We run various services and projects across Bristol and South Gloucestershire which you can find out about here. They have been designed with the help of young people to promote and improve your mental health and wellbeing, and all of them are delivered by a team of super friendly staff and volunteers.

Talking Therapies

Art Therapy

Building Resilience

Freedom (LGBTQ)

Social Action!



Harm Less

Mind Aid

Our team of counsellors come from a wide range of backgrounds and work in a variety of ways. They’ve all been chosen to work at OTR because whatever technique they have trained in, they will listen to what you say and won’t judge you.

Counselling can be a great way to explore and understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, approach the challenges you might be facing, and discover your strengths. You can talk about whatever you like; your counsellor is there to help you find your own way forward. And if you feel like it’s not working, you can try someone or something else that we offer!

BTW – We also run group work from time to time, which can be a brilliant way to meet people going through the same issue and find support. We run groups on things like anger, mindfulness, anxiety and managing low mood. Keep an eye on our Latest News page for details of where, when and if they are happening.

We have our base in central Bristol, but our counsellors and therapists are based all over the city and across South Gloucestershire too; check out the map to find your nearest one. You can access them by contacting us directly, with the help of someone else, or via your GP and the South Gloucestershire Talking Therapies (IAPT).

You can download an e-flyer for any of our outreach services below…

Barton Hill Fishponds Kingswood Knowle West Lawrence Weston Lockleaze Patchway Southmead Withywood Yate

I’d Like to Speak

Sometimes, expressing your thoughts, feelings and experiences through art is easier than using words. Art therapy uses different materials to help you express feelings and emotions in an individual way.

During sessions you can work with a range of materials. There are no set rules – it’s up to you what you use and how a session should go.

TynaEach week you can make something new, but there’s no pressure to. You don’t need to be good at art and you won’t be judged on what you make or do. Tyna, our Art Therapist (pictured on the right!) will support you in the creative process but it’s totally okay if you’re not feeling creative and prefer to just talk instead.

Here are some examples of the work created in OTR’s Art Therapy…

"Risking it all" by Anon

Picture 1 of 13

Sessions run weekly on Fridays and Mondays.

Below are a few photos of our art rooms, so you know what you can expect!

Art at OTR!

Picture 1 of 3

I’d Like to Speak

We all know life has ups and downs and that sometimes things get stressful. Knowing how to bounce back from those challenges is really important for our health and happiness.

Sometimes we all rely on unhealthy ways to cope with stress. Here at OTR we’re big believers in taking care of yourself properly – knowing when to rest, how to relax and recognise your strengths are important features of good mental health, and the great thing is you can learn them!

All our Youth Support Workers have a toolkit of psychological tips, techniques, ideas and resources. When you meet one of them for a session, they will listen and support you to manage feelings of anxiety, stress, worry and more.

We also offer free and fun workshops for young people that teach these skills and ideas for how to cope with stress and deal with life’s challenges. To find out more or to book a workshop, be sure to check out The Resilience Lab.

You can download a flyer here…

Resilience Lab Flyer

I’d Like to Speak

Many of us question our sexuality or gender at some point in our lives. This can be a confusing and isolating process, especially if those around you don’t understand. You are not alone!

Sometimes, being around other people experiencing similar stuff can help us to understand who we are and to feel part of a community. Freedom is our LGBTQ service for young people in Bristol aged 13-19 (or up to 24 with an additional learning need or learning disability).

Freedom is a fun, safe, inclusive and supportive project where you can meet other lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer or questioning young people. It’s open to anyone questioning their sexuality or gender – there are no labels applied!

Freedom is a young person led project that – depending on what you want – includes everything from social events, workshops and trips to activism and campaigning. As well as being fun and informal, you can also get specialist one-to-one and group support, including counselling.

Interested? For more information or an informal chat contact Henry on 07496 965262 or henry@otrbristol.org.uk.

Download the Freedom Flyer

Check Freedom out on Facebook too!

I’d Like to Speak

Here at OTR we believe strongly in social action, especially when it’s led by young people. That’s because so much of what people experience as stressful has a bigger social and political context that usually isn’t part of our understanding or discussion about mental health. We think it should be, because otherwise only using words like ‘illness’ to describe individual suffering risks forgetting about important issues of social justice that shape the way we see the world and how we feel about our place in it.   

So whether that means de-stigmatising mental health, challenging discrimination and inequality, or improving services, we’re committed to helping young people find the connections between the personal and political. Particularly where their mental health is concerned!

Our current social action projects are described below, to keep up to date with their work be sure to check out the Latest News section of our website, where you’ll find blogs, pics and much more.

Participate! Act! Resist!
(Young Female Leaders of Colour)

PAR started out in 2013 as a Participatory Action Research project with young Black and Minority Ethnic women in the inner city. Today it’s a radical Black Feminist social action project led by the same young women!

Determined to promote consciousness of internalised oppression and challenge the inequalities experienced by girls and young women around gender, race and wellbeing, the group meets weekly for support, training and to plan their campaign.

The group is open to anyone (yes, even guys!) aged 16-25.

You can download a flyer here…

Participate! Act! Resist!

Interested? Drop Dee an email at dee@otrbristol.org.uk to find out more.


Time to Change (2BME)

Part of the national Time to Change campaign to end the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health, 2BME is a local partnership between OTR, Nilaari, and Bristol Somali Youth Network.

The project works with young activists from Bristol’s African Caribbean and Somali communities aged 16-25 to deliver a culturally targeted anti-stigma message, one co-designed by young people with lived experience of mental ill health.

If you’re interested in becoming a young activist on this new and exciting project, or just want to find out more, follow the Latest News page on our site and get in touch with Dee at dee@otrbristol.org.uk.

I’d Like to Speak

What you can expect

Here at OTR we have fifty years experience working with young people so you can expect experienced, highly knowledgeable and passionate trainers who live what they teach in their sessions. Our sessions are capped at twelve participants because we want to create a relaxed and intimate learning environment where you get to know your co-participants and have lots of opportunity to participate. You can also expect young people to be involved in most of what we deliver. We try to live and breathe participation here, and the voice of young people is an important part of any learning with us. When you book onto one of our courses you can also expect us to provide lunch and refreshments and we will also make sure you leave with our bespoke training resources from your day.


21st July 2016 | Introduction to Young People’s Mental Health | £110

Perfect for anyone who wants to understand the basics. This one day session offers a great grounding in the field of young people’s mental health, exploring how age is socially constructed and the social and biological pressures young people face growing up. This is a highly participatory session co-delivered by young people!

22nd September 2016 | Working Confidently with Gender & Sexual Diversity | £110 

Gender and sexuality are two of the most powerful organising principles in our society. This one day session will explore the increasing diversity and fluidity of gender and sexual identities among young people, and will give participants new insight and confidence understanding how these fundamental aspects of our identities shape our mental health and wellbeing. This is another highly participatory session co-delivered by young people!

13th October 2016 | Mental Health: From Social Control to Social Justice | £110 

Interested in how social and economic inequalities end up categorised as illnesses and disorders that need treating by health professionals? If the answer is yes then this is the session for you! During the day you will explore how concepts of mental ill-health and our responses to them have shaped our social and political worlds throughout history and created an enduring stigma surrounding mental illness. The session will also cover what culturally intelligent services that promote equality look like.

27th October 2016 | Bouncing Back: Building Resilience in Young People | £110 

This session is a comprehensve introduction to the concepts of resilience and capability. Drawing from a wide range of psychological theories and approaches, you will explore some of the emotional and cognitive skills young people can easily learn to cope with adversity. This is a highly participatory and fun session that emphasies how simple and everyday nurturing our resilience can be!

10th & 17th November 2016 | Working With Risk: Self Harm & Suicide | £175 

This is a two-day course that has been designed to give you greater confidence engaging positively with issues of risk and safety when working with young people. You will explore what an effective conversation with a young person looks like, learn useful interventions to use with young people presenting at risk, and practice constructing a collaborative safety plan. The session will also cover what pathways and services exist for young people in need of urgent and emergency support.

15th December 2016 | Working Therapeutically With Young People | £110 

This one day session explores some of the fundamental differences, approaches and skills needed when working therapeutically with children and young people. The morning will focus on theory, systems and awareness, whilst the afternoon will be practical and hands on, giving you real tools to engage young people individually and in group settings. This course is for you if you’re training or qualified in counselling or a related field and have an interest in working directly with children and young people in a more clinical setting.

19th January 2017 | Introduction to CBT for Anxiety and Depression | £110 

Here at OTR, anxiety and depression are year-on-year the most common feelings young people describe to us. And nationally all the evidence suggests a rising tide of anxiety and depression among the young. This one day session will introduce you to some basic concepts and techniques in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) shown to be effective in helping young people understand, manage and recover from those feelings.

23rd February 2017 | Helping The Helpers | £110 

Working with people in distress can take a significant toll on our own wellbeing. We need to be mindful of the impact human suffering has on us both professionally and personally. We’re often drawn into the helping professions because we want to make a difference, and this starts with us investing in our own welfare and wellbeing. This session will explore ways to let you support and nurture yourself, as well as manage your relationship with others’ distress.

23rd March 2017 | Getting Children & Young People’s Participation Right | £110

Participation is a buzzword you hear a lot when working with youg people. All funders want evidence of it and everyone claims they do it – but real participatory practice with young people is notoriously hard to get right, and there’s undoubtedly lots of ‘consultation’ being done that’s passing as participation! In this session you’ll explore concepts of participation and look at examples of good practice. Most importantly, you’ll hear from you young people about what participation should feel like from their perspective.

All prices include VAT; all courses in Bristol

How to book

You can book direct through our Eventbrite page here. A full refund is guaranteed if you cancel your attendance at least 14 days ahead of the session. Otherwise, because of the small participant numbers, we reserve the right to not refund your fee.

If you work for a third sector organisation (registered charity, social enterprise or community interest company) with a turnover less than £50,000 we offer a 50% discount on fees. Please contact us directly in this instance.

Multidisciplinary Supervision

This one-year course has been designed specifically to address the challenges facing supervisors working in increasingly integrated health and social care systems and services. It will be of interest to anyone working in the fields of health, social care and education across the public, private and third sector.

Download an information PDF here – contact niklas@otrbristol.org.uk for more info

Bespoke training

You can book any of the sessions on this flyer and more besides for larger groups or bespoke for your setting. Please contact us to discuss your requirements but note our fees for bespoke training are not reflected here. As a guide, a one day session typically starts at £900 (plus VAT) but this does allow you to invite a larger number of participants. It’s possible the price may vary depending on your requrements and any additonal work we might need to do in customising the training.

Contact Us

To discuss anything please just get in touch! Call us on 0117 9226747 and ask for Johnny, or email johnny@otrbristol.org.uk

Mentality is our award winning youth led social action project that aims to challenge the stigma and discrimination surrounding young people’s mental health. Oh, and they’re also really interested in improving mental health services for young people, including at OTR!

Mentality is made up of young volunteers aged 13-21 who have lived experience of mental health problems. The project offers training, support and accreditation, and supports volunteers to find their individual and collective voice.

Young people on the Mentality Project outreach to schools, colleges and other youth settings across Bristol and South Gloucestershire, delivering their training and workshops to thousands of young people and professionals each year. But really that’s just scratching the surface of what they’ve achieved since 2010, check out their page on Latest News to see what we mean!

You can download a flyer here…

Mentality Flyer

Interested or want to know more? Get in touch with Laura at laura@otrbristol.org.uk

What’s it about?

Do you self-harm or know anyone who does? The HARM/LESS workshop is for anyone struggling with self-harm or thoughts of self-harm. Self-harm can have a number of causes such as difficult life situations at home, school or work. In this workshop, we will look at how our stressful world can lead us to cope in certain ways. Then, we will begin to look at other ways we can manage. The workshop also offers a space for you to share with your peers, but you don’t have to talk if you don’t want to.

What will we learn?

· Facts and myths about self-harm.
· Keeping safe.
· The science of the mind and body works.
· How to deal with difficult emotions.
· How to reduce self-harm by learning new ways to manage.

Workshops will meet once a week every week for six weeks and have around 8 young people (max age is 25). To book this workshop request a space at your choice appointment, or call our main office on 0808 808 9120 or email confidential@otrbristol.co.uk. Workshops run regularly every few months.

Download a HARM/LESS flyer

What’s it about?

The Mental Health workshop is for anyone struggling with difficult feelings such as stress, anxiety, low mood, or depression. We will look together at how living in difficult situations can cause these feelings, and learn ways that might help us manage better in what is often a stressful world. The workshop also offers a space to share with your peers, but you don’t have to talk if you don’t want to.

What will we learn?

· How to protect ourselves from everyday challenges.
· How to challenge our thoughts and focus attention to build our mental health
· How to relax and feel safe. (A strategy that can also help with sleeplessness!)
· How to use simple techniques so we do more of what we want to do.

Workshops will meet once a week every week for six weeks and have around 8 young people (max age is 25). To book this workshop request a space at your choice appointment, or call our main office on 0808 808 9120 or email confidential@otrbristol.co.uk. Workshops run regularly every few months.

Download a Mind Aid flyer