Counselling and support

Support for Parents and Carers

Parenting support courses are free courses to help parents develop strategies for coping with their children. They are run by city councils and local charities and are available for different age groups from toddlers to teens. For the South-West UK they are listed by locality at the bottom of this page or for other areas can be found via your council website. Popular with parents, fun, helpful and a chance to meet other parents with children of similar ages as your own.
See also our Parent’s Survival Guide for websites and helplines for you.

Children’s centres are for children under 5 years and their caregivers and offer all sorts of support and activities. Many offer childcare, play sessions, exercise classes, baby massage, parenting classes and also advice on money and other support and training. Find your local one by visiting your city council website.

For support for parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disability , click this link which will take you to our SEND page


Counselling for Children and Young People


Counselling can be difficult to find for children and young people, especially for free. Some counselling may be accessed via your GP, but often it will be provided by charities in your area. The Hub of Hope is a searchable directory of mental health support. For the South-West UK and parts of London, you will find some links at the bottom of this page.

Childline is still one of the best charities for children and young people right up to the age of 19 years – the website is fun and easy to use with lots of advice and options for telephone or web chat support as well as fully moderated message boards. Have a look at our helplines page and the support for young people pages for more options.

But what if your child, teenager or young adult doesn’t want to go to counselling?  It can understandably feel scary, embarrassing or upsetting. The video in the link below explains how counselling can help. This article is from a US website but has some good advice for parents if your teen isn’t keen on counselling support.

Finding Counselling

  • Kooth online counselling and resources for children and young people. Log in on a computer or smartphone and chat with a counsellor in the afternoons and evenings. There are also blogs and articles. Only accessible for 10-18-year-olds. Good for those who either don’t want or can’t afford face-to-face counselling. Free, but you need to create a log-in for confidentiality.
  • Stop, Breathe, Think. Free online counselling for 8-21-year-olds. There is information for parents too.
  • is paid-for online counselling by qualified counsellors by phone/text or email.
  • Tellmi App – a fully moderated App which allows you to talk anonymously to other young people about what you’re going through. It works in partnership with YoungMinds and the NSPCC.
  • Find private counselling in your area: lists private counsellors who all have a BACP diploma with a description of where they work and types of therapy.
  • Relate website has advice on many different family problems and in some areas can offer support and counselling for children and young people too.
  • Happy Families Happy Futures are a referral service which covers communication between parents/carers and children about most difficult topics such as separation or death.
  • Brook Services primarily offer sexual health services for young people, but also has information on wellbeing and can offer counselling.You can put in your postcode to see what’s available in your area.
  • Normal Magic is a private company set up by two former NHS mental health nurses and other professionals who offer parent support conversations, workshops and early intervention for children and young people. See the website for costs.


    Click the locations below to find local UK support

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