Local NHS supports Children's Mental Health Awareness Week

NHS Castle Point and Rochford and NHS Southend Clinical Commissioning Groups are supporting Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week highlighting the importance of mental health for children and young people.

Organised by Place2Be, the children’s mental health charity, this year’s theme is ‘Healthy: inside and out’ which sets out to encourage young people to look after their mental wellbeing. Since its launch five years ago, the week has grown in scale as awareness grows around the issue and of mental health conditions in young people.

When we think of healthy living, the focus tends to be on looking after our bodies through being active and eating the right food. However, it’s important to remember that in order to be healthy overall, we need to look after our minds as well. There is a close link between mental and physical health. If people are happy with how they look, they tend to feel better about themselves and have a positive outlook and body image. The focus on healthy living tends to be around physical wellbeing, be that getting the right level of exercise or eating the right food.

It’s no secret that the pressures of being a young person in today’s online world have been a major contributor to the recent rise in mental health issues. The reality is users are constantly connected to social media meaning there’s no hiding or escaping unwanted content. This can cause it to be a very overwhelming and pressuring place, and consequently have a significant impact on a person’s self-worth and self-esteem.

New research released from Place2Be emphasises the scale of the issue. At least three children in every class have a diagnosable mental health issue, and many more worry about everyday concerns from exams to family life.

Tricia D’Orsi, NHS Castle Point and Rochford and NHS Southend CCG Chief Nurse said:

“Stress is one of the biggest drivers in the rise of mental health problems in young people and can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. This awareness week encourages young people to take stock of how they are feeling inside and out and to talk to a friend, their parents or a loved one about any worries or concerns they may have. For many young people, self-help can bring rapid improvements but others may need professional help.

If you have any worries about your child that can’t be resolved at home, you can always discuss these with a GP, health visitor, school nurse, educational psychologist, paediatrician or social worker.”

Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services can be accessed by anybody aged up to 18, living in the Southend, Rochford or Castle Point areas, and is free at the point of entry. The service is also for young people with special educational needs (SEN) up to the age of 25. Any young person experiencing emotional wellbeing or mental health problems, or any parent, guardian, professional or teacher of a child who is experiencing emotional wellbeing and mental health difficulties, may access the service.

Call 0300 300 1600 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

For out of hours and weekend Crisis Support Service, please call 0300 555 1201 to be put

through to immediate Crisis Support help.

Free, safe and anonymous online counselling is also available for young people at www.kooth.com

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