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When to seek professional help

There is a difference between feeling a bit low from time to time and a serious emotional health problem. If your child is feeling unhappy and low for a prolonged period of time, it's time to seek more professional help.

Any professional working with children and young people should know what to do. For example, if you approach a teacher for help, the teacher might deal with the problem with the help of a school counsellor or welfare worker. 

If the problem is more complex, the professional you initially approached may suggest getting help from colleagues with more specialist training.

A GP might refer a parent of a child with behaviour problems to a local parenting programme, or a young person who is depressed might be referred to specialist emotional health services, known as CAMHS - child and adolescent mental health services.

If you’re worried about your child, you can visit your GP or go online for information at

You can also speak to Hertfordshire CAMHS’ mental health helpline on 0300 777 0707 from 8am-7pm or 01438 843322 from 5pm-8am.

Young people aged 10-25 in Hertfordshire can get free online counselling support at and the Samaritans helpline is 116 123.

In an emergency, dial 999.