Low mood and depression affects many young people. 1 in 10 young people experience depression, stress or anxiety at some point by the time they reach eighteen years old.

It’s vital that any young person experiencing low mood seeks support early to avoid the situation getting worse.

Lots of young people can feel sad or angry for short periods of time but if these feelings persist for long periods without improvement, it’s possible that they are experiencing depression.

Sometimes, a young person may feel tearful and anxious too. There isn’t always an obvious explanation for feeling like this but some things can cause depression:

  • Losing someone and having difficulty coping with the loss.
  • Going through a difficult time without sharing this with someone.
  • Struggling with school.
  • Experiencing discrimination e.g. racism, sexism.
  • Money problems within the family.


And here are some possible signs of depression:

  • Avoiding social situations.
  • Feeling empty and numb.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or being without hope.
  • Self-critical.
  • Feeling guilty or being a burden to others.
  • Irregular sleep pattern/Unable to sleep.
  • No energy.
  • Feeling tired all of the time.
  • Low mood, anxious and sad.
  • Lack of appetite or overeating.
  • Change in weight – losing weight or gaining weight.
  • Lack of resilience/Unable to bounce back.

It’s so, so important that anyone experiencing depression shares how they’re feeling with someone they trust e.g. a family member, friend, teacher. There are also helpline numbers below for anyone who would prefer to speak with someone out of school or use text messaging and webchat.

There is support available – the Head of Year can arrange support. They may suggest school-based counselling or the school nurse. It is possible for a young person to access support from both without permission from a parent/carer. Both provide a safe space for a young person to discuss feelings confidentially. BUT if there is a concern that the young person is in danger of harming themselves or others then these concerns are shared with the family. School will also advise that the young person is seen by a GP.


Here are some useful websites and contacts:

Helplines (Webchat available with some)

Childline     0800  1111

Papyrus      0800 068 4141

Meic           080880 23456

Samariaid  116 123

School Nursing Service Helpline 07312 263 262



Young Minds        

Anna Freud          

Papyrus UK         

Charlie Waller Trust

Umbrella Cymru   


Support outside of school

The Mix 

Kooth     (A young person can arrange support themselves)