Mental Health

Mental health issues amongst our students have been on the rise, with one in 10 children in the UK now suffering with mental health issues every year. Children North East can help with specialist mental health services for schools:

Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends

Zippy’s Friends is a programme that helps young children (Year One and Two) of all abilities to develop coping and social skills. The programme teaches them how to cope with everyday difficulties, to identify and talk about their feelings and to explore ways of dealing with them including topics such as communication, friendship, solving problems and moving forward.

Children take part in interactive activities, games and participate in role-play with Zippy and friends based upon situations they may encounter. The programme works with a whole year group and not just specific students.

Apple’s Friends (Years Three and Four) builds on what has been taught in Zippy’s Friends and introduces Apple the hamster.  It covers themes similar to those in Zippy’s Friends.

We are working in partnership with Partnership for Children to deliver Zippy’s and Apple’s Friends.  We work with schools to train your staff to deliver Zippy’s and Apples Friends and host regular training sessions so that school staff can access the training.


The BU Programme is a group intervention which aims to build young people’s resilience to cope with the emotional challenges of everyday life, learning and school and develops their foundations for positive mental health. The programme is designed to support children and young people who may be:

struggling to manage their emotions
becoming withdrawn
having difficulties with confidence, self-esteem or friendships
at risk of developing more severe mental health difficulties

The programme is delivered in two hour sessions over six weeks and covers five units:

Coping with feelings
Basic mental health

It has a proven track record of improving young people’s sense of well-being, including increased confidence and self-esteem, communication and relationships, and engagement in school and community activities.

A school staff member said:

It is important that we can help students deal with their thoughts and behaviour. This is why we are working with Children North East because they are very good at it.


Clinical Counselling

Our passionate team of experienced clinical counsellors work in a person-centred way to offer tailored, one to one counselling to children and young people using a range of therapy approaches. The benefits of our Counselling service include:

An enriched school experience for students, including improved behaviour and increased attendance
Smoother transition between year groups
Coping strategies for students enabling them to increase their educational performance
Challenging disruptive behaviour
Wraparound support with the wider family where necessary.

A school counsellor said:

The needs of this student were outside of my experience so it was helpful to be able to refer to another agency that could come into the school to offer specialist help


If you’re interested in finding out more about any of the work we do within schools and how we could work together email our schools team on or ring them on 0191 256 2449.