Who we help / Young people

Young people

Being between 18 and 24 years old can be an exciting period of life! However, it can also be a challenging one as it is likely that new responsibilities arise, and some life decisions need to be made.

This period is also key for developing habits that nurture our wellbeing. For example, having healthy sleep patterns, exercising regularly, learning coping and problem-solving strategies, developing social skills and learning to manage emotions.

Asking for help

Sometimes it can be difficult to acknowledge something is not feeling right and to talk about this. But experiencing emotional struggles or difficulties with your mental health can happen to anyone, so the best thing to do about it is to ask for help.

What can Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) offer?

We offer short-term talking therapies for common mental health issues. These are often related to difficulties at work or studies, relationship issues or life changes.
Some of them are:

  • Low mood or depression
  • Excessive worrying or anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Sleep problems
  • Stress
  • Phobia
  • Low self-esteem
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Experience of a traumatic event
  • Loss and grief

IAPT services aim to be flexible. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the help you need, we deliver online (via Microsoft Teams) and face-to-face sessions. The therapy we offer is free and confidential. This is usually based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is a talking therapy that focuses on the relationship between your thoughts, feelings and behaviour for helping you to manage your difficulties.

We recently interviewed young people who accessed our service and they agreed that CBT techniques were helpful for having a better understanding of their mental health and improving their management of emotions.

Why are young people more at risk of developing mental health problems?

There are certain factors that can make young people be at greater risk of developing mental health problems, such as peer pressure, exposure to media influence and gender norms, unhealthy relationships with peers, bullying, harsh parenting, severe socioeconomic problems, having a chronic illness or belonging to an ethnic minority.

Recent studies found that one in two people aged between 16 and 25 in the UK experienced worse mental health since the beginning of the pandemic and were more likely to suffer stress arising from the pandemic than the general population. Common emotional experiences were hopelessness, loneliness, difficulties in coping with everyday life and suicidal thoughts. If you experienced any of these or other emotional challenges, you are not alone.


A one-to-one therapy session with participants wearing face coverings.

A patient's story

How to refer yourself to Lewisham IAPT for psychological therapies?

Please click on the ‘make a referral’ button. Alternatively, you can call 0203 2281350 or ask your GP to make a referral for you.

What to expect when you self-refer?

A time will be arranged for you to speak to one of the therapists. When you have your first appointment you will be asked for some brief details about yourself and about your current difficulties. This helps us decide how we can best help you.

After the end of the appointment, we will discuss within our team the support options available and we will talk to you about this for agreeing on a plan.

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