Tips for parents and loved ones

When it comes to young people, they often face various stressors and issues in their lives, such as academic challenges, family problems, social pressures, personal development, financial difficulties, and work-related stress. As parents, family members, friends, or loved ones, you play a crucial role in providing advice and support to them. Your frequent and close interactions with them make you the logical first point of contact in times of need. Moreover, you are often the first to recognize any signs that your loved one is struggling, both academically and personally. This webpage aims to provide you with information that can assist you in helping those who may require mental health services.

Recognizing signs of distress in a loved one can sometimes be obvious, but other times, it may be hidden. Here are some clear and subtle signals to look out for:

– Difficulty concentrating
– Low self-esteem
– Episodes of crying
– Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
– Trouble sleeping
– Fatigue or lack of energy
– Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
– Suicidal thoughts
– Unusual or disruptive behaviour

While these signs and symptoms can indicate that your loved one is in distress, they may not necessarily mean that they have a serious psychological issue, unless there are references to suicide or homicide. However, if you notice a combination of these behaviours persisting for more than a few weeks, it is important to express your concerns to your loved one and consider referring them to mental health services.

Referrals can be made to professionals in the field of mental health, such as counsellors, therapists, teachers, doctors, sports coaches, and others. If you find yourself unable to provide the necessary help to your loved one, it is essential to be aware of available resources for appropriate referrals. Acorn Therapy is a recommended service for professional counselling, and their expertise can assist you in making the right decision. If you have any doubts about Acorn Therapy or would like to seek advice regarding a specific situation, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

In case of an emergency situation where your loved one is in crisis and in immediate need of help, here are some important contacts:

– Call NHS 111 if immediate danger is not present but help is required.

– Contact your GP and request an emergency appointment.

– Reach out to the Samaritans (details provided below).

– Utilize the ‘Shout’ crisis text line by texting SHOUT to 85258.

– Download the “Stay Alive” app, which offers techniques to cope with troubling thoughts and provides support during crises.

– Visit the website, where they provide friendly advice, support, and videos from people who have experienced similar struggles.


Confidentiality is of utmost importance when it comes to counselling. Both I, Denis, and the other therapists I collaborate with adhere to the laws and ethical standards set by the BACP. This means that any information resulting from counselling sessions is treated with strict confidence. Unless an individual provides consent or signs a release of information, no outside parties, including parents, friends, or faculty/staff, will be informed about the individual’s attendance at the counselling agency. Exceptions to confidentiality may arise if there is a clear and immediate danger to self or others, a case of apparent child abuse, or in response to a court order as mandated by British law.