Emotional and Mental Well-Being

What is mental well-being?

Mental well-being doesn’t have one set meaning. We might use it to talk about how we feel, how well we’re coping with daily life or what feels possible at the moment.

Good mental well-being doesn’t mean you’re always happy or unaffected by your experiences. But poor mental well-being can make it more difficult to cope with daily life.

Tips for improving your mental well-being

There are lots of things we can try to take care of our well-being. But it’s not always easy to start. You might find it helpful to:

  • only try what feels comfortable
  • give yourself time to figure out what works for you, going at your own pace
  • take small steps. Pick one or two things that feel achievable at first, before moving on to try other ideas.

Find ways to relax

If there’s something that helps you relax, try to find time to fit it into your day. For example, this could be having a bath or going for a walk. If you find it difficult to switch off, you could try some of the tips and exercises in our relaxation pages.

Take a break if you need to

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try to take a break. A change of scene can help you to relax and relieve feelings of anxiety, even just for a few minutes.

“For me, whenever I feel overwhelmed or like I’m being mentally negative, I put my headphones on and go for a walk. This helps me zone out and ensures I don’t do anything I will later regret.”

Do something you enjoy

Try to make time to do an activity you like on a regular basis. This could be something small, like cooking a meal, ringing a friend or listening to music.

“I find listening to radio or audiobooks very helpful to distract from low mood or sadness.”

Try to manage stress

If you’re under a lot of pressure, you may start to feel overwhelmed or out of control. Stress can also cause physical side effects.

See our pages on stress for tips on dealing with pressure and coping with stressful events.

Try mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to the present moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing exercises and yoga. It’s been shown to help people become more aware of their thoughts and feelings. This means that instead of being overwhelmed by your feelings, it becomes easier to manage them.

See our pages on mindfulness for more information, including some exercises you could try.

“I had to make room to be well. Sounds daft but give yourself some space – in my case I used mindfulness to help me gain control.”

Give yourself some tech-free time

If you find that being on your phone or computer a lot is making you feel busier and stressed, try to take a break. This could be for just an hour or two. If you find this difficult, try putting your phone in another room or setting an alarm to time yourself.

Supporting organisations:

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)

What is CAMHS?

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. 

In Hertfordshire, we use the term CAMHS to cover services that support the emotional and mental health of children and young people like school counselling, play therapy and more specialist teams like the eating disorder service.

At the moment we are going through a programme called CAMHS Transformation where we are increasing the amount of help available, particularly early on and trying to improve the experience children and young people using services have.

Children and young people may need help with a wide range of issues at different points in their lives.

Parents and carers may also need help and advice to deal with behavioural, or other problems their child is experiencing. Parents, carers and young people can receive direct support through CAMHS.



For Better Mental Health

We deliver essential mental health support in Hertfordshire, providing a diverse range of services from our seven Wellbeing Centres and other venues across all ten districts of the county. Funded locally, our services are available to all residents in Hertfordshire over the age of 18 and we offer dedicated services for 15-18 year olds.

We create opportunities for individuals experiencing mental ill health to make choices, find their solutions, build resilience and manage their whole life and wellbeing. Our services are based on the principle of self-help with a strong emphasis on prevention, personal development, self-management and improving health and wellbeing. 

We provide opportunities for individuals to access support to enable them to recover from or live with mental ill health.


Click on Image to Enlarge


Built by a team of people dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing of teenagers through a unique and innovative program designed to help reduce anxiety and self-destructive behaviours by building resilience. GRIT is a 12-week programme designed to build resilience and improve self-confidence and esteem thereby reducing self-destructive behaviour.


Growing People

Growing People is a mental health charity based in Letchworth. Their qualified staff team provide a range of services using proven social and therapeutic horticulture (STH) therapies to contribute to the wellbeing and recovery of Hertfordshire residents.


Growing Roots

Growing Roots seeks to promote the mental and physical health and well-being of individuals, by providing the opportunity to grown their own vegetables, fruit and flowers on a share of an allotment.


Health for Kids

Health for Kids offers a fun, engaging and interactive way for children to learn about health. The website has games, activities, articles plus more. There is a separate section for parents and careers where you can search for news, services and advice by area.


New Leaf College

New Leaf Wellbeing College runs short, free educational courses in all aspects of wellbeing, with a focus on encourging people to draw on their own strengths and the knowledge they acquire to become experts in their own self-care. They support people to achieve their goals and ambitions,so that they can live a meaningful and fulfilling life, whatever challenges they live with.

01442 864 966



Stevenage Healthy Hub

Healthy Hub is a one stop shop providing information, advice and support to improve the health and wellbeing of our community. A team of professionals are on hand to help you every step of the way. they provide lifestyle support for you and your family including mental health, physical activity, weight management, breastfeeding, parenting skills, coping with cancer, carers and smoking cessation. They can link you to services and support teams across Stevenage, some of whom meet regularly at the Healthy Hub. If you need someone to talk to, they will provide confidential one-to-on meetings within the Healthy Hub.

01438 579 390



Young Minds

Offers a confidential helpline and support service for parents and carers worried about young people up to the age of 25.

We’re leading the fight for a future where all young minds are supported and empowered, whatever the challenges. We’re here to make sure they get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties.

The crisis in children and young people’s mental health is real and it is urgent. More children and young people than ever before are reaching out for help with their mental health. But for those who take that brave step, help is much too hard to find.

Together, we are changing this. We’re fighting for young people’s mental health. Join our fight.

Call the Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544(Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines)

Mind Ed

A free online educational and informational resource of children’s and young people’s mental health for parents and professional adults.

Are you a parent or carer who is concerned about the mental health of your child or teenager? Do you just want some hints and tips on parenting? MindEd for Families has advice and information from trusted experts and will help you to understand what problems occur, what you can do to best support your family, and how to take care of yourself. MindEd for Families is written by a team of specialists and parents, working together.

You do not need to register to use these resources.


U Can Cope

Provides film and online resources designed for people in distress and those supporting them.

Our belief is that emotional distress, and tragically, suicide, still affects and takes far too many lives. We felt that responsibility for people with suicidal thoughts was seen to lie with specialist mental health services and others were more nervous to get involved. However we knew that early intervention from a colleague, friend, compassionate health provider or care giver could make a real difference to saving lives.

We have developed our training and resources to be as accessible as possible. We believe everyone has the capacity to help and that this can happen safely. We have developed our training and materials using the very latest research about what works. We are working in partnership with professional bodies, charities and other providers of suicide prevention training.


YC Hertfordshire(part of Herts County Council)

Provides a range of educational programmes for teens as well as targeted services for young people including care leavers, young parents and LGBTQ teens.

YC Hertfordshire provides youth work projects and programmes, information, advice, guidance, work related learning, outdoor education and support for young people aged 13-19 (to 24 for young people with learning disabilities). For young people leaving care, support is provided to the age of 21.

0300 123 7538



Healthy Young Minds in Herts

Many more school children in Hertfordshire and west Essex will be able to get early help with their mental health difficulties, thanks to a national ‘Trailblazer’ programme.

Two new mental health support teams will join those already in place in 32 schools and colleges in St Albans and East Hertfordshire, following another successful bid for national funding.

One of the new teams will cover special schools across Hertfordshire and west Essex, hosted by the PALMS* service at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust and the other, hosted by the mental health charity Mind, will cover schools in Harlow.

Staff for the new teams will be recruited from September and will work in schools and colleges to:



Your Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) staff will come to wards/clinics to talk to patients/relatives/carers regarding concerns that you may have.

The PALS team aims to help patients, carers, staff and the public by:

Contacting PALS

Our PALS team, which covers the Lister, New QEII and Hertford County hospitals and the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, is based at the Lister.  The team can be contacted on 01438 285811 or pals.enh-tr@nhs.net.