Counselling and Teenage Pregnancy

Find out about the United Kingdoms' attitude to counselling and teenagers' health and pregnancy...

The teen years can be particularly problematic emotionally for both children and their parents. This is widely recognised in the UK and there are a large number of services at hand to smooth the way.

Counselling

The first person for a teenager to see if they think they need to see a counsellor or therapist is their local GP, who will refer them to a counsellor. If the doctor refers a patient to a counsellor, the costs are covered by the National Health Service (NHS).

Alternatively, search for a counsellor through the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. If a patient is not referred by their GP, the NHS does not cover costs.

There are also a number of websites, resources and helplines for parents and children.

For parents:

  • GotATeenager ParentlinePlus - Tel: 0808 800 2222
  • Samaritans: For confidential emotional support 24/7 - Tel: 08457 909 090

For teenagers:

Other resources:

    European Youth Portal: website from the EU for young people who are living in or considering moving to Europe

  • For further information from the National Health Service (NHS): Click here

Teenagers and Pregnancy

It is illegal to have sex with a girl who is under the age of 16. However, under-age sex is not uncommon in the UK.

Girls under 16 and over 13 years old can get confidential contraceptive and sexual health services from some GPs, community contraceptive or young person's clinics, or Brook Advisory Clinics.

  • For further information from the National Health Service (NHS): Click here

A teen pregnancy is technically a pregnancy experienced by a young woman in her teens, from 13 to 19 years of age. Pregnant teens in the UK have most of the same options as other expectant mothers:

  • Giving birth and raising a child
  • Giving birth and putting the child up for adoption
  • Having an abortion to terminate the pregnancy

Under the Abortion Act 1967, an abortion is legal in England, Scotland and Wales up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Abortions are not available in Northern Ireland.

The consent of a parent or guardian is not required for minors under 16 if her doctors determine that she can not or it is not in her best interest to tell her parents and she is considered competent to give consent.

The first person a pregnant teenager should talk to is her doctor or counsellor at school. However, if she feels she cannot, there are a number of helplines or websites dedicated to helping young pregnant women.

Teenagers and under 25s can contact their local Brook Centre for confidential advice.

  • Brook Centre helpline Tel: 0808 802 1234
    Website