It is a painful fact that many children and young people in Britain today are experiencing emotional and mental health problems, alone and in silence.  

Right now, in the UK, one in ten young people is experiencing a mental health problem. 

Vulnerable children and young people suffering extreme hardship, abuse and neglect are at a high  risk of developing long term mental health problems. This includes children and young people who run away from home, those who are being sexually exploited and young refugees. 

These young people often find it extremely difficult to get the right specialist help. They struggle to get help from the NHS or don’t engage well with this type of clinical support. Left unaddressed, mental health problems can severely limit the life chances of young people, unless they get the support and care that they need.

This is what happens when the needs of children and young people are ignored. This is what happens when their voices go unheard. How much more must they endure before they are heard? What will it take for us to act?

It’s time to make a new promise to children: a promise to protect them, to help them grow, and to listen when things go wrong.

When they have nowhere left to turn

The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services to support children and young people who are at risk of exploitation or harm, living in care, or let down by the systems meant to protect them. They come to us when they are at their most vulnerable and facing a crisis that can impact on their mental health. 

At their moment of crisis we are with them every step of the way, until they’re ready to share their experiences, often for the first time. By offering therapeutic support, befriending, counselling or advice in our services, we get to the heart of their problem, start to repair the damage, and help them get the services they need. Across the country, we’re helping many children and young people experiencing mental health problems through services run by our staff and volunteers. We want to grow our mental health support by working with more NHS partners. 

We also campaign with, and on behalf of children and young people, who are experiencing mental health problems to make sure they get long term support. We speak out on behalf of vulnerable groups, such as those living in care or those turning 16, who are most at risk of missing out on the mental health support they need. We have been producing groundbreaking research on children’s emotional well-being and what makes a good childhood for a decade. You can read more about our wide-ranging recommendations to improve access to mental health services for vulnerable young people in Access Denied, our first policy report on young people’s mental health.

Show children you’re on their side

Our supporters – hundreds of thousands of people around the country – share our outrage about what is happening to children in this country and the impact this can have on their mental health. Like us, they believe no child should ever have to suffer mental health problems in silence. So they fund our services, volunteer with us, and join our campaigns to show children and young people they are on their side. 

Together, we’re making a real and positive difference.

We’re asking you to join our cause and show children and young people you’re with them. With your support, and with help from our partners and volunteers, we can change the lives of many, many more children. 

Read more about what you can do to help.