New campaign launches for Children’s Mental Health Week

A recent survey carried out by Dorset Youth found that over 40% of young people in Dorset either didn’t know (21.3%) or weren’t sure (19.2%) how to access mental health advice.

To tackle this, Dorset’s Suicide Prevention Group is launching a new campaign for Children’s Mental Health Week (6-12 February) highlighting the wide range of mental health support available to children and young people in Dorset. This includes 24/7 crisis support, NHS services and support provided by local charities such as Dorset Mind and Dorset Mental Health Forum.

Will, a young peer specialist at Dorset Mental Health Forum, explains how important it is to ask for help if you need it: “Reaching out for support is incredibly difficult and can be one of the scariest things we ever do. In the same way, it's one of the most important things I ever did for my mental health, and reaching out turned a corner for my wellbeing in general. It was one of the most vulnerable things I've done in my life. At the same time, it was the single best thing I did for my wellbeing and recovery.”

The new ‘RUOK?’ campaign will use social media and digital channels to highlight the different ways young people can access mental health support – via phone, text, online or in person – and promote a ‘shareable graphic’ containing information on support, which can be saved on a mobile phone (download the graphic here:

In addition, the campaign will signpost young people to Dorset Youth’s new 0-25 Knowledge Hub, which includes information on a wide range of mental health and wellbeing support, searchable by age and area:

Mike Bennett, CEO of Dorset Youth, explains: “The 0-25 Knowledge Hub has been designed by young people for young people, to help them find information, support and advice nationally but more importantly, locally. The voluntary and community sector in Dorset provides vital services for children, young people and families, and you may not know that there is an organisation that is down the road that can support you now. The Knowledge Hub helps raise the visibility of these services.”

Over 370 young people took part in the 2022 VoiceX survey, which was delivered via the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF). Those taking part also reported that ‘mental health’ is the topic that matters most to them, when asked about a range of issues.

Councillor Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Cabinet Member for Education, Children & Early Help, said: “Children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing is so important and I’m really glad that this campaign is happening in Dorset. It is very clear that our young people will greatly benefit from accessing information and support in a safe digital space by knowing how to easily access this vital support.”

“I am delighted to hear that the Knowledge Hub resource has been closely co-produced with young people and thank them for their input.”

Councillor Mike White, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, BCP Council said: “Children’s Mental Health Week is so important to showcase all the support available for children, young people and their families. Good mental health positively impacts every area of children’s development, from their learning and creativity to the relationships they form and their physical health. Anything additional we can do to further help children and young people across Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch is a good thing.”

To find out more about the RUOK? campaign visit


Mental health support for young people in Dorset

Young people in Dorset can access mental health support in a range of different ways.


Connection – Dorset’s NHS mental health helpline - 0800 652 0190

Samaritans – on-hand to help, however big or small the problem - 116 123

Papyrus HOPELINE – for children or young people experiencing thoughts of suicide - 0800 068 4141


Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 for confidential support via text message


Visit for an online wellbeing forum for 11-18 year olds, which includes free online counselling with trained professionals and moderated forums


Your GP can help you find the right mental health support, including NHS services such as CAMHS, or you can talk to an adult you trust such as a teacher, lecturer, family member or youth worker.

Find more services for young people in Dorset at

Published on:
03/02/2023, 09:50