Building resilience and mental health

It’s how we cope that’s important

Resilience is important because it is part of achieving good health and wellbeing for young people. It is often described as supporting young people to bounce back from the difficulties and challenges life can throw at them.

Many young people experience a wide range of challenges to their wellbeing. Some issues are very serious, such as abuse and neglect, but young people also have to be resilient in the face of more ordinary everyday pressures such as family disruption, academic stress and pressures from social media. Obviously, times of change, such as starting a new school or college will involve a certain amount of stress. They will be meeting new people, they may be moving to a new home. They may be worried about how they will cope with academic challenges or be stressed about making new relationships.

There are many pressures which may affect how resilient they are. These issues may relate directly to them, or could be something affecting a friend, family member or someone they know and this may still have a significant impact on them. Pressures may include:

  • Feeling under pressure to succeed academically.

  • Mental health issues.

  • Substance misuse or addiction.

  • Family responsibilities, including being a carer.

  • Bullying.

  • Social media issues.

  • Relationship stresses.

  • Pressures on body image and self-esteem.

  • Financial issues.

If they are at a point in their life when their resilience is low, they may be more likely to respond to stress by developing unhealthy habits. If stress isn’t managed it is more likely to lead to conditions such as anxiety and depression so it’s really important to get help early on. They can access support to build their resilience at school by speaking to their school nurse, teacher or tutor.

Visiting their school nurse or GP is also important if they need support. They can refer them for counselling and to other health professionals or services.

Counsellors have a key role to play in building resilience and supporting young people to develop their understanding of themselves and the world around them.


Young Minds
Parent Helpline 0808 802 5544

01708 765200

Freephone 116 123


The Mix - Essential support for under 25s
The Mix: 0808 808 4994 - Free information and support for under 25s in the UK. Get advice about sex, relationships, drugs, mental health, money & jobs.

Emotional support for children and young people on issues relating to child abuse, bullying etc.
0800 1111

PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide)
National Confidential Helpline - HOPELineUK 0800 068 41 41
(Mon-Fri 10am to 10pm; Weekends 2pm to 10pm; Bank Holidays 2pm to 5pm)

Bereavement Support Hope Again
A website for young people who have been bereaved.
Cruse bereavement care

Sutton Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Jump Start
Jump Start is a free, confidential service, offering counselling to young people in Sutton.

Off the record
Face-to-face Counselling for young people in Sutton.

Skyline - Sutton Youth
SkyLine is a free and friendly online counselling service for young people in Sutton

School Nurse
020 8770 5409

Useful downloads