Home Coronavirus: Help and support Mental health support is available for Knowsley’s young people
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Mental health support is available for Knowsley’s young people

by Guy Murphy

The 2021 Prince’s Trust Youth Index has revealed the devastating toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on young people.

According to the survey, one if four young people across the UK have felt unable to cope with this figure rising to 40% of those not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Whilst the findings are national, it’s important that young people who may be struggling know that help and support is available to them through a range of online or via telephone support. Knowsley Council is urging residents to share this information with anyone that they feel might need it.

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

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the day to day life of our young people. With exams cancelled, school attendance moving to online for the majority of our residents, routines changing and social lives disrupted, it has been a really challenging time.

Importantly, young people in Knowsley can access a range of support and advice for whatever issues they might be facing. No one should suffer alone and there will always be someone available to help.

I urge any young person who is feeling low or unable to cope to contact of the support agencies.”

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, added

“The 2021 Prince’s Trust survey results are extremely concerning and we understand that the pandemic has been very challenging for our children and young people.

I would encourage any young person who is worried about their mental health to reach out and seek support.”

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.

Since the new academic year in September, a number of initiatives have been introduced to support improved mental health. These include:

  • Training for teaching assistants for supporting students with their emotions has been delivered with further remote training sessions planned during this half term.
  • Extra capacity for bereavement and loss has been available since November and counselling continues to be provided across the Borough’s schools.
  • OnTarget programme run by Liverpool FC in some Knowsley schools is continuing to take place virtually, to support a cohort of students with how to cope with mental health.
  • A survey was undertaken in a number of schools across the Borough about wellbeing and attitude to learning. The results confirmed that children in Knowsley had good resilience and readiness to learn.
  • A number of students in Year 7 took part in PASS (pupil attitudes to self and school) assessments which identified the need for pastoral support.