Home Children and Young People Mental health support for children and young people

Mental health support for children and young people

by Nicola Appleton

With GCSE results and a September school return on the horizon, many young people in Knowsley may be feeling anxious, which impacts on their mental health.

Thankfully help and advice on any issues young people in Knowsley may be facing is only a phone call or a touch of a button away.

Children’s education has been significantly disrupted during the coronavirus pandemic, with the majority having not set foot in a school since March.

The coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for everyone, affecting the daily lives of children and people of all ages.

Cllr Sean Donnelly, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:

“It is not always the case that your school years are the best years of your life. Many children and young people struggle with their mental health and wellbeing for a variety of reasons, whether it’s the pressures of school or issues in their home life. The coronavirus pandemic has been a real challenge for our children and young people, who have had to deal with unprecedented disruption to their education. Despite the uncertain times there is thankfully so much support and advice easily available to them, whatever the issues they might be facing. You never need to suffer alone because there will always be someone available to help.”

A range of agencies offer resources or free, confidential advice specifically for young people, many of which are available 24/7.

24/7 mental health support for young people

Urgent mental health support is available to children and young people from the NHS 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is operated by people locally. You can access free support anytime on 0800 051 1508.

Samaritans is another organisation that offers free mental health support to people of all ages at any time by calling 116 118.

Shout is a 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. Text 85258 for support.

Local support services

Knowsley Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is a referral service for children and young people in Knowsley whose emotional, behavioural or mental health issues are causing them problems in their school, family or social life. The service is available on 0151 290 4999 between 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri. They also have a crisis line available until 9pm on 01744 627 618.

Kooth is a service for young people in Knowsley, aged between 10 and 19 years, to access free counselling and wellbeing support. The online support is free, safe and anonymous and you can get advice on a range of topics developed by young people themselves, chat to the friendly Kooth community or speak to a member of the Kooth team.

Information, advice and support, including dealing with the pressures of exam results

ChildLine offers support for people who are worried about their exam results and then next steps you can take.

BBC Bitesize has lots of great tips for young people who might be feeling a bit stressed, whether you’re moving to secondary school, finishing education or waiting for your exam results.

Anna Freud has a host of fantastic self-care resources that will help improve your emotional health and wellbeing.

The Student Room has lots of great information and advice for young people from GCSE to University students. A wealth of topics are covered in their online forums.

Young Minds has advice around dealing with the pressures coronavirus may be having on your mental health.

When the new term starts in September, schools across Knowsley will be running a number of projects that support improved mental health. These include:

  • More training for teaching assistants for supporting students with their emotions
  • Extra capacity for a new Bereavement and Loss counsellor to work across schools
  • OnTarget programme run by Liverpool FC in some Knowsley schools, to support a cohort of students with how to cope with mental health.
  • A survey will be taken across many Knowsley schools in the first few weeks of term about wellbeing and attitude to learning so schools can identify gaps in provision
  • Students in Year 7 will take part in PASS (pupil attitudes to self and school) assessments which again will enable the schools to identify gaps in provision quickly.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, added

“We appreciate that the last few months have been extremely challenging for our children and young people. Their usual routine has been turned upside down and many worry about how much work they need to catch up on. That is why we are ensuring our schools offer a range of targeted support and I would encourage any child who is worried about their mental health to take the first step and talk to a member of school staff. We are here to help.”