Depression

We know that it’s vital that you and your whole family get the right support at the right time when a child or young person is struggling with depression. This is where you’ll find out how to find help for children, teens and students with depression.

Depression

Teen Depression & Depression in Children

The Sky Badger team have been working tirelessly to gathering some of the very best mental health charities and organisations available to help you in the UK. Many of these charities and organisations also support family members and friends too. You can find advice, information, counselling, helplines and much, much more.

If you can't find what you're looking for, just contact the Sky Badger helpdesk and we'll do our very best to to find you the support you need.

Find help here...

The Mersea Island Festival has been an annual event each August at Essex Outdoors Mersea. The Festival aims to bring together young people with or without a physical or learning disability. The camps are ideal for Inclusive clubs, Phab and Gateway clubs, Youth Groups and families with disabled young people. They provide an opportunity to try out new activities, make new friends and have loads of fun!!!

Young Minds

Young Minds supports young people with their mental health issues.

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The Oliver Curd Trust

The Oliver Curd Trust provides holiday accommodation to families affected by childhood cancer and other life threatening and life-limiting conditions, including those experiencing bereavement. If you or anyone you know could benefit please contact us!

A site run by students for students who are suffering with mental health issues including depression. Not only do they fundraise and raise awareness but they offer practical and emotional support to students in the UK.

Headmeds

HeadMeds is a website about mental health medication for young people created by YoungMinds.

Young Minds has lots of ways to help children and young people who are experiencing any kind of mental health problem. They run a range of schemes to help promote good mental health in schools across the UK as well as guidance towards more 1 to 1 support. There is also a managed service by young people for young people to be able to talk with someone who understands their problems.

You can also call the Young Minds Parent's Helpline on: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)

OTHER SOURCES OF HELP....

Here are some other places you can find help, information and support. They may not be specific to self depression but as broader mental health charities, they'll have lots of help that you might find really useful.

Children's Society

The Children's Society offer a variety of services to support children and young people with Mental Health issues, mostly they are at regular drop in services around the UK. Centres offer support and counselling.

The Mix

If you're under 25 you can talk to The Mix for free on the phone, by email or on their webchat. You can also use their phone counselling service, or get more information on support services you might need.

CAMHS

CAMHS is part of the NHS mental health services, specifically dedicated to children and young people in England. They can provide a range of services and people to help including help from psychiatrists, psychologists, support workers, nurses and occupational therapists.

You may need a referral from someone who works with your child, often a general practitioner (GP), teacher or social worker. However, some clinics also accept self-referrals from young people or parents and carers.

Family Lives is a parenting and support network for anything family related. They provide a variety of services including a confidential UK helpline and forums. There are also lots of helpful videos and blogs.

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BROWSE ALL MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT

Use our directory to find lots of other charities and organisations here to help you and your whole family.

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Insurance

Find holiday insurance for pre existing conditions & autism.

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Make a Wish

Find lots of make a Wish Charities to make your child's dreams come true.

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Holiday Grants

Find lots of charities giving holiday grants for you and your family.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Lasting Power of Attorney

Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection & Deputyship

If you’re worried about losing the ability to manage your financial affairs finances or who will make decisions about your health or welfare either now or in later life, you may want to consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney (known as an ‘LPA’)

Irwin Mitchell have very kindly helped Sky Badger put these legal guides together. You can find them as well as lots of other organisations and charities specialising in legal advice at the bottom of this page.

Powers of Attorney

Keys facts about Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

  • An LPA appoints an Attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf.
  • It records your wishes and what powers your Attorney(s) should be granted
  • If you lack the required capacity to sign an LPA then an application can be made on your behalf to the Court of Protection for them to appoint a ‘Deputy’ in respect of your ‘Property and Affairs’ and/or ‘Health and Welfare’.

Types of LPA

There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

An LPA is a legal document that is prepared by or on behalf of someone who may need assistance in managing their financial affairs or relation to decisions about their health and welfare. People are free to sign either document or can choose to sign both.  

A ‘Health and Welfare’ LPA

A ‘Health and Welfare’ LPA allows you to choose one or more people to be your Attorney(s)make decisions about you personally.  It can include decisions about your day to day life including care and support – subject to any restrictions or guidance you want to include.  It can also enable you to give your Attorney(s) the ability to give or refuse consent to life sustaining treatment.

PLEASE NOTE - this LPA can only be used when you are unable to make the specific decision in question.  You cannot delegate your responsibility to decide on matters about you personally if you are able to do so for yourself.

‘Property and Financial Affairs’ LPA

A ‘Property and Financial Affairs’ LPA enables you to choose one or more people to be your Attorney(s) and make property and financial decisions on your behalf subject to any conditions or guidance that you want to include.

PLEASE NOTE - you can use this LPA whether or not you still have capacity to decide the decision in question yourself.

Both types of LPA require registration at the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used and should be registered immediately upon completion.

When do I need to have one done?

Anyone over the age of 18 is able to sign an LPA provided that they have the mental capacity to do so.  Often an LPA is signed where someone is beginning to lack mental capacity so as to ensure they have chosen who they trust to make decisions on their behalf.

For example, a person could have the mental capacity to make simple decisions (e.g. what to have for lunch today) but not more complex decisions (e.g. where to live or whether to have medical treatment). It also means that someone whose condition changes over time might have the mental capacity to make a decision one day but not the next.

What does ‘mental capacity’ mean?

Parents tell us they are concerned about their children who lack the mental capacity to make certain decisions and worry about what will happen when they become young adults. The MCA is the law which applies to decision making for people aged 16 and over who do not have the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) says that decisions made about someone who lacks capacity must be made in their ‘best interests’.  The views of the person’s friends and family must be taken into account when deciding what is in the person’s best interests.

Things like these should be considered…

  • The person’s past and present wishes and feelings (including any written statement they made when they had capacity)
  • The beliefs and values they would be likely to have if they had capacity
  • Things they would consider if they were able to do so
  • The views of others, including, if appropriate, anyone caring for the person or interested in their welfare and any Attorney or Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection

Enduring Power of Attorney

Whilst it is no longer possible to make an Enduring Power of Attorney ‘EPA’ any document signed before the beginning of October 2007 remains valid.  PLEASE NOTE – an EPA relates to financial matters only and confers no legal powers whatsoever to a(n) Attorney(s) in relation to decisions about ‘Health and Welfare’.

An EPA does not need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian ‘OPG’ before it can be used.  An EPA can be used by an Attorney(s) without needing to register it provided that you have the mental capacity to manage your financial affairs for yourself.  An Attorney must register the EPA with the OPG when they know or believe that you may have lost the mental capacity to manage your financial affairs for yourself.

What happens if I don’t have an LPA?

Without an LPA, your family may find it difficult to manage both your financial affairs as well as take decisions about you personally as they will not have the legal authority to do so and may not know your wishes. They may need to apply to the Court of Protection for an Order to be appointed as your ‘Deputy’ for ‘Property and Affairs’ and/or ‘Health and Welfare’. It can be costly and time-consuming to do this.

Putting both a ‘Property and Financial Affairs’ and ‘Health and Welfare’ LPA in place offers security for you and your loved ones and lets you decide what should happen if old age, illness or injury leave you unable to deal with your own affairs.

How Do I Get an LPA?

You can put an LPA in place yourself or you can visit a solicitor who can discuss your individual circumstances and concerns that you may have guide and advise you about your options. They will be able to complete all of the paperwork and register the documents with the Office of the Public Guardian.  A solicitor will be able to review your situation more broadly and challenge and advise you on other issues that you may not have considered as well as looking at the ‘what if’ scenarios about how your family may act.

Sadly if you no longer have the mental capacity to understand what an LPA is and the powers that they confer upon your Attorney(s) it will not be possible to sign an LPA.  In that situation an application for ‘Deputyship’ will need to be made to the Court of Protection.  A solicitor will be able to advise you and your family about your options and prepare the application(s) for you.

How much will it cost?

There's a compulsory cost of £82 to register each LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian in England ‘OPG’. If you decide to use a solicitor, you'll also have to pay legal fees to your solicitor who will be able to advise you before you decide.  It may be possible to apply for the OPG registration fee to be waved.  You will need to complete form and demonstrate that you are within their eligibility criteria e.g. your income is below £12,000 per year.

Anything else I should know about LPAs?

An LPA can appear to be a straight forward document but please be advised that without specialist advice from a solicitor there is a risk that it could be invalid or difficult for your Attorney(s) to operate if does not function as you intended.

Where there are any questions concern mental capacity, an LPA should only be signed once a suitably qualified medical practitioner has done an assessment of capacity and confirmed in writing that you have the required capacity to sign the document.

PLEASE NOTE – ordinarily this would be a specialist medical practitioner rather than a GP.

Can we help you with any other legal information?

Advocacy

are you a carer of a young person who is about to start using adult services? Finding out about Advocacy is really important so that you or the young person you care for can be heard, understand your choices and make your own decisions.

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A Guide to the Care Act 2014

What happens when my disabled child becomes an adult?

The Care Act 2014 offers carers more rights & protection both for themselves and for the disabled adult they care for.

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Medical Negligence

Information and advice about medical negligence. Find help for your child if they were misdiagnosed, if you want to find out about brain injury compensation, clinical negligence claims, incorrect treatment or a surgical mistake.

FIND LOADS MORE LEGAL SUPPORT, ADVOCATES & LAWYERS HERE...

Use our directory to find lots of charities and firms that can give you legal advice.

Looking for something else?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

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Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

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Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

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Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

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Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Advocacy

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy

Do you need help to be involved in decisions about your care needs? Or are you a carer of a young person who is about to start using adult services? Finding out about Advocacy is really important so that you or the young person you care for can be heard, understand your choices and make your own decisions.

What can an Advocate do?

Advocacy, Requesting Support in relation to the Care Act

Changes brought in by the Care Act mean that any decisions made by a local authority about your care will consider your well-being and what is important to you so that you can stay healthy and remain as independent as possible. To do this, it is important for you to be fully involved in decisions about your care and support needs.

An advocate can support you to…

  • Understand the assessment process
  • Understand your choices and make your own decisions
  • Tell others what you want and about your views and feelings
  • Help you to challenge a decision if you are not happy with it and
  • Make sure that you get the support you are entitled to.

Who needs advocacy?

You might be able to access advocacy if you are…

  • An adult who needs care and support
  • A carer of an adult
  • A carer of a young person who is about to start using adult services
  • A young person who is about to start using adult services.

And you find it very hard to…

  • Understand what is happening and the choices that you have
  • Decide what care and support you need
  • Tell people what you want
  • You do not have any friends or family available (or who feel able) to support you

Some people who lack capacity to make decisions in relation to their care or residence may already have an advocate appointed for them under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. If they do, it might be possible for the same advocate to be their Care Act advocate too.

Duty to provide advocacy support

Local authorities will be under a duty to provide an independent advocate where an adult may have “substantial difficulty” in doing one of the following…

  • Understanding relevant information
  • Retaining that information
  • Using or weighing up that information
  • Communicating their views, wishes or feelings.

And there is no appropriate person (such as a family member) who can support them.

 

When should an advocate be appointed?

The local authority will have to consider whether somebody has substantial difficulty in understanding matters and whether an advocate is therefore required in a number of scenarios including…

  • Carrying out needs assessments
  • Carrying out carer’s assessments
  • Preparing care and support plans for adults
  • Preparing support plans for carers
  • Revising care and support plans/support plans
  • Carrying out child’s needs assessment
  • Carrying out child’s carer’s assessment; and
  • Carrying out young carer’s assessments.

What happens next?

If a decision is made by a local authority about your care that you are not happy with, your advocate may be able to help. Your advocate can help you write a report about the things you don’t like to ask for the decision to be changed.

The local authority is under a duty to consider any written report from an advocate and respond in writing. It must also consider the advocate’s views when making decisions in relation to the individual in question.

An advocate may also be under a duty to bring legal proceedings on behalf of an individual that they represent, if disputes cannot be resolved with the local authority.

FIND LOADS MORE LEGAL SUPPORT, ADVOCATES & LAWYERS HERE...

Use our directory to find lots of charities and firms that can give you legal advice.

Looking for something else?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

gwvmbgpp-pq-steinar-la-engeland

Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

oqmzwnd3thu-helloquence

Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Challenging a Refusal to Assess your Disabled Child

Challenging a refusal to assess your disabled child for specialist services

Disability Living Allowance Hearing

Has your council told you that they will not assess your disabled child so that they might have access to short breaks or any other support services or help? This is not about your child’s EHCP by the way but about all of the other help your child could get from your local council to support you and your family. Find out here about how legislation in health and social care can help you access short breaks and other help your child needs. 

Irwin Mitchell have very kindly helped Sky Badger put these legal guides together. You can find them as well as lots of other organisations and charities specialising in legal advice at the bottom of this page.

How to ask for an assessment

Is there a minimum age?

There is no minimum age for a child to be ‘in need’ and for an assessment to be required.

Does my child need a diagnosis?

There is no requirement for a formal diagnosis before there is a duty to assess.

Here are the steps to guide you through the process…

 

  1. Ask if an assessment can be carried out from their social worker or the duty worker from the Disabled Children’s Team. The request can be made on the telephone, face-to-face or in writing by letter or email. Parents can simply ask “will the council carry out an assessment of my child under section 17 of the Children Act 1989?”
  1. If the answer is ‘no’, then a version of the letter suggested below can be sent. Local Authorities only have one working day to decide what type of response is required and to acknowledge receipt, so if no response is received within a few days, it is appropriate to write the letter  and send it back to your Local Authority.

Disability Living Allowance Hobbies

A Guide to the Care Act

What happens when my disabled child becomes an adult?

The Care Act 2014 offers carers more rights and protection both for themselves and the also the disabled adult they care for too.

Click here to find out how the Care Act can help you and your family here.

What does a 'child in need' mean?

Children are ‘in need’ if they need help from the council with their health or development or if they are ‘disabled’. The term ‘disabled’ under the Children Act 1989 has a very wide meaning. It includes any mental disorder or any substantial and permanent physical disability.

It will be unlawful to refuse to assess children because they have a particular type of disability – for example ADHD or Asperger syndrome.

Legal duties upon Local Authorities

Assessments under the Children Act 1989 (and for carers under the Children and Families Act 2014) are the first part of the legal process that councils must go through in order to decide if a disabled child and / or their carers should be provided with services. The law says that councils must assess every child who is or may be a child ‘in need’ (see definition below under sources of reference).

  • Any assessment has to be carried out in accordance with the Framework for the assessment of children in need (‘the Assessment Framework’) which requires assessments to be carried out quickly and to cover all the areas of potential need that a child may have.
  • In some areas, disabled children and young people may be able to access some services without an assessment, such as clubs, however generally an assessment will be the way in which disabled children and their families access support services, short breaks, and funding via direct payments to buy these types of services.

Social Services Assessment...What happens next?

Once an assessment has been carried out the local authority must then decide whether it is necessary to provide the child with a service. Many authorities use their own ‘eligibility criteria’ to help them reach this decision, which must be published and available for families to see.

The social worker should then produce a “child in need plan” setting out what care and support is going to be provided, when, and how. The support to be provided to the carer, such as short breaks and respite, can be included in the same child in need plan.

REFUSAL TO ASSESS TEMPLATE LETTER

Click here to find a template letter from Irwin Mitchell which can be sent when a council has refused to carry out an assessment. The letter should be sent, by fax, email and post if possible, to Director of Children’s Services and also to the social worker (if parents have one) and to the Lead Member for Children’s Services (the councillor who is in charge of children’s services for the council). Click on the Link below, scroll down to the Heading Health and Social Care, below that are template letters.  Click on “Challenging a refusal to assess your Disabled Child for Specialist Services.”

What should I do next?

  • Parents should always try to resolve disputes with the local authority through discussions.
  • If an assessment has taken place and nothing has happened as a result, or parents strongly disagree with the conclusions of an assessment (which may be that the Local Authority does not need to provide services) then it will be necessary to take specialist advice.
  • If there is no response to a letter sent such as the one below requesting an assessment then again specialist advice will need to be taken.

Browse loads of other legal support here

Use our directory to find lots of organisations and charities that can give you great legal advice for you and your family.

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EHCP

Find help and guidance about the EHCP process here.

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DLA

Find your step by step guide to filling out your child's application.

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Holiday Grants

Find lots of charities giving holiday grants for you and your family.

Looking for something else?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

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Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

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Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence is when medical people fail in their duty of care to you, leading to injury or making an existing condition worse. There are a number of ways that medical negligence can happen, such as misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment or surgical mistakes.

Irwin Mitchell have very kindly helped Sky Badger put these legal guides together. You can find them as well as lots of other organisations and charities specialising in legal advice at the bottom of this page.

medical negligence

Types of Medical Negligence

For example, you may consider these areas:

  • Delay in diagnosis / Wrong diagnosis or misdiagnosis
  • Brain injury either at birth, shortly after birth or acquired brain injury
  • Brain damage and traumatic brain damage
  • Childbirth injuries, traumas and birth trauma effects on a baby
  • Poor surgical treatment/ Poor nursing care
  • Delay in treatment
  • Prescription errors
  • Dental negligence and eye related treatments.
  • Hospital related infections
  • Cosmetic surgery

BIRTH INJURIES

Midwives and Doctors usually provide a high standard of care during childbirth, but if procedures aren’t followed correctly, or there’s a communication error, there can be devastating consequences for your child.

Some of these complications and injuries, either at birth or afterwards, can lead to conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and other neurological issues which may have a life changing impact on your family for the rest of your child’s life.

You may be entitled to bring a claim if you’ve been injured, or suffered an illness because of negligent treatment by an NHS Trust or healthcare professional.

Birth injury claims should be dealt with by a specialist Birth Injury lawyer; also, specialist solicitors can help you seek answers from those responsible and make sure that your child receives the compensation and rehabilitation they need.

So, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as you can if you think medical negligence may be a factor in the outcome of any treatment.

Where do I start?

The first step to making a medical negligence claim is to contact a solicitor; as soon as you are able to after you believe negligence has happened, whilst the information is still fresh in your mind.

You can make a complaint to the care provider which should be made within 12 months of the treatment in question. Your complaint will be looked into and you should receive a reply to the concerns raised. You may also receive an apology or reassurance that changes have been made to prevent the same problem happening again.

When do I need to Claim by?

Usually you have three years to make a medical negligence claim; this is from the date of the medical error. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

In the case of children, the three year time limit does not apply until their 18th birthday and they can process a claim up to their 21st birthday.  It doesn’t matter about the date that the incident occurred, or you realized they were injured.

Also, if the person bringing the claim lacks mental capacity the time limits may not apply.

How Do I Prove A Medical Negligence Case?

You must be able to prove that you’ve received negligent treatment which caused an injury or contributed to making an existing condition worse.

How Much Can I Claim For Medical Negligence?

The amount of compensation you can claim for medical negligence will vary depending on:

  • The extent of the injury/illness
  • Any expenses you’ve incurred
  • Your future care needs
  • Therapies
  • Accommodation
  • Aids & Equipment
  • Rehabilitation

Will I Need To Go To Court?

Only a very small number of these cases go to court.. However, if your case goes to court, you will get help and support through the process.

How Long Do Cases Take To Settle?

They usually settle claims (i.e. come to an agreement) as quickly as possible to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. This differs depending on what happened in the case.

LEGAL AID

Legal Aid, can I apply for this?

You can usually apply for legal aid if a child has suffered a brain injury during pregnancy/childbirth, or shortly after ( 8 weeks) , which has resulted in a severe disability.

Not all solicitors firms are able to offer Legal Aid, so if you think you might be able to apply for this funding it is important to find a firm who offers Legal Aid.

Will a Medical Examination be needed?

It’s likely that you’ll need to see an expert doctor to assess the extent of any damage/injury you’ve suffered as a result of negligent treatment. It’s important to get the professional opinion of an independent medical expert to help with your claim.

Can I claim on behalf of my child?

Parents can make medical negligence claims on behalf of their children. There are many solicitors who can do this and talk through the timescales, as well as the personal injury compensation guidelines.

Some other useful information...

This film was made my Irwin Mitchell.

When Julian and Rachel went into hospital for the birth of their first child, they expected to be bringing home a healthy baby, however due to complications during his delivery, their son Joseph now suffers from cerebral palsy.

Watch their story here.

law society

  • Legal aid and access to justice
  • Where do I find a legal aid solicitor?
  • Cases where you can get legal aid
  • How do I find out if I'm eligible for legal aid?

Find loads more legal support, ADVOCATES & lawyers here...

Use our directory to find lots of charities and firms that can give you legal advice.

Looking for something else?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

gwvmbgpp-pq-steinar-la-engeland

Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

oqmzwnd3thu-helloquence

Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder & OCD Symptoms

We know that it’s vital that you and your whole family get the right support at the right time when a child or young person is struggling with O.C.D. This is where you’ll find out how to find help with O.C.D.

OCD

OCD Symptoms

OCD, which stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a mental health condition when a person has thoughts that are obsessive. That means that a person with OCD might have bad or unwanted thoughts that they can’t stop thinking about. They also might have compulsive behaviours. A compulsion is when somebody repeats actions or thoughts that help them stop feeling anxious. That could be something like turning lights on and off, checking windows are locked, washing hands. It could be doing these things in a certain way or a certain number of times.

OCD can be really distressing and interfere with day to day life but there is help and things can get better.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Getting Help

If you are the parent of a child or young person who you think might have OCD, it’s really important that they don’t feel embarrassed or worried about finding help. You can find help by going to your GP. They can chat everything through and can make a referral to a local psychological therapy service.

Find Help here for Children and Teens with OCD

If you would like to find out more about OCD and the kind of help and support you can get, then please check out these organisations...

The Mersea Island Festival has been an annual event each August at Essex Outdoors Mersea. The Festival aims to bring together young people with or without a physical or learning disability. Camps are ideal for Inclusive clubs, Phab and Gateway clubs, Youth Groups and families with disabled young people. They provide an opportunity to try out new activities, make new friends and have loads of fun!!!

OCD Youth

OCD Youth aims to increase awareness and access to support for anyone under 25 affected by OCD. OCD Youth is run by young people with OCD, for young people with OCD. We organise trips and outings, run online meet-ups, take part in campaigning activities, manage a youth website and social media channels, write articles and awareness resources, produce videos and media, and much more.  They also have an email heldesk and an online forum.
Helpdesk: youthhelpline@ocdaction.org.uk

OCD UK

OCD UK work with, and for children and adults with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, health professionals and researchers. They have a phone and email helpdesk, organise support groups, have loads of information and can help support people in their community.

ocd action

OCD Action is the national charity focusing on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). They provide support and information to anybody affected by OCD. They have a phone and email support as well as local groups all over the UK.

No More Panic

No More Panic's website gives lots of advice about managing mental health conditions such as OCD, panic attacks, anxiety and phobias. There is a chat option as well as a forum if you wish to speak with other people facing the same issues.

The Mix

If you're under 25 you can talk to The Mix for free on the phone, by email or on their webchat. You can also use their phone counselling service, or get more information on support services you might need.

OCD

Fantastic resource for MIND about OCD symptoms, treatments and lots of information.

Other sources of help....

Here are some other places you can find help, information and support. They may not be OCD specific but as broader mental health charities, they'll have lots of help that you might find really useful.

Young Minds has lots of ways to help children and young people who are experiencing any kind of mental health problem. They run a range of schemes to help promote good mental health in schools across the UK as well as guidance towards more 1 to 1 support. There is also a managed service by young people for young people to be able to talk with someone who understands their problems.

You can also call the Young Minds Parent's Helpline on: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)

Student Minds

Student Minds run groups so that students experiencing mental health difficulties have access to a supportive environment in which they can talk about life, university and what they are doing to keep their lives on track.

Big White Wall is a peer to peer support network for members. It's a safe space to discuss any emotional problems and get advice on support on any kind of mental health concerns. There are also tools and advice available for you to access to help improve your wellbeing. This is a UK wide support website.

Browse all mental health support

Use our directory to find lots of other charities and organisations here to help you and your whole family.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Self Harm

self harm help

We know that it’s vital that you and your whole family get the right support at the right time when a child or young person is struggling with self harming. 

What is Self Harm?

Self-harm is when somebody injures or hurts themselves on purpose.

It can be a way some people cope when they are overwhelmed or are in emotional pain.

Self harming can make some people feel like they are relieving an unbearable tension or as a way to show how they feel.

Sometimes people  feel as if it's a way of punishing themselves.

Self harm can be a cry for help.

Self Harm

The Sky Badger team have been working tirelessly to gathering the very best self harm and mental health charities available to help you. This is where you'll find out about what help and support is available to you both nationally and locally.

Many of these charities and organisations also support family members and friends too. You can find advice, information, counselling, helplines and much, much more.

Things to look out for if you’re worried about your child

Warning signs…

  • Do they have unexplained cuts or bruises, usually on their wrists, arms, thighs and chest?
  • Do they keep themselves covered up all the time?
  • Are they depressed? Do they have a low mood or are they tearful?
  • Does your child lack motivation or interest in anything?
  • Are they suffer from self-loathing?
  • Are they becoming withdrawn and not speaking to friends and family?
  • Has the way they eat changed? Or have they lost or gained weight?
  • Do they have signs of low self-esteem?
  • Does your child blame themselves for things that aren’t their fault?
  • Do they not think they're not good enough?

Why do people self-harm?

Self-harm is more common than many people realise, especially among younger people. It’s conservatively estimated that about 10% of young people self-harm at some point but people of all ages do.

Most of the time, people self harm as a way of coping with problems at school, being bullied, problems with relationships, traumas like a death in the family, or other mental health issues. When these problems build up, they can lead to anger, guilt, hopelessness and self-hatred.

Self harming can become a way to deal with pent-up feelings.

Teenage self harm & self harm in children

Find help here...

Young Minds has lots of ways to help children and young people who are experiencing any kind of mental health problem. They run a range of schemes to help promote good mental health in schools across the UK as well as guidance towards more 1 to 1 support. There is also a managed service by young people for young people to be able to talk with someone who understands their problems.

You can also call the Young Minds Parent's Helpline on: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)

SelfHarmUK

Self-Harm UK

Self-Harm UK is a project dedicated to young people with mental health issues and who self harm. They have a range of information and facts for both young people and parents and also ways to contact someone for help. They often signpost young people to resources local to them for the most effective outcome.

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Self Injury Support helps girls and women who harm themselves (often called self-injury). They run text and email support, offer a Women’s self-injury helpline, produce information and publications about self-injury, deliver talks and self-injury training courses to professionals and support self-injury self-help groups.

Harmless

Harmless support people and their families who have issues surrounding self harm in the UK with a range of user led solutions.

They offer services to local government and organisations wanting more information about this condition.

They also manage the Tomorrow Project which is a support structure for people who have suicidal thoughts.

 

Childline helps anyone under 19 in the UK with any Mental Health issues. You can talk to the confidential team through a free helpline or by their online 1-2-1 counsellor chat. You can speak to them in English or Welsh and there is someone available day or night.

NSHN

NSHN are a forum based organisation that support people who self harm and the people that care for them in the UK.
They engage people in open and honest discussion and provide the right information and agencies who can support them further. The forum is managed and closely monitored 24/7

LifeSigns

LifeSigns are a user led charity that provide support and guidance for people who self injure themselves. They run and monitor a forum for people to be able to discuss how they are feeling and get feedback from other people in similar situations.

They also a variety of techniques and guidance strategies for young people.

OTHER SOURCES OF HELP....

Here are some other places you can find help, information and support. They may not be specific to self harming but as broader mental health charities, they'll have lots of help that you might find really useful.

The Mix

If you're under 25 you can talk to The Mix for free on the phone, by email or on their webchat. You can also use their phone counselling service, or get more information on support services you might need.

Children's Society

The Children's Society offer a variety of services to support children and young people with Mental Health issues, mostly they are at regular drop in services around the UK. Centres offer support and counselling.

CAMHS-Frontpage-Image_900x_01

CAMHS is part of the NHS mental health services, specifically dedicated to children and young people in England. They can provide a range of services and people to help including help from psychiatrists, psychologists, support workers, nurses and occupational therapists.

You may need a referral from someone who works with your child, often a general practitioner (GP), teacher or social worker. However, some clinics also accept self-referrals from young people or parents and carers.

rethink

Rethink will guide you to Mental Health Support Services in the UK or information through their helpline (restricted hours) or online information service. They have lots of useful guides about how to maintain good Mental health and who to ask for support when you need it.

Student Minds

Student Minds run groups so that students experiencing mental health difficulties have access to a supportive environment in which they can talk about life, university and what they are doing to keep their lives on track.

Browse all mental health support

Use our directory to find lots of other charities and organisations here to help you and your whole family.

Not sure where to turn?

istock_000021104923large

Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Eating Disorders

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is when someone has an unhealthy attitude towards food.

That can mean eating too little or too much. Someone with an eating disorder can also become obsessed with weight and body shape.

Eating disorders can make them ill and take over their lives. Everyone can develop an eating disorder at any age.

Its important to know that eating disorders can be very serious but there are ways to help.

Eating disorders

Types of eating disorders

Anorexia nervosa

Keeping weight as low as possible by not eating enough food and/or exercising too.

Bulimia

Eating a lot of food in a very short amount of time. This is sometimes called ‘binging’. After a ‘binge’ people with bulimia make themselves sick on purpose, use laxatives, limit what they eat or do too much exercise.

Binge eating disorder (BED)

Often losing control of how they eat. That might include eating large portions of food until they feel uncomfortably full. This is sometimes called ‘binging’. After ‘binging’ people with BED will often feel distressed or guilty.

Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED)

When the type of eating disorder isn’t exactly the same as the different types we’ve talked about above but still seriously affect health and relationships with food. Most people with eating disorders fit into this category.

Things to look out for if, the Warning signs...

  • Have they had a dramatic weight loss?
  • Are they lying about how much they eat and when they’ve eaten?
  • Are they lying about how much they weigh?
  • and when they've eaten, or how much they weigh
  • Are they eating a lot of food very fast?
  • Do they often go to the bathroom straight after eating?
  • Do they too much and/or too often?
  • Do they avoid eating with friends, family or in public?
  • Do they cut their food into small pieces or eating really slowly?
  • Do they wear loose or baggy clothes to hide the way they look?

If you’re worried, start a conversation. You can encourage your child to go to the GP, you can also find lots of help, advice and support through the organisations below.

Find Help here for anorexia, bulimia & another eating disorders...

The Mersea Island Festival has been an annual event each August at Essex Outdoors Mersea. The Festival aims to bring together young people with or without a physical or learning disability. The camps are ideal for Inclusive clubs, Phab and Gateway clubs, Youth Groups and families with disabled young people. They provide an opportunity to try out new activities, make new friends and have loads of fun!!!

Anorexia & Bulimia Care

ABC provide practical and emotional support as well as on-going therapy to those with an eating disorder in the UK.
They have a helpline as well as online discussion groups for friends and family too.

eating disorder expert

The Eating Disorder Expert gives extensive information on the signs, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. They also have a very good article about advice for parents.

BEAT provide a variety of eating disorders support services through helplines and message boards as well as factsheets and advice about all kinds of eating disorders.

Eating Disorders Support

Eating Disorders Support's aim is to gather together as much information about the various different types of eating disorders, related problems and treatment options and present the information in a way that people can access easily.

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

Men Get Eating Disorders Too is a charity run by and for men with eating disorders including their carers and families. Their website provides essential information that is specific to the unique needs of men and an online space for those affected to get their voices heard through peer support via our face to face groups and online.

Young Minds

Young Minds has lots of ways to help children and young people who are experiencing any kind of mental health problem. They run a range of schemes to help promote good mental health in schools across the UK as well as guidance towards more 1 to 1 support. There is also a managed service by young people for young people to be able to talk with someone who understands their problems.

You can also call the Young Minds Parent's Helpline on: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)

OTHER SOURCES OF HELP....

Here are some other places you can find help, information and support. They may not be eating disorder specific but as broader mental health charities, they'll have lots of help that you might find really useful.

CAMHS

CAMHS is part of the NHS mental health services, specifically dedicated to children and young people in England. They can provide a range of services and people to help including help from psychiatrists, psychologists, support workers, nurses and occupational therapists.

The Mix

If you're under 25 you can talk to The Mix for free on the phone, by email or on their webchat. You can also use their phone counselling service, or get more information on support services you might need.

Family Lives is a parenting and support network for anything family related. They provide a variety of services including a confidential UK helpline and forums. There are also lots of helpful videos and blogs.

The Counselling Directory

Find local help here

NHS Psychological therapies

Click here to Find local NHS Psychological therapies and services.

Browse all mental health support

Use our directory to find lots of other charities and organisations here to help you and your whole family.

Not sure where to turn?

istock_000021104923large

Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Children’s Mental Health

If you are looking for help for a child, teen or student with mental health issues, then you’ve come to the right place. This is where you’ll find tonnes of organisations with information, advice and support for children's mental health. 

Finding Help for Child & Teen Mental Health

We know that it’s vital that you and your whole family get the right support at the right time when a child or young person is struggling with mental health problems. 

That’s why the Sky Badger team have been working tirelessly to gathering some of the very best mental health charities & organisations available to help you in the UK.

This is where you’ll find out how to help children, teens and students with mental health issues.

Many of these charities and organisations also support family members and friends too. You can find advice, information, counselling, helplines and much, much more.

children's mental health

 Other Specific Mental Health Conditions

Keep scrolling down to find lots of mental health support. However, if you're looking for information and advice about a specific condition such as anorexia, self-harming or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, then click the links below.

Find Mental Health Advice & Support

Most of these organisations work with children and young people of all ages although some also specialise in supporting students. Please take your time and don't forget to check out our massive mental health directory for loads more places to find support.

Here are some of our favourites charities working with anxiety in children, teen mental health and student mental health to get you started...

Anxiety in children & teen mental health

Young Minds has lots of ways to help children and young people who are experiencing any kind of mental health problem. They run a range of schemes to help promote good mental health in schools across the UK as well as guidance towards more 1 to 1 support. There is also a managed service by young people for young people to be able to talk with someone who understands their problems.

You can also call the Young Minds Parent's Helpline on: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)

CAMHS is part of the NHS mental health services, specifically dedicated to children and young people in England. They can provide a range of services and people to help including help from psychiatrists, psychologists, support workers, nurses and occupational therapists.

You may need a referral from someone who works with your child, often a general practitioner (GP), teacher or social worker. However, some clinics also accept self-referrals from young people or parents and carers.

Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Whether it’s something big or small, their trained counsellors are here to support you.

Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night. You can talk to them by calling 0800 1111 or by email using this LINK or you can chat 1-2-1 with a counsellor. Whatever feels best for you.

Mind provides advice and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem in the UK. They support young people and you can contact them through their helpline or drop in centres around the country.  They offer a range of other services including help with housing or employment concerns and also host training schemes for schools and employers.

Student mental health

students against depression

Students Against Depression is a website offering advice, information, guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking. Alongside clinically-validated information and resources it presents the experiences, strategies and advice of students themselves – after all, who better to speak to their peers about how depression can be overcome.

Student Minds

Student Minds run groups so that students experiencing mental health difficulties have access to a supportive environment in which they can talk about life, university and what they are doing to keep their lives on track.

Nightline is a listening, emotional support, information and supplies service, run by students for students. Nightlines are open at night, run by trained, caring, fellow student volunteers. Nightline can be contacted by phone, face to face, by email or by online chat. There are Nightline services at many universities around the UK and elsewhere. Additional services such as information and supplies are also often available.

Browse all mental health support

Use our directory to find lots of other charities and organisations here to help you and your whole family.

Not sure where to turn?

istock_000021104923large

Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.

Make a Wish Charities

Do you know a child with a serious medical condition or disability? Are looking for a Make a Wish charity to make their dreams come true? Well, You've come to the right place!

Make a Wish

A ‘wish making’ charity grants a wish to a seriously ill, disabled or life-limited child. This can include a huge range of conditions. The wishes are generally tailor-made to fit your child’s wildest dreams – anything is possible, from meeting a movie star to visiting Santa.

Wish Making Charities you should know about...

Wishes are varied and far reaching. For some a trip to Disney Florida or Paris to meet their favourite characters, for others it is a chance to get up close to a favourite pop star or sporting hero and some children simply want books and toys. Whatever the Wish, wherever possible, When You Wish Upon A Star will aim to make that Wish a reality.

dream flight

Dreamflight

Dreamflight is a UK charity that changes young lives through taking children with a serious illness or disability, without their parents, on the holiday of a lifetime to Orlando, Florida.

Dreamflight is a ten day annual trip to the theme parks of Florida for 8-14 year old children with a serious illness and/or disability. We aim to take children whose situations make it unlikely for them ever to be able to go on such a trip without the full medical, nursing and physiotherapy care we provide. This is a unique opportunity for children to go away without family members, to meet new friends and build confidence and independence.

At Round Table Children’s Wish, we grant wishes for children and young people who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses. It gives the child something to look forward to when it is needed most and to create some special memories for all the family.

Promise Dreams help seriously or terminally ill children under 18 years and their families. It provides once in a lifetime dreams from holidays to meeting their favourite celebrity. Families are asked to consider fundraising as they may only be able to offer a donation towards the dream.

The Dreams Team

The Dreams Team grants the dreams and wishes of sick, terminally ill and disabled children.

Past dreams have included meeting Ant and Dec, a Christmas trip to Lapland, the provision of specialist car seating and computer equipment.

Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is a national charity that rebuilds confidence after cancer, using sailing to support, empower and inspire young people between the ages of 8-24 in embracing their future with optimism.

We work with every young person’s principal treatment centre, and a growing number of designated units, in the UK.

Young people come to us either through our contact within each of these hospitals or units, usually a nurse or CLIC Sargent social worker, who recommend which young people they think would be benefit most from a Trust trip, or as self-referrals.

Dreams come true

Dreams come True provides children and young adults (2-21 years) with severe and life threatening illnesses the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Each dream is unique but past dreams have included swimming with the dolphins, a seaside holiday, a TV and a music centre.

Browse loads more Wish Making Charities here

Use our directory to find even more places to make dreams come true.

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Grants fot IT

Find holiday insurance for pre existing conditions & autism.

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Summer Camps & Activities

Find lots of great adventures to have over the holidays.

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Free & Low Cost Holidays

Find adventures for your whole family.

Looking for something else?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

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Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

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Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

disabled grants

Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

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Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

istock_000021104923large

Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.