For schools, NHS staff, workers in the community, commissioners and youth workers Characteristics of someone to turn to when talking about mental health

What do young people think makes an adult someone they can rely on when talking about their mental health? These resources provide information and practical tools on becoming a trusted adult that young people can turn to.

Practical tools for support
Schools, Community support, NHS staff and commissioners, Youth workers

This resource covers:

Information and advice on the different characteristics of what can make a young person see an adult as trusted.

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We asked young people to share their thoughts and experiences of what makes an adult someone they can turn to when they're struggling with their mental health. 

Someone who is really open-minded and doesn’t come into a conversation with a young person with any preconceived ideas about what they’ve experienced and why they are feeling a certain way.

It’s somebody that doesn’t try to fix the young person rather than fix the feelings they’re going through, just supports them instead to help them feel better.

They need to be trustworthy, caring, they need to be support and make sure they have your back. They need to make sure they have a positive influence on you because you look up to them.

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What makes an adult someone to turn about your mental health?

  • Open-minded

    They are reflective, considerate and have good knowledge of the young person.

  • Patient

    They are patient and know when to listen.

  • Comforting

    They are comforting with a calm tone of voice and have the ability to manage their own reactions.

  • Observant

    They notice the young person.

  • Reliable

    They are honest with clear boundaries.

  • Supportive

    They are supportive and hold the emotions safely for the young person.

  • Big-hearted

    They are big-hearted with empathy, connection, and a sense of calm.

  • Committed

    They stand alongside the young person.

Supporting young people in your community

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Whether you work at a youth club, coach a sports team, or run extra-curricular activities outside of school, we know the positive and crucial role you play in the lives of young people but understand you may often feel under-equipped to support them.

We have lots of new information, tips, and advice to help you feel prepared to support young people in your community.

Find out more

Mental health training

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Our training courses are designed to build your understanding of key mental health issues and give you the confidence to make a difference in young people's lives.

Take a look at our courses and see how our expert trainers can give you the practical skills to support young people in the community.

Find out more about our training

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Please be aware that this form isn’t a mental health support service. If you or a young person you work with is in crisis right now and wants to talk to someone urgently, find out who to contact on our urgent help page.

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