Emotional Wellbeing

There are a range of ways that young people can be supported to increase their health and well being and Young minds offers support on many issues such as bullying, eating disorders and exam stress. They offer advice on talking about problems, exercising and helping others and how this helps emotional well being.

Anxiety is a common feature of adopted children's lives. It makes sense that having often grown up with the anxiety accompanying for example domestic violence, or neglect in their birth families, this is an emotion which continues to drive their behaviour. It can present in many ways such as a need for control or aggression, as well as more obvious worrying and tension.

Jane Evans, a trauma parenting specialist, talks about the' Meerkat Brain' (using the notion we have of hyper-vigilant creatures looking all around for danger) and has also written an accompanying book aimed at young children.

There are other ways of helping with anxiety which is often linked to managing sensations in the body and sensory regulation techniques are a tangible way of helping children and young people with this area. More information is available on the self-regulation and sensory processing [PDF] document.


Being bullied and sometimes being the bully is not unusual for young people who have themselves been victimised. Both can reflect difficulties with peer relationships and both can be worrying for parents and carers.

Kidscape website has a lot of useful information for parents and young people.

Self Harm

Harmless is a local, user-led organisation providing support, information, training and consultancy to people who self harm, their friends, families and professionals.

If your child or foster child is self harming and you are worried about their potential to hurt themselves seriously, please consult your GP and social worker and consider a referral to Nottinghamshire’s Looked After and Adoption CAMHS team via (01159) 560843 or 



Lots of young people feel suicidal some time in their lives. Thousands go into hospital each year having tried to harm themselves. Many more than this attempt to take their own lives - and nobody ever gets to know about it.

The good news is that most recover and never try again. A small number, however, do go on to kill themselves - in the UK about 1,600 young people under the age of 35 each year die because of suicide.

Please visit the PAPYRUS website if you have been affected by this issue.