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Mental Health

Mental health issues can affect anyone. Mental health is just like physical health, nobody chooses to have health issues but with the right support you can get better.  Issues may include eating disorders, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, self-harm etc.

Mental health is about how you feel about yourself, how happy you are, how you feel about interacting with other people, how much you feel you can overcome challenges.  Feeling up and down is normal but it may become a problem if you feel down, stressed or anxious most of the time. It is possible you might have a mental health issue and require support to get better.

In this section you will find links to organisations that will give you information on many types of mental illness and support services available to you.

Emotional support and counselling for young people in Merton

At times life can be difficult and it can be hard to manage on your own. When this happens, you can feel lots of different things – sad, scared, hopeless or angry.

Often we keep all our feelings and thoughts inside ourselves and this can make things worse. It is important to know that it’s to ask for help at a time like this and that with some support, you might be able to find your own answers.

NHS Merton Clinical Commissioning Group funds free and confidential counselling for anyone aged 11-18 in Merton if you feel like you may need some extra support.

Free face to face counselling

Young people aged 11-18 can access face to face counselling with a trained listener through youth charity Off the Record.  The one-on-one counselling aims to provide you with a friendly and non-judgemental space where you can explore your thoughts, feelings or experiences.

If you are aged 14 to 18 you can contact Off the Record directly by calling them on 020 8680 8899 or emailing them on

If you are aged 11-13, you will need to see someone like your GP, teacher or social worker, and ask them to make a referral to Off the Record via the Merton Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).   CAMHS can be contacted on 0208 254 8061 or on email at

Find out more at

Online counselling

Off the Record can also provide free online counselling to young people aged 14-18 in Merton. Online counselling is slightly different to face to face counselling because rather than talking about your problems, you write about them.

To request an online counsellor, you will need to complete an online registration form. This form asks you a few questions about yourself as well as asks you to tell us a little bit about why you want to talk to an online counsellor.  A member of the online counselling team will then respond with an introductory message within 48 hours.

Find out more at Off the Record’s dedicated online website:

Counselling for young people needing support for self-harm or sexual exploitation

The Wish Centre can provide free and confidential face to face counselling in Merton schools or at its centre in Mitcham for 13 to 18 year olds.

The Safe2speak counselling service is for young people in Merton needing support with self-harm or sexual exploitation.

In order to access the counselling you must need to live or attend a school in Merton and be registered with a Merton GP.  You can contact the contact the service directly yourself by calling 020 8640 6767 or 07534 991931.

For more information visit

Self-Harm Peer Support

Young women and those who identify as female to male transgender and are aged between 13 and 18 can join The Wish Centre’s weekly Self Harm Peer Support Group.

You do not have to be a Merton resident but must be able to reach The Wish Centre on London Road in Mitcham by 4pm every Wednesday.

An Outreach programme or one to one and out of hours text-based support also runs in Merton for group users only. To join the weekly group or find out about the outreach programme email

NHS Go – London’s first website and health app for young people

NHS Go is a free health app and website that was designed for young people by young Londoners.

It’s aimed at 16-24 year olds so you can get better and easier access to health and wellbeing information. As well as mental health information, you can use it to search for local health services and find information on health and wellbeing, including sex and relationships, healthy eating and puberty.

Visit the website at

Emergency support

If you are feeling suicidal or having thoughts of self-harm, below are other sources of support:

  • Your local GP: Ring them and arrange to see them as soon as possible.
  • Emergency Services: Dial 999 and ask for the police or ambulance service
  • Your nearest A&E: Ask to be seen by the duty psychiatrist or mental health liaison nurse, who should be able to assess you and give you appropriate help.

There are a number of phone lines that can also help:

  • Childline on 0800 11 11 for 24-hour confidential support to children and young people up to 18 years old.