Q   I am feeling really confused lately, sometimes I get tearful for no reason and once I start crying I can’t stop . At other times I feel really happy and silly and get in trouble for messing about at school. I am always being criticised at home and being moaned at for not helping out enough and not putting enough effort into my homework. My teacher says if I don’t start behaving in class, she will call my parents in. I am in year 9 at school. I feel I am going mad and there might be something wrong with me, where can I go for help?
A   Being a teenager can be a difficult time, your body is going through changes and your hormone levels can fluctuate, leaving you feeling happy one minute and sad the next.

Being a teenager also means that at school you have to start making choices about the subjects you want to study. Your friendship groups may be changing and you will start to feel closer to some of your friends and this may cause conflict with your parents, as they adapt to the “changing you”. So some of these feelings you describe may be normal, but it would probably help to talk things through with the school nurse.

The school nurse will be able to assess if she feels you need additional support and will be able to help direct you to that support. Sometimes it just helps to talk about your feelings on a confidential basis.

Although the school nurse will not share any information unless she feels you or anyone else is at risk of harm, sometimes young people find it helpful to use the school nurse to ask your teacher or parents for support in how you are feeling, but this would only be done with your knowledge.

You can see your school nurse at a school nurse drop-in, you can ring the school nurse team and make an appointment, or you can ask your teacher to make an appointment for you.

The school nurse service is looking at ways of being more accessible to young people and you will soon be able to chat online through the instant messaging function.

If you feel that you need additional support over what the school nurse service can offer, you can access online counselling through Kooth.com or see you family GP for advice.

There is also useful information that can be found through the Young Minds and Childline websites.