If you need to speak to someone right now, here are some confidential options which provide 24/7 support.
If you're worried you might hurt yourself or someone else, please call 999, or go to your nearest A and E.
For people who are experiencing distress or despair.
WiseTalking is a pilot Talking Therapies service for children and young people who are struggling with their mental health, provided by MindWise.
For ages 12-18
We're here for young people who are finding things tough
Remote or face-to-face
We can deliver sessions face-to-face or through video chat - whatever works best for you.
8 sessions for 45 people
WiseTalking is delivered over eight sessions. There are 45 spaces available on this pilot programme.
Free of charge
This pilot service is free of charge as it is kindly supported by Mental Health UK Innovations Fund.
What the project can offer
We offer free psychological therapies to 12–18-year-olds. Our WiseTalking therapists specialise in counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy. You will be offered either one or a combined approach of both these methods. You can learn more about different types of therapies here.
The kind of issues you may be struggling with include:
Anxiety and self-esteem
Anger and behaviour issues
Coping with changes and transitions
Issues at school
How it works
Once you submit the form at the bottom of this page, you will receive a message to confirm that we have received it
We will review your application form and assess the information provided.
Once your application has been assessed, we will advise if we can offer you talking therapy sessions and if successful, you will be assigned a therapist who will contact you (or your parent/guardian if appropriate) directly.
If you are unsuccessful, we will advise you (and your parent/guardian if under 16 years old) for what reason and if possible, signpost to more suitable organisations.
Who are WiseTalking?
MindWiseWiseTalking counsellors are qualified therapists and accredited (or working towards accreditation) with BACP (British Association of Counselling Professionals) or IACP (international Association of Counselling Professionals). All WiseTalking counsellors have extensive experience working with children and young people, with additional training in Lego-based Therapy undertaken to enable us to support young people with diverse needs and abilities.
It's great to have a space where I can be really honest about how I'm feeling
Oisín- WiseTalking Applicant
Are you eligible for WiseTalking?
We offer WiseTalking Therapies to young people who are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety and who might benefit from psychological therapies. As this is a pilot programme, that means that we have some criteria that applicants need to meet in order for us to offer the right kind of support.
WiseTalking is for 12-18-year-olds.
You should normally live in the Greater Belfast area, Lisburn, or North Down.
Level of support
You should be suitable to receive Tier 2 support (counselling/Cognitive Behavioural Therapy interventions). We can't offer long-term or intensive psychological therapies.
You are experiencing - or at risk of developing - low to moderate-level mental health difficulties.
You don't need a diagnosis of any mental health condition to access WiseTalking.
You're not currently experiencing suicidal feelings, and you haven't made a suicide attempt.
You must agree to signing up
Although you may need a parent or guardian to sign your application, no-one can apply without your consent.
Counselling and cognitive behavioural therapies are both effective in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. They aim to give you a space to talk freely that is just for you, and to equip you with some helpful tools for managing your mental health.
If you arefeeling depressed, you may feel sad a lot of the time, not feel like seeing your friends or family, struggle to concentrate on your schoolwork and feel bad about yourself. You might cry more than usual, or you might feel nothing at all when you feel like you should. Sometimes, people who are experiencing depression may have a hard time controlling their emotions, and be more angry or irritable than usual.
If you’re experiencing anxiety, you may feel worried and scared a lot. It might be about something specific, like school, or you might feel worried and scared about a lot of things and not really know why. Anxiety can also affect your body, like making your heart beat faster or making you feel sweaty. You might also sometimes feel “spaced-out”.
The sessions will be in person, which means you will meet with the therapist at each session. They will take place in a suitable place near to you.
If you have difficulties accessing the place (due to disability or trouble with getting to and from there), the therapist will work with you to look at alternative options, which may include talking by video chat instead.
If you are 12-15 years old
We need someone aged over 18 years to complete the relevant sections of the form with you. This should be your parent, guardian or a responsible adult.
We won’t be able to offer you therapy or counselling if you don’t do this.
If you’re aged 12-15, your parent, guardian or responsible adult may be contacted in advance of your first session by your assigned therapist.
If you are 16-18 years old
You do not need to inform your parents.
We believe you have the right to use our services confidentially, which means keeping what you say between you and MindWise.
We also believe that keeping you and other young people safe is very important. This means that sometimes we might contact the emergency services, or other organisations, to make sure you get the help that you need.
When might we contact someone
There are some occasions when confidentiality in counselling may have to be broken for legal reasons.
If we think you, other young people, or adults are at risk of harm or are not safe, we will pass the information to social services or the police. We will discuss this with you if possible.
If we are told about a serious crime, we will have to tell the police.
If you and your child think that WiseTalking therapies could be helpful, you can show them the information on this page and talk it through together.
You need to get their agreement before submitting the application, and if your child is aged 12-15, you may need to attend sessions 1 and 8 along with them. Your child needs to be able to attend all 8 sessions. You can then complete the application form together.
If your child is aged 12-15, you will need to complete the relevant sections of the form. Over 16s do not need to have parental consent to take part, and a parent/guardian does not attend any sessions.
Counsellors believe that young people should have privacy in counselling just like adults. We will ask the young person what is ‘okay to share’ with parents/carers if appropriate and this will be agreed with the young person.
Yes, but you must have consent of both the child and their parent or guardian (if they are under 16). You may wish to share this page with them and discuss whether it might be beneficial to the child. Then you can fill in the application form together, or with their parent. Their parent or guardian must sign this form.
We won't judge you or tell you what to do - we're here to help you find a way through.
Leanne- WiseTalking Therapist
WiseTalking Pilot Programme now closed
The WiseTalking project pilot has now closed for referrals. Thank you to everyone that contributed.
We look forward to the next steps on conclusion of the evaluation of the pilot outcomes.
Registered in Northern Ireland Number NI071976. Registered Office Pinewood House, 46 Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5NW. MindWise is the operating name of Mind Wise New Vision a company limited by guarantee and recognised by HM Revenue and Customs as a charity for tax purposes.