In Children’s Mental Health Week (1-7 February) Hampshire County Council’s Mental Health Champion, Councillor Patricia Stallard, is highlighting the support available to children, young people, their parents and carers
This year’s theme is ‘express yourself’, encouraging youngsters to share their feelings, thoughts and ideas to feel confident about expressing who they are.
Councillor Stallard said, “As restrictions continue due to the pandemic, we all recognise the vital importance of looking after mental health and wellbeing. We can help our children and young people by giving them the space and inspiration to express themselves. Whether it be through art, music, writing, sport and movement, drama or baking, every child can find an activity which allows them to be creative, express who they are and open up about how they are feeling.”
Parents and carers play an important role in their child’s mental wellbeing and can encourage children to talk to them or another trusted adult if they are worried about something. Parents and carers who are concerned about their child’s mental health, can talk to their GP or a teacher at school.
Additionally, the County Council’s website includes wellbeing advice and its Educational Psychology Team provides expertise, training and support to schools to enable them to help pupils to maintain good mental health and well-being. The Educational Psychology Team also has a telephone contact line which parents and carers, as well as teachers and other professionals working with children, can call for advice.
Chathealth is a text messaging support service run by the Public Health Nursing Service to help parents, carers and young people with a wide range of health and wellbeing worries.
Young Minds and Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) provide information and support for parents, carers and young people.
A Freephone Crisis Line is also available for children and young people, across Hampshire, aged from 11 to 17 years old. Operated by Havant and East Hampshire MIND, the line provides access to help, support, and advice for young people experiencing difficulties with their mental health. For more details visit the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Crisis Line for Children and Young People website.
Every Mind Matters also offers advice to parents on how to support children and young people to give them the best chance to stay mentally healthy.
More articles on Mental Health can be read here