Last updated: 5 June 2024

Next review: 8 April 2025

Urgent and emergency help for you or your child  

Waltham Forest CAMHS has an emergency line which is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday: 0300 555 1247.

Outside of these hours, you can call Mental Health Direct for crisis support:  0300 5551000

Where to get help if you are worried

If you're worried about a child or young person, getting them to talk can really help. Whether you're a family member, friend or teacher, you can help. 

Find out more about talking to children about their feelings

If you're worried about your own mental health and wellbeing, you should tell your doctor. This is confidential for anyone over 16 unless there are risk concerns.

It's important to seek help if you're experiencing something that is worrying you, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Divorce and separation
  • Exam stress
  • Family problems
  • Grieving
  • Relationship problems
  • Self-harm
  • Struggles with sexuality
  • Substance misuse

The Children and young people's wellbeing page on the Ann Freud website can help you find organisations that can support you or someone you know.

Worries about health

If your child or young person is worried their health such as general development, puberty, body image and weight, toileting and growth and wellbeing you can contact your health visitor or school nurse and discuss the issues with them. 

They may refer you onto more specialist health services. If you have specific concerns about your child in puberty and developing sexual health awareness you can email the sexual health outreach support team and ask them for advice.

Sometimes young people use drugs and alcohol when they are feeling anxious or depressed. You can contact the organisation Change Grow Live if you want to talk to someone about drugs alcohol or smoking.

Worries about education 

You or your child can also speak to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator at your child's school and ask them to contact Flourish, specialist education advisory services if you are concerned about your child in education. If you are worried about your child and they seem anxious at school you can ask your child's school if they have a Mental Health in Schools Team member attached to their school. 

If you want to speak to someone about how your child's learning, you can make an appointment with an education psychologist to get advice by emailing:

If you would like some extra help and support from someone who knows about SEND law and the local SEND services, then you can contact Waltham Forest SENDIASS service who can help advise you on your child's rights. 

Worries about your child at home

You can speak to someone in our Early Help services if you would like support with navigating services or with issues such as establishing boundaries and routines with your child at home.  

Young people are often skilled at using technology but may not always understand the risks. If you want to speak to someone about your child's use of technology and cyber risks you can contact Cyber Choices run by the met police to get advice

If your child has a diagnosis of special needs and is having difficulty making friends and going out in the community, then some respite and short breaks might help. If your child has sleep difficulties and you apply for short breaks, you can also ask for a referral for sleep support and training. You can also contact the Waltham Forest Parent Forum, the forum offer course and advice, or simply chat to other families who share similar experiences.

Services that can help you

Help for children and young people

  • Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous mental health and wellbeing support for young people. Qualified counsellors are available for text-based conversations, from 12pm to 10pm on weekdays, and 6pm to 10pm at weekends.
  • Togetherall is a safe, anonymous online community where people support each other to improve mental health and wellbeing.
  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a free NHS talking therapy for people 16 and over, who are worried or have low mood. Services include one-to-one therapy, counselling and group work.
  • Our coping with bereavement page has information on charities and other groups offering support after a loss. 

Support by age range

Help for Parents

  • Every Parent and Child boosts the life chances of young people and their families. They do this with a focus on children who are vulnerable or have SEND.
  • Young Minds Parents Helpline offers free and confidential expert advice for parents worried about their children.
  • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) is a free NHS talking therapy for people 16 and over. They help people who are worried or have a low mood. 
  • Parent Support Unit works with families to achieve positive outcomes for children aged 0 to 18 years and offers parenting support programmes
  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists helps children whose parents are going through divorce or separation, or have family problems.
  • Relate offers relationship counselling and mediation in north east London. There may be a cost for these services depending on your income.
  • Tavistock relationship centre also offers support around family relationships. There may be a cost for these services depending on your income.

Support in school

  • Place2Be provides mental health support in primary and secondary schools. 

Domestic violence

If you are a victim of domestic violence or you know someone who is, help and support is available:

You can also visit our safeguarding page to report abuse or find out more.