Looking after your child's mental health
There are times when we all feel the strain. As parents and carers, there are ways you can support your child to give them the best chance to stay mentally healthy.
Some children and young people have enjoyed being off school, while others will have really struggled – with the coronavirus outbreak keeping them at home and away from friends. Others may be coming to terms with family problems, loss or changes to their living situation.
With nationwide and local restrictions being regularly reviewed, they may also have to deal with self-isolating because of an outbreak in school or another period of school closure, or have worries about getting or passing on the virus. It's still uncertain what further changes we all may face.
Feelings like these will gradually ease for most, but there are always steps you can take to support them emotionally and help them cope with problems they face.
There's support available if you feel you or they need it.
TOP TIPS (from the NHS)
What is mental health?
Videos and resources from 'Lancashire Emotional Health in Schools and Colleges Service' for parents/carers
If you're concerned about your child's mental health, you can get free, confidential advice via phone, email or webchat from the Young Minds Parents Helpline.
Action for Children has lots of tips to help you spot signs of mental health issues in children and advice on the action you can take to help.
Barnardo's has also set up the See, Hear, Respond support hub – a dedicated service to help children, young people and their families or carers with problems caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Experiencing the loss of a friend or loved one can be extremely difficult. The Childhood Bereavement Network has information and links to national and local organisations you or the child you look after might find helpful.
Any professional that works with children and young people should be able to help you get support. You could talk to a teacher, school nurse, social worker or GP.
You can find more information about NHS children and young people's mental health services (CYPMHS) on the NHS website. You can also look at your local Clinical Commissioning Group website, and most services also have their own website with information about access, referrals (including whether you can "self-refer") and contact details – try searching in your area for "CYPMHS" or "CAMHS" (children and adolescent mental health services, an older term used for some CYPMHS).
If you are worried about a child or young person who has or may have an eating disorder, check if your local Children and Young People's Community Eating Disorder Team accepts self-referrals and contact them as soon as possible. You can also speak to your GP. Beat has lots more useful advice for children, young people and adults.
If you look after a child that has additional needs, Mencap, the Mental Health Foundation and the National Autistic Society all have excellent resources and support for parents or carers of children with learning disabilities or autism.
Do not hesitate to get urgent support if you think either you or your child needs it.
Children's mental health week
week beginning 1st February 2022
What makes you happy?
Draw on the jigsaw shape template things that make you happy. These could be displayed in the windows of your homes and other children could look out for them when they are on their walks
Why not look out for the jigsaw pieces over the half term week?
The link below which provides further information.
Are you aware of "The Happy Newspaper"? It was created by Emily Coxhead from Chorley and it simply contains HAPPY NEWS!
Click here for the website if you want to subscribe.