Helplines for parents and young people

Find advice in a crisis


Are you in need of urgent advice or help? In a medical emergency, such as an overdose, call the emergency services.  

For parents and caregivers

Use this traffic light system to help you judge how urgently you should seek help click here

More helplines are listed under specific topics e.g. for panic, drug problems or eating disorders.


YoungMinds Parent line is open Monday-Friday 9.30-4 pm. Outside of these hours, you can also e-mail for advice on their contact form.

Family Lives Telephone line staffed by trained therapists can offer emotional support, information, advice and guidance on any aspect of parenting and family life. The helpline service is open 9 am – 9 pm, Monday to Friday and 10 am – 3 pm Saturday and Sunday. There is also the option of live chat and e-mail if you are unable to get through on

Children1st is Scotland’s National Children’s Charity. If you live in Scotland, you can use their helpline for Parents and Carers or use their web chat option. They also have information and support for families and schools.


If your child has self-harmed and you are concerned that the cuts are very deep or there is serious blood loss, call your GP, go to Casualty, or call 999. If you are not worried about your child’s physical health (in other words, the cuts are shallow and no longer bleeding), try your best to stay calm. Our section on self-harm will help you decide what to do next and how to talk to your child about what has happened.

Suicidal thoughts

Hearing your child, teen or young adult express suicidal feelings is hugely distressing for parents and carers and we are here to help your family find the support you need. Many people express suicidal thoughts because they are feeling overwhelmed and may not want to act on them, but it is still very frightening for them and frightening for you. Other worrying symptoms might include hearing voices, feelings of unreality, becoming very angry or violent, showing signs of an eating disorder or becoming very withdrawn. Find support and advice for you and for your child on this page: Get help for suicidal feelings


For young people

  • Childline Not just for young children, Childline offers a helpline, online chat and e-mail advice for anyone up to the age of 19 years.
  • Shout Crisis textline Text for free 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors. Texts are free from most networks
  • The Mix for under 25’s offers online chat and text messaging.
  • Kooth is a fantastic website where you can read articles and real-life stories but they also offer online counselling and support by text, e-mail or chatting on the forum for ages 10-18 years.
  • Student Space offers web chat, e-mail and text support including specific support for those with eating disorders, addiction problems, OCD, Body dysmorphic syndrome and for Muslim and Punjabi Students.
  • Get help for self-harm
  • Get help for suicidal feelings