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Mental Health Blog


Qwell – free online emotional health and wellbeing support for school staff

  • Qwell, commissioned by the NHS, local authorities and charities, is a free, online tool to support adults around emotional wellbeing and mental health and has recently been made available to staff in all Darlington schools.
  • Qwell is an adult version of Kooth, where Kooth supports children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing.
  • Qwell is designed for adults experiencing issues with their emotional wellbeing, such as anxiety, low mood, or stress.
  • Their site has a range of self-help tools, including friendly online discussion boards to connect with people having similar experiences, journals and goal trackers, and self-help articles with the option to contribute your own experiences or advice.
  • Anyone over 18 can access free anonymous counselling from qualified counsellors via the online chat-based platform.  Chats can be accessed through a drop-in service or booked sessions; there is no referral needed from a health professional, no waiting lists, and no criteria to meet to get support.
  • Qwell is available 24/7 and it takes less than 2 minutes to join.  School staff are encouraged to join Qwell to access all of the above by clicking here to set up a username and password.


Support for men’s mental health

  • Groundwork UK run Men’s Sheds projects and the Darlington project commenced on Tuesday 16th February. 
  • The idea of Men’s Sheds originated in Australia in the 90’s and their aim was to improve the overall health of all males. 
  • Sheds provide direct and indirect opportunities for improved health and well-being for men.  Directly, in their ability to provide health information to men who may otherwise not access or seek such information. Indirectly, in combating the effects of social isolation, providing men with a sense of purpose and self-esteem, improving physical health and mental well-being and increasing help seeking behaviour. Although health benefits are not amongst the main motivations for attendance at Sheds, most Shedders acknowledge that these benefits exist.
  • A recurring feature of all Sheds is the warmth, hospitality and genuine interest in improving the quality of life for men.  Many men speak of the renewed sense of purpose that the Shed has given them, how it has helped them to reconnect with their community and instill a sense of identity and belonging.
  • This may be of interest to both staff and parents / carers in your setting community and a poster is attached to share / display.

Free Fitness Classes for Young People – US Active

US Active is pleased to announce that their ‘Get Online, Get Active’ project is now live and their FREE online yoga and fitness classes for 12 to 25 year olds will commence on Monday 15th February 2021, running for 15 weeks.

Click here for further information

Useful Links


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.