Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Children & Young People Mental Health Support

How can I help myself?


There are lots of things you can do to help yourself stay well and have good wellbeing: including eating well, getting a good night's sleep and taking some regular exercise. So if you are going through a stressful time or would like to lift your mood you are on the right page!

Check out the short films to help with your wellbeing made by the team at Centre 33 -  there's a quite a few to choose from depending on how you are feeling:  

We've added some posters from 'The Action for Happiness'  that  have ideas on taking time out, tips on being positive and happy, and ideas around mindfulness. Maybe give some a go and see how you feel. 

Action for Happiness Poster


self care

If you are someone who likes reading, books can help you to cope with the pressures of life, feel better about yourself and boost your confidence. In 2020 the Reading Agency launched the 'Reading Well for children booklist' to support children's mental health and wellbeing - the 33 books on the list, by authors including Michael Rosen, Tom Percival, Zanib Mian and Joseph Coelho, have been selected to help Key Stage 2 children (aged 7-11) understand and talk about their mental health and wellbeing. Check out their suggestions here: 

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The Reading Agency have also endorsed books about mental health for 13 to 18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams. The books have all been recommended by young people and health professionals, and are available to borrow for free from public libraries - search for what's available to borrow from your local library here: Cambridge library and Peterborough Library.

rise above

Rise Above is about us all sharing our experiences, questions and challenges to get us ready for anything life throws at us. It is where you will find interesting and useful stuff from the web and beyond to get us all talking about the things that matter to us. You’ll find inspiring and useful stories, videos, games and advice. 

Youthoria banner

has lots of information for 11-19 year olds in Cambridgeshire, and the 'It's Your Choice' section presents you with stories that young people have faced and gives you the chance to decide what you would do, and advises on some good options. Different scenarios include coping with an eating disorder and dealing with depression.



These resources can also be found within our latest news, however we wanted to put them here too so you can have a look at what may help you: 

Take a look at and download the guide that have put together around going back to school in September 2021: 

back to school 'a guide for young people' 

Centre 33 have also put together this resource about why and how we experience panic and look at ways we can face and cope with this when it happens - it includes handy in the moment tips and there's the option for you to think about putting down a plan that may help you. Plus suggestions for further support. Please view and down load it here: 

managing panic resource by Centre 33

Centre 33 have also produced a guide for Parents & Caregivers to Supporting Young People’s Anxieties about returning to school:  

return to school and college: a parent and caregivers guide to supporting young peoples anxieties


student lights

Sleep is really important for maintaining good health, both mentally and physically. During sleep many key processes happen: we digest the information and events from the previous day, our brain and body rest and re-energise ready for the next day and our immune system recuperates. Because of this, sleep is essential for functioning well and staying healthy. However, sometimes people experience sleep difficulties which can be linked to mental health problems. Struggling to fall asleep, waking up during the night or experiencing nightmares are some common problems. Insufficient sleep can increase risk of becoming ill and slows the healing of injuries, it can reduce concentration and memory recall, as well as impacting mood regulation making it more likely that people feel anxious stressed or low.

There are some simple changes that can help maintain a good sleep pattern. Developing a bedtime routine is one way to improve the quantity and quality of sleep. Things to avoid just before bed include: strenuous exercise, caffeine, large meals, and screen time. Instead, try to do gentle relaxing activities e.g. reading/meditation, taking a warm shower/bath, and enjoying a hot drink. By sticking to a bedtime routine it helps train the brain to become more relaxed and ready to sleep at night. Sticking to the same sleeping and waking hours each day is also important and avoiding taking naps during the day will positively impact your sleep pattern too.

See the great advice on sleep foundation website.

Can you see on this picture what could be stopping you from sleeping ??

 Teen sleep room

8 ways to sleep well

A good night's sleep is vital for your wellbeing and health. Sleep helps to keep your brain in tip-top shape.

Try the following tips to help:

1) Sleep-friendly bedroom

Have a bedroom that is uncluttered, dark and not too hot 

2) Get Regular

Keep regular sleeping hours, then you'll programme your brain and internal body clock into a set routine.

3) No caffeine

Try not to have caffeine after noon, this gives it chance to leave your system  before bed time

4) Get active

Regular exercise will tire you out, release tension and help you to sleep better

5) Switch off

The blue light from screens is a major sleep disruptor- switch off at least an hour before bed, this gives your brain a chance to wind down.

6) Relax

Relax before going to bed, warm bath, dim the lights,quiet music


Tackle tomorrow

Write a list of things to be tackled the next day to help your brain switch off

8) And breathe....

Breathe in for four seconds, holding for four then out for four to slow your heart rate and quieten your brain activity.

Top tips on help with sleep can be found on this leaflet HERE!

Suggestions for Parents and Carers 

We suggest you take a look at this website as at the Sleep Charity they know that there are so many different factors which can affect children’s sleep and they have provided a range of resources and information:

Home - The Sleep Charity

Children - The Sleep Charity

Mental Health Foundation logoThe Mental Health Foundation has information on how to sleep better, looking at 4 key factors that affect how we sleep: Health, Environment, Attitude and Lifestyle.  


Also, see this Public Health Matters blog by Public Health England on Mental Health and Sleep in teenagers and the MindEd free online training on sleep in teenagers.


If you are being bullied the most important thing is to tell an adult you trust about it.
This could be your parents, a teacher or a youth worker.

Bullying can be face to face or by phone, texting, whatsapp, email, letters, notes or in internet chat rooms.

What is bullying?

Bullying is when someone keeps trying to hurt or make fun of you.

Bullying is usually….

  • deliberately hurtful behaviour
  • something that is repeated over time

Bullying can be ….

  • Physical – Hitting, kicking, taking things
  • Verbal – Name calling, racist comments or jokes, threatening remarks
  • Indirect – Spreading stories about someone, ignoring someone, or getting other people to do the bullying

It may happen for a variety of reasons:

  • People may see it as just a bit of fun
  • They may not have been taught that it is wrong to bully others
  • They are unhappy at school or elsewhere
  • They have been encouraged to bully by their friends
  • They have been bullied in the past
  • Racial prejudice
Cyber bullying can be:
  • Hurtful emails or text messages
  • Picture or video clip bullying using mobile phone cameras which can make you feel embarrassed or threatened
  • Instant messaging used to bully, frighten or make fun of someone
  • Chat room bullying
How can I keep clear of cyber bullies?
  • Be careful who you give your mobile number or email address to
  • Never reply to emails that make you feel uncomfortable
  • Leave the chat room if anything makes you feel uncomfortable
  • If you have a page on a social networking site like Facebook, MSN, Myspace or Bebo make sure you understand all of the privacy and security settings and use them
What can I do if I get bullied?
  • Tell someone you trust – a parent/friend/teacher/youth worker/personal adviser
  • Write down exactly when the threatening message was sent or call made
  • Keep emails and texts as evidence
  • Contact your phone company or internet provider to find out how they can help you
Gang bullying

If you’re being bullied by a gang you need to tell an adult who can do something about it.  This could be your parents, teachers, youth workers or if the bullying is threatening your safety…..the Police

It’s often hard to get through to people in a gang so you could try getting the weakest member alone and ask why you are being bullied…..

  • Ask them how they would like being treated as badly as you are
  • Ask why they are joining in
  • Say you know that they are really not cruel underneath – appeal to their good side.
What can I do if I’m being bullied

Kidscape is a charity that aims to stop bullying. Here is some of the advice they give…

Tell a friend what is happening. Ask him or her to help you. It will be harder for the bully to pick on you if you have a friend with you for support.

Try to ignore the bullying or say ‘No’ really firmly, then turn and walk away. Remember, it’s very hard for the bully to go on bullying someone who won’t stand still and take it.

  • Try not to show you’re upset or angry. Bullies love to get a reaction. If you can keep calm and hide your emotions, they might get bored and leave you alone.
  • Don’t fight back, if you can help it. If you fight back, you could make the situation worse, get hurt or be blamed for starting the trouble.
  • If you feel threatened, give the bullies what they want. Property can be replaced – you can’t.

Try and avoid being alone in the places where you know the bully is likely to pick on you. This might mean changing your route to school, or only using the lavatories when other people are there. It’s not fair that you have to do this but it might put the bully off.

Practise ‘walking tall’ in a mirror. Bullies tend to pick on people when they are weak or timid and they often think shy, quiet people make easy targets. If you look positive and confident, the bully will find it harder to identify you as a target.

A good technique for dealing with taunts and insults is to use something called ‘fogging’. When other people make hurtful remarks, don’t argue and try not to become upset. Imagine that you are inside a huge, white fog-bank; the insults are swallowed up by the fog long before they reach you. Nothing touches you.

Reply to taunts with something short and bland; ‘That’s what you think.’ Then walk away. This might seem strange at first but it does work.

Keep a diary about what’s happening. Write down details of the incidents and your feelings. When you do decide to tell someone, a written record of the bullying makes it easier to prove what has been going on.

If you are being bullied by a gang, get the weakest member alone and ask why they are bullying you and how they would like being treated as badly as you are.

Tell your parents or other adults – you need their help. Don’t suffer in silence.

Why do some people bully?

There are lots of different reasons as to why people become bullies. They may be…

  • having family problems
  • being bullied themselves
  • being selfish or spoilt and always want to get their own way
  • having no friends and feel lonely
  • feeling bad about themselves and want to make other people feel bad too
  • taking out their own frustration on others
  • feeling insecure and unimportant – bullying gives them power
  • bullied into joining a bully gang and have gone along with things just to keep on the bully’s good side
  • not understanding how bad the people being bullied feel

Bullies use ‘differences’ e.g. ‘wearing glasses’, ‘too good at exams’ and ‘too creative’ as an excuse for their bad behaviour. It’s not the ‘difference’ in the victim that’s the problem – it’s the bullies who have the problem because they may be:

  • Afraid
  • Jealous
  • Envious
  • Cruel
  • Angry
  • Insecure
  • Unhappy
More help with bullying

Organisations that can help you with bullying problems:

This content is reproduced from the Youthoria website with kind permission from the Youthoria team and also Centre 33.

Information for Parents and Carers

It can be very distressing to find out your child is being bullied - the NSPCC have a helpful guide to keeping children safe from bullying and cyberbullying. The guide also has helpful information on what to do if your child is bullying others. There is also lots of information and resources available for teachers on preventing and addressing bullying in schools.The Anti-bullying Alliance also offers training and information for teachers.



                                                   Find out more



Internet safety - Lots of interesting information below on internet safety and also HERE

internet safety

internet safety






Online safety can be a worry for both young people and their parents. Below are some ways of keeping safe on line. Further information can be found on the National online safety website.

Also some further info on our Bullying page.

The excellent website Young Minds has some great information on online safety, protecting your privacy and the pressures of being online, lots of information HERE!

National Online Safety

7 starter

internet safety




Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online?

CEOP is a law enforcement agency and is there to help keep children and young people safe from sexual abuse and grooming online. They help thousands of children and young people every year who have been in a similar situation to you.

They are there to help and give you advice, and you can make a report directly to then if something has happened online which has made you feel unsafe, scared or worried. This might be from someone you know in real life, or someone you have only ever met online.

For further advice or to report something please see HERE!


Worm's-eye View of Woman Holding Balloons

If you need support, help or advice around drugs and alcohol there are a range of local and national services available. See the following links for more information:

If you live in Cambridgeshire (not including Peterborough):

cpftCambridgeshire Child and Adolescent Substance Use Service (CASUS)  provides information, support and specialist treatment for young people under eighteen years of age, living in Cambridgeshire, to address alcohol and or drug use. Confidential information and support is also provided to the families of these young people.

Alcohol and drugs include all prescribed and over the counter medication as well as illegal substances, solvents/volatile substances, and New Psychoactive Substances. This does not include tobacco – for support with tobacco use please contact the appropriate GP or visit

CASUS accept self-referrals. Referrals from parent/carers and professionals for individual work with young people under eighteen are also accepted with the agreement of the young person. Referrals can be made using Early Help Assessment or the CASUS referral form.

Referrals should be sent to CASUS e:, or post to CASUS, Newtown Centre, Nursery Road, Huntingdon, PE29 3RJ.

CASUS welcomes the opportunity to discuss potential referrals prior to the completion of formal documentation. Please call the team on 01480 445316, and the duty practitioner will call you back.

For more information on CASUS and the service they offer, and how to access the service visit: 

You can contact CASUS 9am-5pm Monday to Friday Tel:01480 445316 or e: 

The CASUS referral form can be found HERE.

Change Grow Live - go to homepage

CGL can support you with any concerns, worries or questions you might have about:

  • Prescription medications
  • Alcohol
  • Over the counter medication use
  • Illegal/legal drugs
  • Duel Diagnosis and mental health
  • Steriod use and more

For information and advice for:

 Cambridge- see HERE 

Wisbech - see HERE

Huntington - see HERE

Peterborough HERE

  • CGL service is running, but we have shifted to telephone-based support and appointments unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • We are still taking new referrals.

Tel: 0300 555 0101

National information and support

FrankFRANK provides friendly confidential drugs advice. They have lots of information on their website, but also provide a live chat (2-6pm) and can be contacted by email, text or phone. The website also provides information on what to do in an emergency situation.


Ever worry about your parent's drinking? Drinking problems can affect the whole family, to find out what you can do and how you can speak to people that can help visit Nacoa or call their helpline (0800 358 3456). If you are a friend or professional worried about a child or young person the site also has a range of information that may be able to help.

Further national information can be found at



This is a caring relationship:

  • Being good friends
  • Freedom to do your own thing
  • Time and space to see your friends
  • Having your own interests
  • Knowing your opinions are respected
  • Listening to each other
  • Having fun together
  • Trusting each other
  • Being able to disagree with each other
  • Being able to go at your own pace - including sexuality
  • Making decisions together
  • Being able to talk about it when you have an argument
  • Feeling safe
  • Respecting the decisions if either of you want to end the relationship

This is not a caring relationship:

  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend gets angry when you talk to someone else.
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend is verbally aggressive or physically threatening.
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend calls you names, puts you down, and makes you feel bad.
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend uses force, threats, emotional blackmail, or bargains to make you do things you don’t want to do.
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend threatens to harm any of your family, friend, pets or property.
  • Your boyfriend/girlfriend posts unpleasant or intimately revealing things about you on the internet.

If any of these things are happening to you, you may be in an abusive relationship.

Relationship abuse is not a one off event. It is a cycle and usually gets worse if nothing is done to stop it.

It is not your fault - abusers are responsible for their behaviour. If you are in an abusive relationship the best thing you can do is to end it. This may be tough and you may need help.

  • Find support from the people who care about you
  • Contact one of the support agencies listed below
  • Go out in groups (not alone) for a while
  • Carry a mobile phone or phone card and phone numbers of people or organisations who can offer support
  • Carry money
  • Make sure you can always get home safely
  • Speak to an adult you trust or one of the organisations below for support.


Where to go for help?

If you are in immediate danger call the police on 999

Centre 33
- a free, confidential service offering young people information and support on any issue.

Centre 33, 33 Clarendon Street , Cambridge CB1 1JX Tel:  01223 316448 Open Monday and Tuesday 10 am – 5 pm, Wednesday 12-5 pm Friday & Saturday 10 am – 1.30 pm

Disrespect Nobody - provides information and advice on what healthy and unhealthy relationships are. 

The Hideout - a website created by Women's Aid to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if it's happening to you.

Love Respect - a website created by Women's Aid to provide information and advice on healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Fearless - provides support and a way of reporting issues such as violence, cybercrime and sexual assault/abuse.

The Kite Trust - a service providing information and support for LGBT+ people in Cambridgeshire under the age of 25.

Childline - Helpline 0800 11 11. Councillors can talk to you about any problem if you are 18 or younger.

Cambridge Rape Crisis - Sexual violence helpline for women and men 01223 245888.

The Mix - A young people's website which includes information and support on healthy relationships.

Embrace - Provides support for children and young people who have been a victim of crime (including violence and abuse).


Most people with Tourette Syndrome (TS) are diagnosed as children or teenagers. Children generally start to tic between ages five and seven, but they can start as young as three years old.

Tourette Syndrome is an inherited, neurological condition, the key features of which are tics, involuntary and uncontrollable sounds and movements.

CHUMS have some good information on Tics and Tourettes it gives information on what it is and how it can be managed. There is also some useful tips for parents.

Tourettes Action

Tourettes action offers some great advice for young people .

Taylorfitch website