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Mental Health Blog

How to spread more kindness this December

This December, you can help change the world by spreading kindness. Even small things can make a big difference, like asking someone how they are and really listening, or simply making them a cup of tea!

Our December Kindness calendar is packed with inspiring actions so please share it with others and help spread the kindness.

Here’s how you can get involved and make a difference:

This month’s theme is based on Giving: Do things for others from the Ten Keys to Happier Living >> Find out more about the Ten Keys.

Young people reportedly at risk of far-right extremism through online gaming channels

Online gaming is being used to recruit young people to far-right extremist groups. The news follows a report published by the Home Office concerning the Prevent anti-extremism programme.

Figures show the number of referrals of people vulnerable to a risk of radicalisation, of which the majority (46 percent) were regarding Extreme Right-Wing radicalisation. As reported by The Guardian, the use of online apps and platforms is appearing more and more in referrals of far-right extremism, according to Prevent coordinator Sean Arbuthnot.

In particular, that includes gaming platforms and chat apps like Discord. Click here for more information

Kooth November Newsletter

With Halloween finishing last  weekend, bonfire night this week, then the annual headlong rush towards Christmas, there are very exciting times ahead. These can however also bring with them all kinds of stresses and pressures as we try to do the best for everyone around us and ensure we all have a good time. is here to help throughout these times, whatever your concerns or worries, or if you would simply like to share your experiences with our caring online community. is a safe and supportive space for all of the Young People across our area to reach out and realise that they are never alone.

Our Service is available to support Young People aged 11-18, with whatever they may need. The Kooth website is available 24/7, 365 days of the year, giving Young People access to articles, discussion boards, peer to peer support and self-help activities alongside the opportunity to contribute to all parts of the site. You can also speak, via text based chat, with one of our online counsellors or emotional wellbeing practitioners between 12 noon and 10pm Monday-Friday and between 6pm and 10pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Please see below our ‘What’s on Kooth in November?’ resource which highlights some of the discussion boards and live forums that can be accessed on the site during the month of November. If you wish to use or share this resource please find a number of versions of it here.

Kooth Promotion Central

Our brand new resource hub has now been launched 🙌.

Previously, the URL of had been leading you to our promotion hub on a platform called Swivle. Going forward will now take you through to our brand new resource hub ‘Kooth Promotion Central’ which may also sometimes be referred to as Brandmaster.

Our new resource hub will still contain all of the great resources you’ve been utilising on the old platform Swivle and will also contain more amazing features too.

We’re excited for you to see our new resource hub and welcome your feedback.

Key Events for November

Here are some key dates and awareness days in November

Anti Bullying Week – 15th – 19th November



Supporting Copy for Social Media Posts for Anti-Bullying Week: 

*Note* This is a quick and easy template that you can use as inspiration. Feel free to adapt this copy based on the audience you are speaking to.

  • It’s #AntiBullyingWeek this week! It’s important to #bekind. #OneKindWord makes a world of difference as we never know what someone may be going through. If you or someone you know needs support, Kooth is always available. #ItsOkayToNotBeOkay

National Stress Awareness Day – 3rd of November


Other interesting things to look out for on Kooth this month are:

Interesting Articles

Gaming: What is Instant Vs Delayed Gratification

In the News: Welcome to the Metaverse?!

Read My Diary: Trying the Mini-Activities

Kooth Podcasts

Breaking Up With Friends

What is ‘Casual Racism’?

(These are available on both Spotify and Apple Music by searching Kooth Podcast I have included a digital poster in this newsletter here to support with promoting these on social media,etc.

Please find here a link to our Kooth Sign Up Guide should you wish to support any young people with gaining access to our online community.

Our offer of staff training, YPs Presentations and School Assemblies is still very much available. As well as our virtual offer, we are now delighted to also be able to offer face to face sessions again, if you are interested in booking any kind of support please do get in touch with me by replying to this email or filling in this Booking Form. There is a short video here to show you what we are able to offer.

Darlington students send positive message through hate crime vodcast

Longfield Academy students, left to right: Kaitlin Meikle, Holly Rutherford, Jess Wood, and Ellie Rush with their letters of commendation. Picture: Heather Barron

Four students have received letters of commendation for their part in a town-wide vodcast to raise awareness of hate crimes.

The group were invited to join a live vodcast being produced by Martin Webster, Workforce Development Manager with Darlington Borough Council, during Hate Crime Week in October.

Please click here to read the full article.

Useful Links

Guide for parents who are coping with their child’s self-harm

Self-harm is very common in young people, with 10-15% of young people in the UK reporting that they self-harm. It can leave families confused, anxious and feeling like there’s nowhere to turn.  Now, based on in-depth research with parents, a team from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry are launching a guide to help parents and carers who are trying to cope with this difficult situation.

Download the guide here.



PAPYRUS is the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. We provide confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person through our helpline, HOPELINEUK.


Beat Eating Disorders

The Sanctuary is an online chat group created specifically in response to coronavirus and the anxieties this could lead to for people with an eating disorder. It is a safe, online space for people with an eating disorder to share concerns and advice on how they are coping with the pandemic.

Eating disorders thrive in isolation, so it is important to stay connected and support each other through this.

Every Mind Matters Self Care Tool

What’s this for?

Now, at a time when you are busy supporting your pupils and their families through this challenging period, it’s important that you look after your own wellbeing.

Our mental health campaign Every Mind Matters offers a free online action plan, approved by the NHS, that offers simple steps we can all take to care for our mental health. The tool can help to deal with stress and anxiety, boost mood, improve sleep quality and take control of our wellbeing.

Whilst you care for others, why not also create your own self-care action plan?


Every Mind Matters

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. We have expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing. And remember, mind and body go hand in hand – visit Better Health for lots of free tools and support to help you kickstart your physical health too.

SafeSpot …is a helpful app and website that aims to provide young people with access to coping strategies and resources.

SafeSpot is designed to help you through tough spots
SafeSpot gives you your own personalized coping plan, useful strategies and tools to help and directions to local resources to help you — all at your fingertips.

SafeSpot has 3 aspects:

1. The Quirky and Cool SafeSpot App
2. SafeSpot website
3. SafeSpot Curriculum

Calm Harm

Calm Harm is an award-winning app developed for teenage mental health charity stem4 by Dr Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, using the basic principles of an evidence-based therapy called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).

Calm Harm provides tasks to help you resist or manage the urge to self-harm. You can make it private by setting a password, and personalise the app if you so wish. You will be able to track your progress and notice change. You can download our guide to using the app during Covid-19 here.

Please note the app is an aid in treatment but does not replace it.

Student Space

Student Space has a range of information, advice, services and tools to support you from Friendships and Social Life to Lockdown and Self-Isolation, read more to see how it can help you.

How to access:
You can get 24/7 free, confidential and anonymous support from a trained volunteer. Whether you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, loneliness or relationship issues, Student Space staff are there to listen and support through a variety of ways;



CAMHS (Crisis and Liaison team) 

The crisis and liaison team provide mental health support to young people (up to the age of 18) who are experiencing a crisis with their mental health.

In a mental health emergency you can contact your local CAMHS crisis and liaison team using the number below.

Telephone: 0800 0516 171 (this number is free to call)

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Listening Post

The Listening Post was established in 2017 as a distinct project of DACYM (Darlington Area Churches Youth Ministry). The Listening Post is a listening and mentoring project that seeks to help young people with low level mental health and well-being issues in order to prevent them escalating into something more long-lasting.

The Listening Post

Young Minds

Leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges. The crisis in children and young people’s mental health is real and it is urgent. More children and young people than ever before are reaching out for help with their mental health. But for those who take that brave step, help is much too hard to find. Together, we are changing this. We’re fighting for young people’s mental health.


Young people can experience a range of mental health problems. Childhood and teenage years are a time when you are usually changing rapidly and developing all the time. You also often have to cope with many different situations and unfamiliar challenges like exams, relationships and the other pressures of growing up.


We’re here for you, whatever’s on your mind. We’ll support you. Guide you. Help you make decisions that are right for you. Our tips and techniques, ideas and inspirations, can help you feel more in control. You can access them in your own time, at your own pace! We have many useful ways to provide help and support including free 24 hour helpline, online 1:1 counselling support, information and advice board and toolbox kits

Something’s not right

Things have been very different this year. And it’s been difficult for everyone.

You might be worried about:

  • things that have happened to you or someone else
  • not knowing where to go when you’re scared
  • being at school, your exams or the future
  • coping with your mental health.

Whatever’s happening, you don’t have to cope alone.



XenZone is a provider of online mental health services for children, young people and adults. Kooth, from XenZone, is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use. This provides young people a counselling service online, it is available Monday – Friday: 12pm – 10pm and Saturday & Sunday: 6pm – 10pm.

The Mix

Online guide to life for 16-25 year olds. Straight-talking emotional support is available 24 hours a day. Chat about any issue on our moderated discussion boards and live chat room.



Mental illness and suicidal thoughts can affect anyone, of any age, of any background, at any time. Like with physical illnesses, people don’t choose to have a mental health problem. And they need the appropriate care to get better. Mental illness and suicidal thoughts are common issues for young people. It can be difficult to know if a child is suffering as they often keep it to themselves. But we’re here to help you spot the signs and know how to support them.


Charity for the prevention of young suicide, offering confidential support and awareness training.

The Samaritans


We offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you.

If something’s troubling you, get in touch:

Telephone our branch: 01325 465465 (local call charges apply) 01325 488679 (Recruitment Line Answer Phone)

National telephone: 116 123 (this number is free to call)

Email Samaritans:

Visit our branch: Samaritans Darlington13 Woodland RoadDarlingtonCounty DurhamDL3 7BJ