BAME young person in blue t shirt smiling

How we support the mental health of young people

Published on
23 April 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health.

At Barnardo’s, we believe that talking about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it is really important, and we want to help kick-start those conversations. In this blog, we want to share what we do to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people across the UK. 

Young person laying down looking at screen

It can be tough growing up. Many thousands of young people go through periods of mental ill health. When this happens, it can be difficult for them to make and keep friends, manage at school and feel good about themselves. It can also be bewildering for their families. At Barnardo’s, we believe that no child should be left to cope with mental ill health alone. We are here for young people when they need us – to listen to them, support them, counsel them, guide them and nurture them. 

We run many services supporting young people's emotional health and wellbeing, from one-to-one counselling to group work and schools-based programmes. We have centres where children and young people can visit and have a trained worker they can trust and talk to. We help them build their confidence and get to the root of their difficulties. We work closely with the young people's parents - making sure they feel supported too. We also stay in close contact with other professionals. 

Harrow Horizons and Swindon Trailblazers are just two of our services which support young people tackling mental health issues. Here is how they work. 

Harrow Horizons 

Harrow Horizons is an emotional health and wellbeing service for children and young people, run in the community by Barnardo’s in partnership with the NHS, Harrow Council and local schools. 

They support children and young people aged 0 to 18, and young people with special educational needs and disabilities up to the age of 25 alongside their families in Harrow who need help to improve their emotional health and wellbeing. The service is based in Harrow and run by qualified clinicians and volunteers. Horizons works closely with schools and other services across the borough, providing confidential, focused, targeted support for those who need it most. 

I came to Harrow Horizons when I was at secondary school and going through quite a difficult period in my life. Unlike a lot of other counselling services that I had already used, Harrow Horizons was different because it gave me a new-found confidence in myself and a sense of hope that I could come out of the situation I was in.

Sharliny (17)

Supported by Harrow Horizons

Project Me

Project Me (previously known as Swindon Trailblazer) is an early help mental health service for children and young people between the ages of 5-19 years within Swindon.

The team offers individual and group support to young people with mild to moderate mental health issues including anxiety, low mood, phobias, difficulty with anger, self-esteem and behavioural difficulties.  

The Outreach Team also works within the community to raise awareness of mental health issues and promote healthy mental wellbeing. They also help children, young people and families, who might otherwise find it difficult to access mental health support, by introducing them to other local professionals, charities and organisations. 

Check out how the team uses video game therapy to support children and young people.

Read our blog about the service to learn more about their work:

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