Can’t Talk, Write: helping young people to express how they feel

We’ve teamed up with Royal Mail and The Prince’s Trust to launch our Can’t Talk, Write toolkits. These downloadable work books are full of activities to get young people writing

cant talk write partner

We’ve come up with two toolkits: one for young people aged 11-18 years old and one for adults working with young people. Each toolkit includes printable activities and ideas to get young people writing.

The young person’s version has 10 activities. Each one encourages a different style of writing. We hope young people will find something that works for them.

The facilitators’ toolkit is for adults to use with young people. It’s divided into 10 sessions – each with an accompanying activity. The activities help young people to express their emotions, either alone or in a group.

Why writing helps

Writing is a great way to express thoughts and feelings. Getting things down on paper can really help to make sense of problems, too.

This is especially important today, as life for children and young people – particularly the most vulnerable – is increasingly complicated. Pressures at home, in school and online can have a negative impact on their emotional wellbeing. 


Research commissioned by Royal Mail suggests writing helps.

Almost half (46%) of the young people Royal Mail spoke to said that writing things down made them feel better about something that had made them sad. Young people also said writing made them feel calmer (47%) and helped them to articulate their thoughts and feelings (37%).

These findings are backed up by our literature review, using academic studies to show the positive mental health benefits of writing things down.


Our toolkit is designed to help young people to explore feelings and emotions through writing and/or other activities. It should not be used as a substitute for conventional clinical, psychological and/or therapeutic treatment. In the absence of any negligence or other direct breach of duty by us, we are not responsible for any adverse outcomes in relation to the use of this toolkit.

For more information and resources on mental health please click here.


Build Sound Minds

Check out our Build Sound Minds website for more mental health resources for young people.

Find out more

Blues Programme

We're working with Royal Mail to deliver better youth mental health through the Blues Programme.

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Mental Health

Check out other ways we support the mental health of children and young people.

Find out more