Local options for mental health support for under 16s

Check with child’s school first

Many schools offer emotional support for their students, and this varies across the local area. They can connect you into other support options such as these below. The school’s SENCO department should be able to advise what is on offer.

Mental Health Support Team

www.directory.wokingham.gov.uk – Mental Health Support Team (MHST) – supporting children and young people

Team of therapists who work across several local schools – use the link to see if your school is included. Parents/schools can refer on the child’s behalf. This is often the quickest way to access mental health support for young people with mild to moderate mental health difficulties.

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)

Berkshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – Referral Criteria

Mental health support for severe mental health difficulties for under 18s. Parents can refer online. Referrals will be sent to Hub for triage then allocated to the appropriate pathway. Please note that there is a considerable wait time currently (approx. 2 years) unless student has high levels of risk (suicidal thoughts/self-harm). Please do notify CAMHS of any changes in risk as this may affect how quickly they can be seen.

Free youth Counselling options

No 5 (Reading based)

For 11-25 year olds. Website: www.no5.org.uk – Young People – currently approx. 7-8 month wait time with 20 session limit, although it could be sooner. They also offer counselling for parents as well.

ARC (Wokingham based)

Website: www.arcweb.org.uk/youth-counselling – currently 6 month wait time with 6 session limit

Online Counselling support


Website: www.kooth.com – free online support and counselling, diary and goal setting section, and online forums

The Mix

www.themix.org.uk/get-support – Website for under 25s, has webchat, crisis support and short-term counselling, lots of mental health related articles and app recommendations

Private therapy

You can search for private, accredited therapists on the professional registers such as these below:

Charlie Waller resources

Website: www.charliewaller.org/resources

Free guides to download for parents and young people interested in supporting children’s wellbeing e.g. supporting your teen through GCSEs

Peer support

Try Kooth’s online support, or maybe encourage them to try a new activity or join a new club? Socialising can help give a sense of belonging, build confidence, and often helps reduce anxiety and lift low mood. Perhaps a regular walk with a family member or friend could offer them space to speak or focus on positives in their day?

Self-harm / suicidal thoughts support

For urgent support please contact CAMHS 0300 365 1234 09:00-17:00 Monday to Friday.

After 17:00 and during weekends please contact the main Crisis Team on 0300 365 9999.

Other services that can support the young person with these types of thoughts:


Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: jo@samaritans.org for a reply within 24 hours. Can also use webchat or send a letter.

Young Minds Parents helpline

You can call for free on 0808 802 5544 from 09:30 – 16:00, Monday – Friday.

Young Minds Crisis Messenger

Text YM to 85258 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 EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

Self-Injury Support webchat (for women and girls)

Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 19:00 to 21:30.


If you are in distress and need support, you can ring Childline for free on 0800 1111. The line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide up to 35)

For confidential suicide prevention advice contact their HOPELINEUK number (parents and children) Call: 0800 068 4141, text: 07860 039967 or email: pat@papyrus-uk.org

Opening hours: 10:00 – 22:00 weekdays, 14:00 – 22:00 weekends, 14:00 – 22:00 bank holidays.