Body image and self-esteem

A common and innate fear for adolescents is the fear of not being liked or accepted and of not belonging. This goes back to our ancestral past when forming or joining a new tribe was essential to survival as not being part of a group would be much more dangerous and you would be less likely to survive.  The way the mind shows that fear is to find fault with ourselves - how we look, dress or behave. Understanding that fear of other's negative judgements is normal and using self-compassion are the antidote to image and self-esteem problems. 

There are lots of things young people can do to overcome these issues and feel more confident.

The MIX offer information and advice from experts and from young people. Check out their website, or call their helpline for free on 0808 808 4994 (11am-11pm everyday).

Kooth is a free online counselling and emotional wellbeing support service offered to young people aged 11 - 25 years (up to their 26th birthday) living in Dorset, Hampshire and the IoW with a safe and secure means of accessing support with their emotional and mental health needs from a professional team of qualified counsellors. 

By accessing Kooth young people can benefit from a free, confidential, anonymous and safe way to receive support online, online counselling from a professional team of BACP qualified counsellors is available via 1-1 chat sessions or messaging on a drop in basis or via booked sessions including out of hours’ availability - counsellors are available from 12pm to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop in basis.

No referral is required, young people can access the service directly and in complete confidence at

Books available:
  • Banish Your Self-esteem thief; a Workbook on building positive self-esteem for young people by Kate Collins-Donnelly
  • Banish your body image thief; A workbook on building positive body image for young people by Kate Collins-Donnelly
  • The self-esteem workbook for teens by Schab
  • Little Blue book of sunshine - a mental health booklet that has been developed for children and young people living in Hampshire, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. The book aims to help children and young people by sharing tips on how to deal with many problems, such as anxiety, body image, relationships and anger. It also includes information about where to get help when needed, including information about local services. Click here to access the PDF or access the booklet via Apple Books or Google Play Books
Click here to access the PDF or access the booklet via Apple Books or Google Play Books
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