We've created some advice for professionals on supporting people under 21 and how to refer a young person to our services.
Often you'll come into contact with a young person because of a presenting issue that brings them to your attention. For example, they may have a health issue or be getting into trouble with the police.
But as you'll probably already know, the presenting issue is usually just the most visible part of a much wider connected set of problems. They might face a difficult situation at home, struggle with their mental, physical or emotional wellbeing, or be in an unhealthy relationship.
It's important to find out about and offer support with all those issues. Just focusing on the one that's most visible or getting them into trouble, might mean you miss the best opportunity to help them. You need to look at the whole person, not just the label they've been given.
Getting them the right treatment and support fast is key. But it's also vital to give them time and space to think and reflect on how they got where they are. It will really help them build their confidence, self-esteem and resilience, and make positive changes in their life.
Get advice right now
If you’re looking for guidance about services or support for a client, patient or an adult you're supporting, our webchat team can help.
It’s free and confidential. You'll speak to someone from our online team. They’ll introduce themselves and ask for your first name. Then they'll ask you some questions to understand more about the situation. You can speak to someone during our webchat opening hours:
Monday: 09:00 - 20:00
Tuesday and Friday: 09:00 - 14:00 and 15:00 - 18:00
Wednesday: 09:00 - 14:00 and 15:00 - 20:00
Thursday: 09:00 - 18:00
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How we can help
If you're worried about a young person, and we run a young people's service in their area, you can refer them to Change Grow Live. We can help if they're:
- using drugs or alcohol
- getting into trouble with the police
- struggling with their mental and emotional wellbeing
- in unhealthy relationships
Emerging drug trends
When there's a new drug trend with young people, it's often given a lot of media attention. For professionals, it's important to take time to respond with a calm approach. This means avoiding sensationalising or drawing attention to new drugs.
Our experience suggests that empowering young people is most effective. Giving them factual and sensible tips helps them make healthy, informed choices.
It can also help to encourage parents and carers to speak to their children about drug use. We've written guidance on how to speak to young people about drugs and alcohol. You could send this to the parents that you support.