Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. During this year it has probably never been more important to take good care of your own mental health and that of the people in your care.
Knowing who to call on when you are not feeling your best, or if you need some advice or practical tips is one way of building your support network and help you take control of your mental health and wellbeing
If you’re concerned about a child or young person’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.