A new guide targeting children, young people and families with emotional, mental health and wellbeing needs is now available online.
The directory provides information on a range of general and specialist NHS mental health services for young people, including online and telephone support, together with top tips for children and families and details of youth groups as well as support available from local councils.
Produced by Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning Groups (LLR CCGs), the directory is intended to encourage and support young people to get the help they need.
Dr Damian Roland, Head of the Children’s Emergency Department at UHL, explains: “During the Coronavirus pandemic, many young people have had their normal routines disrupted by not having their usual contact with family and friends. This may be contributing to feeling low, lonely and struggling to cope with daily activities.
“In Children’s A&E, the number of children and young people attending due to mental health concerns has almost doubled, in comparison to pre-pandemic. This demonstrates the impact that the pandemic and its associated challenges are having. However, it is vital that people are aware of the range of excellent mental health and wellbeing support available locally, so that they can access it at an early stage and feel better.
“The new directory provides details of local support available and I encourage anyone who needs it to get in touch with the relevant support service. Your local NHS and councils are here to help, so please don’t put off getting in touch.”
Dr Graham Johnson, GP and clinical lead for children and young people’s mental health with the three Leicester Clinical Commissioning Groups, added: “We want to make it as easy as possible for young people and their families to know about the range of services that are available. Not all mental health services require a referral from a professional, there is plenty of support which can be accessed directly by children, young people and their families.
“For example, Kooth Online Counselling Service offers a range of support, such as discussion boards, chat with the Kooth community, themed forums, direct messaging and live chat with online counsellors, and the Harmless service offers support with the underlying causes of self-harm.
“We hope that our new guide will help young people to get the right support at the right time. However, please remember that your GP practice is also here for you, and if you cannot find the help you need through our guide, or you need reassurance please do speak to your GP practice.”
The directory complements the existing award-winning local NHS health promotion websites for children and young people, which host a range of information and advice around physical and mental health, including details of local services and organisations for support. You can find these on www.healthforkids.co.uk and www.healthforteens.co.uk.