Here are some options you can explore to find  counselling and psychological support near you.

Youth Counselling Services: Based in your local area, sometimes run by the local authority or by a charity. These vary across the country and in the age group that can access the service. Some will go up to 24 years, others up to 18 or 19 years. Quite often young people can refer themselves.

School Counselling Services: Based at the school attended. These are well developed in Wales and Northern Ireland. There is more patchy provision in schools in England and Scotland.

College or University Student Support Service: Based at the college or university attended. It can sometimes be a quicker route to support than through the GP. 

Counselling or psychological support connected to a particular issue: Your local Council usually lists local agencies that provide counselling on their website, alternatively ask at the library. Common types of services found are Youth Counselling, Drug and Alcohol Counselling and Bereavement Counselling. Some Local MIND Associations might provide counselling for general emotional/mental health issues. These services may be free and others might ask for a donation towards counselling, but this is usually on a sliding scale dependent upon income. The counselling could be time limited and there may be a waiting list.

 Youth Access: is the national membership organisation for young people’s information, advice, counselling and support services (YIACS). They have a search facility on their website to look for local services for children 12- 25 years.

The Mix: offers free confidential help and support for under 25 year olds + has a telephone counselling service.  Helpline: 0808 808 4994 (4-11pm every day) + online chat + crisis messenger

Young Minds: is a charity focusing on the emotional and mental wellbeing of young people. They have information for young people and parents.

 Kooth: this is an online counselling service that some Health and Local Authorities use to provide support to young people in some parts of the country. Check the website for areas covered.

Via your GP for under 18’s: The Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Service (CYP IAPT) in England has started to be rolled out to provide help, especially with anxiety and depression. Different arrangements are in place for Scotland.  Wales and Northern Ireland have a more fully developed counselling service based in schools. Ask your GP about the options available where you live.

Your GP can also refer to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).  There is often a waiting list for assessment plus there might also be service access criteria based on severity of difficulties experienced.

Via your GP  for 18’s and over: Your GP should be able to refer you to the local Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Service. These have been developed for adults in England and are particularly for people experiencing depression and anxiety. Support may be time limited with a waiting list.

Search for your local IAPT Service online here:

Other arrangements are in place for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ask your GP wherever you live to find out what the options are for support. For more persistent or severe mental health issues your GP can also refer you for assessment by your local Adult Mental Health Service.

Via the hospital attended for your heart condition: Your specialist nurse should be able to advise what the possibilities are. The service available varies widely between units for both those under and over 18 years of age. Any support offered is often from the psychology department. A few units also offer counselling.

Private counselling and therapy: If you are able to pay there are many counsellors and psychotherapists that work privately. Costs are usually from £40 upwards an hour. It is important to check out that the counsellor/therapist is properly qualified.

Creative Arts Therapies: Art, drama, music and dance therapy can assist young people to communicate and express themselves. They offer valuable support exploring feelings and concerns, especially when it’s hard to ‘find the words’. Some CAMHS and other NHS services may have access. Check with each discipline’s Governing Associations to find creative arts therapists in your area.

Further Information:

MIND has  online leaflets describing the different types of Counselling and Talking Therapies + more about Art and Creative Therapies.