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Children and Young People

Health, Wellbeing and Safety

Worried for yourself or a friend? Call the MASH team 0161 770 7777

This page contains information, advice and links to help and support you on a nuber of issues including Eating Issues, Healthy Relationships, Self-Harming, Suicide, Bereavement and Staying Safe.

Eating Issues

Worries about weight, shape and eating are common, especially among young girls. Being very overweight or obese can cause a lot of problems, particularly with health. Quite often, someone who is overweight can lose weight simply by eating more healthily. It sounds easy, but they may need help to find a way of doing this. Young Minds have a good guide to healthy eating and looking after your body.

A lot of young people, many of whom are not overweight in the first place, want to be thinner and become very focused on their weight and shape.  Sometimes this wish to be thin, or assuming that all thin people are happy, can lead to some dangerous thinking and behaviour when it comes to food. Some people go on a diet, which means they start eating less food — and sometimes dieting can get out of control.

Some kids at school might start competing about how little they have eaten that day. Some brag about not being hungry or not needing to eat. But this can be the start of unhealthy eating problems and disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. See Kids Health  for more help and advice

If you're worried about anorexia, you're not alone. Around 1 in 100 young people aged between 10 and 20 suffer from anorexia each year. It can be very difficult to accept that you have a problem, but when you do, there are lots of people who can help. Start by visiting Young Minds

Eating disorders can start for lots of reasons and help is available and guides to eating a healthy diet and looking after yourself can be found from the links given.

Healthy Relationships

Sex and sexuality are important parts of everyone's make-up, and sexual behaviour starts at a very early age. As children get older, the way they behave and express these feelings changes and they move through different, and normal, phases.

Consent

Consent means agreeing to so something. When it comes to sex, this means someone agreeing to take part in a sexual activity.

Many young people are unclear that consent is something that needs to be sought and given even in an intimate relationship.

It is very important that teenagers understand that both people in a sexual relationship must agree to it and can change their mind and withdraw at any time if they want to stop. You need to understand that consent is not just about saying 'yes' or ‘no’; many of the signs that a person is uncomfortable with something are non-verbal and it is important that teenagers look out for these signs. Such as someone turning away from you, looking frightened or nervous, tensing up and pushing you away etc. 

Sexual consent is something that has to be ‘got’ (received) as well as ‘given’.

If someone is drunk, drugged, un-conscious, or has been threatened or bullied then they cannot consent to sexual contact or activity, and sex without consent is rape. A Consent video can be seen on Youtube.

If someone forces you to do something you do not want to do of a sexual nature, it is never your fault and it is not OK. You should speak to someone you trust if this has happened to you, so you can get help and support. Try the MASH team on 0161 770 7777.

 The age of sexual consent in the UK is 16, so sex with any boy or girl under 16 is unlawful whether or not both people have given their consent. A child under the age of 13 cannot consent to sex.

A Healthy Relationship

  • In a healthy relationship you should:-Listen to each other
  • Make decisions together
  • Be good friends
  • Have fun together
  • Talk it through when you have an argument
  • Have freedom to do your own thing and spend time with your own friends

An Unhealthy Relationship

You are in an unhealthy relationship if the following occurs within that relationship:

  • One person controls the other
  • One person getting angry and jealous all the time
  • Threats made to harm you, your family, your friends, pets or property
  • Calling you names and putting you down all the time to make you feel bad
  • Not letting you spend any time with your friends
  • Telling you what to wear and do
  • Posting private, untrue, or unpleasant things about you on the internet / sending them on mobiles

Help and Advice About Relationships

If you are experiencing a lot of the things in the 'unhealthy relationships' list, then it's important you tell someone about it, some one you trust or ring one of the helplines given on the links on this page.

There is lots of help, advice and support available at

Brook Oldham Opening : Mon-Fri 10.00am - 5.30pm (Appointments and Drop In) Sat 12.00pm - 01.00pm Drop In (Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays)

Address : Positive Steps, Medtia Place, 80 Union Street, Oldham, OL1 1DJ.  Freephone : 0800 988 2209

Self-Harming

Self-harm can be really hard to understand but it is a lot more common than some people think. Between one in 12 and 1 in 15 people self-harm.

Self-harming is when a young person chooses to inflict pain on themselves in some way. If you are self-harming, you may be cutting or burning yourself, biting your nails excessively, developing an eating disorder or taking an overdose of tablets. It can also include taking drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol. It is usually a sign that something is wrong. If your friend is self harming tell someone you trust, a parent or a teacher.

You may self-harm if you are feeling anxious, depressed or stressed or if you are being bullied and feel that you do not have a support network or way to deal with your problems. The issues then ‘build up’ to the point where you feel like you are going to explode. Young people who self-harm often talk about the ‘release’ that they feel after they have self-harmed, as they use it as a mechanism to cope with their problems.

Often people who self-harm are doing so because they are experiencing a mental health problem such as depression or anxiety or have numerous problems so getting help to deal with some of these underlying issues is often key to overcoming or managing self-harm.

Self-harming is very dangerous. It is a definite sign that you have an underlying problem, but if it got out of hand, you could risk killing yourself, maybe accidentally. In an emergency call 999.

You need to get help as soon as possible. For more information on Self Harm go to National Self Harm Network or Young Minds (CAMHS)

Getting help

If you are self-harming, there is help available and it is important to get the support you need.

Many young people who self-harm do so privately away from other people and do not want to talk to other people about it, sometimes for fear of how people will react, thinking that they might not understand. If you can talk to someone, this may help how you are feeling.

Self harming is a sign that you are trying to cope with very difficult feelings, and probably need some help. Self-injury can also lead to infection, permanent damage and even accidental death. Talk to someone, your parents, grandparents, auntie/uncle or other relative, a friend, a parents' friend, a brother or sister, a mentor or the school nurse, a teacher or youth worker.

If you don’t feel like you can confide in anyone, then go and talk to your GP and seek medical help.

Your GP may refer you to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), visit their website for help and support or you may be able to refer yourself to .

Start by visiting

Suicide

About Suicidal Feelings

Things to remember:

  • suicidal thoughts and feelings can be brought on by lots of different things
  • things can get better
  • tell someone about how you feel
  • Childline counsellors are here to help you anytime, day or night. Click on the link or call 0800 1111

Nearly everyone has times when they feel very down and can’t see a way out, but for a few these feelings are so deep and intense they may lead to attempts to end their life. A very depressed person can feel so intensely negative about life they cannot see the point in carrying on.

Due to the number of changes you or your friend are going through, both hormonally and in life, can leave you particularly vulnerable to feeling suicidal.

You can feel very scared of the future, anxious about your career and academic pressures, overwhelmed by worries about personal relationships and sexuality, and you can feel pressurised by peers into risky behaviour, including drug and alcohol abuse.

Young people who lack support and the practical experience to solve problems can sometimes feel no-one will be able to help them and that killing themselves is the best way out. Its not! Call 0800 1111.

Getting help

Tell someone! Talk to someone! Click on the links in this section or call any of the numbers for a free confidential talk to someone who can help!

Call HOPELineUK 0800 068 41 41

Call -

  • Childline call 0800 1111
  • HOPELineUK 0800 068 41 41

Bereavement

For many children and young people the death of a parent, carer, sibling or grandparent is an experience they are faced with early in life.

The death of someone close to a child may lead to a whole range of emotions, including being sad, depressed, anxious and angry.

Most children will be able to grieve and over time come to terms with their loss, supported by family and friends.

However, others will find life in general hard to cope with, may become anxious about their own health or that of others, and can find it hard to move on. They may not realise themselves what is causing their worries and might find it hard to talk about.

Other Children and Young People who have suffered bereavement have put togther some ideas and thoughts of how to cope: 

  • Get creative. Write a poem or letter to your loved one who has died. Keep a diary of how you are feeling so that you can pour your feelings on to the page.
  • Make a memory box. Gather together letters, badges, photographs, and keepsakes you have from your loved one and put them in to a special memory box that you can reopen and reminisce over when you need to.
  • Try to focus on some of the good times you and your loved one shared together.
  • Remember that people react to loss in different ways.
  • Talk to people; don’t let your hurt grow until you break down.
  • Just take one day at a time.
  • Visit the grave if you are ready to. It might make you feel closer to your loved one.
  • It is OK to feel sad, angry and scared and to cry. It is also OK to feel happy and enjoy things.
  • It is OK if the loved one you have lost is not in your thoughts all the time.
  • Hug those loved ones who are still here.
  • Remember that you are not alone and that help is out there if you need it.
  • Bereavement can seem to last forever, but it does get easier with time.
  • There is lots of help and support out there for bereaved kids of all ages

    • Hope Again - a dedicated website called  for children and young people who have lost someone close
    • Hope Again self harm and suicide has help if you feel you can't cope and feel like self harming or suicide after bereavement. You can call Hope Again during the day on 0808 808 1677
    • Winston's Wish
    • Young Minds
    • Childline anytime on 0800 1111 where counsellors now how to help you. 

    • If you are worried about someone or a group are making you feel uncomfortable, try to get to a place you feel safe – your house, a friend or family members house, a shop. if you become scared ring 999.
    • When working a paper round, if strangers invite you into their homes or offer you a lift, politely refuse and move on quickly.

    • Wherever you are, be aware of how to make an emergency telephone call and the quickest way out.

    Road Safety  schoolsign

    • Stop

    • Find the safest place to cross then stop.
    • Stand on the pavement near the kerb or the edge if there is no kerb.
    • Look

    • Give yourself lots of time to have a good look all around.
    • Make sure you can see if anything is coming and drivers can see you.
    • Listen

    • Listen carefully because you can sometimes hear traffic before you can see it.
    • Never cross the road whilst chatting to people, listening to your iPod or talking on your mobile phone.
    When it is safe to cross, walk straight across the road. Do not walk diagonally. Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross.
    • Think for a choice of 'Tales of the Road' videos on road safety.

    Fire Safety

    Here are some handy hints on how you and your family can stay safe from fire

    • Test your smoke alarm regularly to make sure it works – it’s your early warning system against fire. Why not set a day every month? It’s also a great idea to change the batteries in your alarm every year
    • Try to charge your devices during the day when you can keep an eye on them. If your phone is charging overnight, what happens if something goes pop? Also, make sure that if you are not using a device, turn it off at the plug!
    • Have an escape plan. Why not help your family come up with a plan on how to get out of the house safely if there is a fire. Where are your exits and could you get out of them?

    For up-to-date information, help and news about relevent issues visit the Child Accident Prevention Trust

    Worried about a Child - Call the MASH team 0161 770 7777