’t achieved certain goals expected of them. Regardless of the course it can cause issues in day to day life including difficulties with your working and social lives.

The organisation YoungMinds provides some helpful tips on how to improve your self-esteem:

  • Changing your negative beliefs by understanding them. Identify your weaknesses and when you started to feel like this – can you identify something that has happened that might have caused you to feel like this?
  • Once you have identified your negative beliefs, gather evidence to challenge them and write it down so you have a list as evidence when you are feeling down. For example, if you feel you are unattractive, note it down when you receive a compliment from someone that says you look pretty/handsome or they like your new haircut.
  • Positive thinking exercises – write down the things you like about yourself. Think about your best feature and write it down – I like my eyes, for example. Think about things you have achieved and add them to the list. Think about nice things you have done for other people, skills you have, talents that you or others have noticed and write all these positive things down. This is good to look back on when you’re having a bad day or when you’re nervous about something like an exam.
  • Looking at the people you have around you on a regular basis, like friends and family, and thinking about how they make you feel. If you are spending a lot of time with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself then spend less time with them and more time with people who make you feel good about yourself.
  • Taking up a positive hobby.
  • Setting yourself a goal, maybe a sponsored walk for charity, that will make you feel good about yourself.

If you don’t feel you need professional help then websites and books are available to provide you with self-help advice, please look at the website below.

Mind – How to Increase your self esteem

How to improve your mental wellbeing

Research has shown that there are five steps that will help to improve your mental wellbeing:

  • Exercise regularly even if it is just walking your dog.
  • Socialise with those around you.
  • Be kind to those around you, this can be anything from volunteering to simply smiling at your neighbour.
  • Be aware, take note of your thoughts and feelings and the world around you.
  • Continue to learn, gaining new skills will give you a sense of achievement and confidence.

For more information click on the link to go to the NHS Choices ‘Moodzone’ page.




Is CAMHS Scary

People often get worried about coming to their first session at CAMHS: it’s normal to be anxious about meeting new people and not knowing what to expect. We hope we can make a good first impression with you. We promise not to judge you and we will aim to take things at a pace that is comfortable for you.

How do I access CAMHS?

We are developing an online referral form for young people over 16 to use, but at the moment, if you want to access CAMHS you will need to ask a professional to refer you. This might be your GP, your Social Worker, a teacher or School Nurse.

How long will I need CAMHS?

Some people may only need one session and some have many more. Sessions may be weekly, fortnightly or may be more spaced out. When you and your CAMHS worker have a good, shared understanding of what the difficulties are, they will be able to tell you about how many sessions are likely to be needed to help you to feel better.

How do I get there?

When you are sent an appointment we will send you information on where you need to come and how to get there.

How long do sessions last?

Session usually last between 50 minutes and one hour.  Some sessions are longer depending on the therapy approach being used.  Of course, you can use as much or as little of your session as you want to.

Am I mental if I access CAMHS?

The short answer is ‘no’.  Mental health is about how you think and feel and how you manage life.  Mental health is as important as your physical health.  Being emotionally and mentally healthy will help you to make the most of your potential and make the most out of your life.

What if I don't like my CAMHS worker, what can I do?

At CAMHS we are all committed to listening to children, young people and families without judging.  We hope that we will find you a good match of worker.  However, sometimes young people and families decide that they would like to work with someone different.  If this is the case for you, feel free to talk to your worker about a change of therapist.  We won’t take it personally and it won’t affect your care: we want to provide a service that is best for you.

Do I have to tell my parents?

If you are under 16, your parents are legally responsible for you and so we need to ask them before we can help you.  In fact, sometimes it can be really helpful for parents/carers to be involved as we might be able to help them to understand you and support you better.

There are some rare situations where your parent/carers might not need to be told: your worker will discuss this with you.

If you are 16 or over then your legal rights change and you have the final decisions about your healthcare.  Ultimately, it is your decision about who to tell.  Again, we often find it is helpful to involve parents/carers.

Do my parents have to come with me?

If you are under 16 we would like to meet with your parents/carers and you to start with.  It may be that after that then we will see you on your own.  Often, young people find it helpful to have someone waiting for them in the waiting room when their session is over.

If you are over 16 it is your choice about who you involve in your CAMHS journey.