Image of teenagers taking a selfie and smiling at the camera

Relationships and friendships

Friendships or relationships might change if…

  • Someone moves away
  • If there’s a falling out or disagreement
  • If you grow up and start to like new things
  • You don’t see that person very often
  • If another person joins the group
  • If something bad happens to someone
  • If someone loses a person they love
  • You start to view someone differently


Ways to manage changing friendships

  • Try to accept that friendships do change and this is okay.
  • Try to remember both the good and not so good things about your friend - nobody is perfect!
  • Remember that you might have changed too.
  • Don’t assume that they will still like the same things - ask them!
  • Be honest – if something isn’t working for you, tell them and remember most friendships have ups and downs.


5 reasons why it’s okay to break friendships off

  1. People change: A big difference in adulthood is about choosing who you surround yourself with; you don’t just need to befriend people because they’re in the same class as you.
  2. Or, people don’t change: As you learn more and get older, you will build up your particular beliefs and ways of thinking. Sometimes friends don’t grow up in the same way as you, or may not seem to have grown up at all.
  3. You have new priorities: You will have more on your plate as your studies increase and you take on more commitments. You might have to prioritise who you spend your time with.
  4. Toxic friendships: Some friendships can turn sour, particularly if there is jealousy involved or peer pressure to behave in a certain way. You deserve friends who support you and make you feel valued; if this isn’t the case, it may not be worth the time.
  5. You have enough friends already: It’s okay to have different kinds of friends, and if you develop new ones, you might not feel the need to maintain the old ones. Try to prioritise friendships that bring out the best in you, but also be aware that sometimes your friend might really need you to be there for them.

Tips on how to make friends

Be approachable

  • SMILE. Nobody is going to think you’re silly for smiling, even at people you don’t know. Try to hold your head up and make eye contact with people rather than look at the floor. This can be hard if you’re shy, so every time you manage it, give yourself a virtual high 5!
  • ASK A QUESTION. It’s good to introduce yourself and tell people a bit about yourself, but asking questions about others can help them feel like you’re interested in them. You can also ask questions about the school/college or compliment someone and turn it into a question.

Getting involved

  • Make the first move - since you’re new, people are more likely to be curious about you.
  • Join after school activities - it’s usually easier to make friends with others who have similar interests as you. A new school is a chance to reinvent yourself, so don’t be afraid to try new things.
  • Try to sit in the middle of the classroom - You’ll have more chance to make conversation with people and are more likely to be paired up with a variety of people for group work.

Tips to help

Looking after yourself

Sometimes when people have mental health problems they might forget or lack energy to take proper care of themselves. It is still important despite feeling low to maintain a healthy diet and get the right amount of sleep! Exercise has also been found to improve mood!


Talk to someone about how you are feeling

It can be really easy to isolate yourself from other people and spend more time on your own with your thoughts. It might feel like the easier thing to do, but we know that sharing your thoughts and feelings helps relieve some of those feelings and make things feel a little better.

You could talk to a family member or close friend about how you are feeling – having someone to listen really does help!


Other people you can talk to

If you don’t feel like talking to someone you know you could always try reaching out on the below sites who can offer chat services or more information.

Young Minds  A really good website with expert articles, advice and blogs and a crisis text-line.

Self-care tips for young people. Watch these videos on dealing with unhelpful thoughts, sleep, social media, anxiety, exercise and more

Happy Maps have produced reliable resources recommended by Parents and Professionals. 

BESTIE is an exciting, interactive online platform, designed to help young people to find out more about emotional wellbeing and mental health and to get the right help when they need it.

Here2Help will provide support for people of all ages and is available for both residents and organisations to access information, advice, tools, guidance and local support available to them or others in the local community based on their needs.

Worcestershire Young Carers provides  a wide variety of  mainly community focused support for people and are often described as the ‘glue’ between those at risk of social isolation and the wider mainstream society.

Herefordshire Young Carers Club provides support and respite for children and young adults who are caring for a family member with an illness, disability, mental health issue or problem with drugs or alcohol. 

Barnardos protect, support and nurture the UK's most vulnerable children




Useful Apps:

  • Headspace
  • SAM
  • Breathe

Need to talk to someone?

If you are a child or young person and need some mental health support please talk to someone about how you are feeling. If you don’t feel you can talk to a family member or someone at school, consider some of the helplines or text support below. You are not alone. 

Support from the NHS

The wellbeing and emotional support teams in schools service is designed to help children and young people ages 5-18 years access mental health and wellbeing support early on in educational settings. It's all about ensuring children and young people can get access to the right help as early as possible.

The Reach4Wellbeing team supports and promotes the emotional wellbeing of young people and parents of primary school age children through interactive online group programmes, using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) principles.

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Talking Therapies is open to young people aged 16 and over. They provide a range of support, including online therapy, groups and courses and 1:1 support. The team can also help you find and access a variety of groups, courses and activities delivered by voluntary, charity and social enterprise providers that can support your physical and mental wellbeing. You can self-refer online in your own time and you don't need to go to your doctor/GP first.

Other helpful links

Kooth is a really good website which offers online counselling and support by text, e-mail or by chatting on the forum for ages 10-18 years.

The Blues Programme  is an internationally acclaimed wellbeing programme for young people aged 13-19. Over six weeks, it teaches emotional resilience, and reduces low mood and anxious thoughts. Crucially, it gets teenagers talking.

Worcestershire ChatHealth is a service where 11-19 years olds can text 07507331750 to speak to their School Health Nurse for confidential advice and support around a variety of issues, including bullying, emotional health, relationship problems, alcohol and drugs.

YoungMinds Textline offers you free, 24/7 text messaging support wherever you are in the UK. If you need someone to talk to about how you’re feeling, text YM to 85258.

Worrying thoughts

Other worrying symptoms might include hearing voices, feelings of unreality, becoming very angry or violent, showing signs of an eating disorder or becoming very withdrawn. If you are a young person experiencing such thoughts, please talk to someone about how you are feeling and if you don’t feel you can talk to a family member, consider some of the helplines or text support. You are not alone. 

Suicidal thoughts

If you are expressing suicidal thoughts or feeling like you wish to harm yourself or someone else, you should speak to a medical professional as soon as possible. Many people express suicidal thoughts because they are feeling overwhelmed and may not really want to act on them, but it is still very frightening. If you need help in an emergency phone 999.

Need help quickly?

If you have taken an overdose or self-harmed and you are concerned that the cuts are very deep or there is serious blood loss go to A&E or call 999. 

Emergency help and helplines

Herefordshire and Worcestershire 24 hour urgent mental health helpline. 

Whether you feel your mental health problems have become much worse or are experiencing problems for the first time, you may need help quickly. You can phone the mental health helpline for urgent advice: 0808 196 9127 (free phone 24 hrs a day 365 days a year)

The team will offer advice, support and, if required, an assessment to understand how you are feeling. When calling the number, you can expect to speak to Mental Health Advisors and/or trained Mental Health Clinicians who will be able to listen to your concerns and help make appropriate plans with you to support you.

This service is available for people of all ages, and accessible to friends and family of someone in distress too.

If you just need to talk, any time of day or night

These services offer confidential advice from trained volunteers. You can talk about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult:

Alternative local support

  • Worcestershire Safe Haven provides telephone support and face-to-face appointments to Worcestershire residents who are experiencing a mental health crisis. Call 01905 600400 any day of the week between 6pm and midnight for support and signposting.
  • Herefordshire Mind Safe Haven if you find yourself in crisis or need urgent support with your mental health, the Safe Haven is a safe and friendly place that you can come and access mental health support and advice.The Safe Haven telephone and email support service is available every evening, 7 days a week, from 5pm to 10pm; call 01432 372407 or email