Self help toolbox

What can I do while I’m waiting for help from CAMHS? Together with some young people, we have come up with a toolbox of ‘tricks’ that might help you manage difficult feelings and situations while you wait for your CAMHS work to start.

Feeling angry?

  • Talk to somebody about it
  • Go for a walk
  • Go for a run or a bike ride
  • Listen to music
  • Scrunch up sheets of paper and throw them against a wall
  • Find out what’s making you angry and try and resolve it
  • Keep a diary of feelings, writing down what you feel might get it off your chest
  • Take slow and deep breaths until your heart beats slowly again
  • Punch your pillow


Feeling worried?

  • Talk to somebody about it
  • Keep a diary of feelings, writing down what you feel might get your worries off your chest
  • Find out what’s worrying you and try and resolve it
  • Do things you enjoy to take your mind off it:
    • Draw pictures
    • Make something
    • Do some cooking/baking
    • Write stories
    • Do puzzles/mind games
    • Meet a friend
    • Play computer/other games
    • Write down your worries, seeing them on paper can make them feel half as bad
    • Do some exercise


Being bullied?

  • If you’re being bullied, tell somebody about it so they can help you stop it. If that person doesn’t help, ask someone else for help.
  • It is important to tell somebody you’re being bullied so they help you stop it. Otherwise it will happen again and you may get hurt.
  • Remember, nobody has the right to bully you, physically or emotionally.
  • Don’t believe what bullies tell you.
  • Being bullied is never your fault.


Have a look at:


Feeling sad?

  • Talk to somebody about it who can help
  • Keep a diary of feelings, writing down what you feel might help you deal with your fealings
  • It is normal to feel sad some of the time, try and find things you know can cheer you up.
  • Meet up with a friend and watch a film or play some games
  • If you don’t feel the person you speak to is listening, talk to someone else who can help.


Have a look at:


Don’t want to eat?

There can be different reasons why you don’t want to eat. Sometimes, maybe this is because you feel worried or anxious or sad. Sometimes this is maybe because you want to lose weight and are concerned about the way you look.

Food is important for all of us because it gives us vital nutrients. Not eating can make life feel even harder. Not eating can make you lose concentration, give you headaches and make it harder to cope with stress. Not eating enough is a big problem and is bad for your health.

  • Talk to an adult about how you feel and what is worrying you, sometimes sharing your worries can make you feel better already.
  • If you don’t feel the person you speak to is listening, talk to someone else who can help.


Have a look at:


I feel like hurting myself

Some young people can feel so overwhelmed by their feelings that they want to hurt themselves as a way of dealing with their feelings.

  • Distract yourself by doing something you enjoy
  • Listen to music
  • Flip an elastic band where you feel like self harming
  • Write out your feelings
  • Meet or speak with a friend


Have a look at:


Trouble at school

Trouble at school can be lots of things: 

  • You might find it hard to learn
  • Falling out with friends
  • Don’t get on with teachers or other students
  • Can’t concentrate and sit still in lessons
  • Don’t like going to school
  • Truanting
  • Bullying

Your school will have special teachers and teaching assistants whose job it is to support you with your troubles at school.  Those teachers have different names in different schools. Here are some names you might come across and you can ask any of those and your class teacher for support.

  • SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator)
  • Inclusion Manager
  • Pastoral Support Teacher
  • Learning Mentor
  • School Counsellor


If you are having problems with your friends watch a video on friendships and relationships.


Online support and information

There are some online support services available you can contact if you want to speak to somebody and don't feel you have anyone around you can give you the right help. There is also a website all about young people's mental health that has lots of information about lots of different topics.


'Crash course Psychology'  - youtube

Emotions, Stress and Health


OCD & Anxiety

Depressive and Bipolar Disorder

Trauma and additction


Young Minds

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by children and young people's experiences YoungMinds campaign, research and influence policy and practice.

They also provide expert knowledge to professionals, parents and young people through their Parents' Helpline, online resources, training and development, outreach work and publications.



MindFull is a service for 11-17 year olds. It provides support, information and advice about mental health and emotional wellbeing, helping you to overcome life's ups and downs and helping you feel confident and happy about who you are. Because MindFull is online, you can get the help you need whenever you want it, wherever you are. MindFull is open every day, between 10am and midnight, and offers support in three different ways: Self-Help; MindFull Mentors; Counselling



ChildLine is a private and confidential service for children and young people up to the age of nineteen. You can contact a ChildLine counsellor about anything - no problem is too big or too small. Call free on 0800 1111, have a 1-2-1 chat online or send an email.


Relate - iRelate

iRelate is an online emotional support service provided by Relate. They provde support in various ways and about different topics such as bullying, friendships and relationships or difficulties at home. They offer live chats via text messages, you can send in questions via email or read their top tip sheets.



Youthspace is a locally run website that is supported by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health trust and their Youth Clinical Support Team. Youthspace offers relevant, up-to-date information and advice for young people, carers and professionals working with young people on all aspects of mental health, resilience & emotional wellbeing. You can find personal stories, relaxation techniques and mental health e-learning on their website, as well as a map of a range of youth services and faciliaties across Birmingham.



Common Unity looks to promote mental wellbeing in disadvantaged communities through effective communication and the development of holistic services. Common Unity Social Enterprise is a Health and Social Care organisation specialising in working on mental health and wellbeing with ‘hard to reach’ communities. It was established in 2009 by community activists from BME communities who were also mental health professionals, and who had grown up in the inner city areas of the West Midlands. They provide training and information about mental health, but also have a range of inofmration on youty services for across the city.



Rethink mental illness are a charity who provide support and information and aim to challenge the stugam and change the views about mental health conditions in society. They have developed an infomration and support pack for young people to learn about and track their mental health: about mental health.pdf