Supporting young people through coronavirus pandemic

The pandemic has had an impact on all of us. But young people have been hit very hard – with a rise in those troubled by anxiety, loneliness and social isolation.
young people's mental health Peterborough

Updated 1 July 2021

As well as school, college and university closures and cancelled exams, socialising and friendships have been disrupted and there's still uncertainty about the future.

Even with social restrictions eased, lots of young people are anxious about mixing again and returning to work and "normal" .

All these things have taken a toll and many more young people have been struggling and asking for help from local services.  But on top of existing high demand, there are now big waits.

Tips and advice 

The Public Health England/NHS Every Mind Matters Website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities.

It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them.

It also has self-care videos and information for young people.

Find out more

Top 5 Tips for parents and carers

  1. Be there to listen - Ask the children and young people you look after how they are doing regularly so they get used to speaking about their feelings.
  2. Stay involved in their life - Show interest in their life and the things that are important to them.
  3. Support positive routines - Be a positive role model and support positive behaviours including regular bedtime routines, healthy eating and getting active.
  4. Encourage their interests - Being active, creative, learning things and being a part of a team are all good for mental health. Support children and young people to explore their interests.
  5. Take what they say seriously - Help the children and young people you look after feel valued in what they say and help them work through difficult emotions

Local and national resources and support

Note that face to face services, hubs and groups have had to be suspended and many organisations have had to limit what they can offer.

Chat Health text service 

Confidential health advice for 11-19s in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Topics have ranged from relationships and self harm to bullying, healthy eating, drugs and alcohol. It's run by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Child Programme and is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm. 

07480 635 443 to start a conversation.

Centre 33

Currently offering phone and video call support for young people from 13-25 in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Young person's helpline is open 12-5pm, Monday to Friday and Saturdays 10am to 1 pm. The rest of the time messages and emails will be picked up once a day during the week and someone will get back to you within 48 hours.

 0333 4141809

Text/WhatsApp: 07514 783745

YOUnited Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service

This new service began on 1 July 2021 and replaces the CHUMS service in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

It offers a range of support including therapies, counselling and guided self-help.

YOUnited is a partnership involving Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, Centre 33 and Ormiston Families.

Referrals can be made only by a GP or professional working with those aged up to 25.

But young people aged 17-25 can self-refer via local charity Centre 33.

0333 414 1809

For emotional wellbeing support, 18-25s can self refer to Centre 33 (above) or Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and South Lincolnshire Mind

0300 303 4363

Keep Your Head  

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough website offering emotional and mental health information and resources for children and young people.

Counselling and support

Stop. Breathe.Think.

Up to six free counselling sessions for young people aged 13-21 provided by JHD Counselling thanks to funding from charity Snow-Camp.

CPSL Mind/Qwell

Online wellbeing support and chat-based counselling for anyone aged 18+ from via Qwell, part of CPSL Mind's Good Life Service.


Free, anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform. Open12pm-10pm Monday to Friday and 6pm-10pm Saturday and Sunday.


Mental health and wellbeing helpline for people aged 18+ and living in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 11am - 11pm every day.

Freephone 0808 808 2121. 

The service supports people to manage their wellbeing, provide self-help advice or signpost to other organisations for particular concerns.


Helps anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through.

Monday-Friday 7.30am-3.30am, weekends 9am-3.30am 

Call free on 0800 1111

Young person in a crisis?

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger

Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.

text YM to 85258

  • Shout 

The UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

Text 85258

  • The Samaritans 

Call 116 123 

  • First Response Service

Call 111 – and choose option 2 to talk to specially-trained mental health staff if you are worried about a young person harming themselves or feel they are at serious risk. The service is for anyone, of any age, who is registered with a GP in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough. 

Share your experiences

How have the changes to services due to the coronavirus pandemic affected you? 

We can share what you tell us with the people who are planning the local and national response to coronavirus.

This will help them protect people in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Call 0330 355 1285

Text 0752 0635 176

Share your story

How services are changing because of Covid-19

Read our advice and guidance on coronavirus and find out how services are changing to meet people's needs. 

Find out more