NHS urgent mental health helplines
New 24/7 all ages NHS urgent mental health helplines have been rolled out across the country in 2020. They provide expert advice and assessment for children and adults facing a mental health crisis. People can call for themselves, or on behalf of someone else. We encourage the promotion of these helplines, and have developed public facing lines:
If you need help for a mental health crisis, find your local 24/7 urgent mental health helpline at nhs.uk/urgentmentalhealth.
You can call for:
If your child needs urgent mental health support or advice, you can contact your local mental health helpline via nhs.uk/urgentmentalhealth. You can call the helpline for 24-hour advice and support for you and your child, to speak to a mental health professional or for an assessment to help decide on the best course of care.
Self-referFor physical or psychological symptoms, you can call the GP, your usual practitioner, or NHS 111 as appropriate. You can also self refer to local Psychological Therapy services that can help with common mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression.
BEAT Eating DisordersSupport Services and Information
There are helplines and other resources available on the BEAT website, including a GP guide and a guide for Friends and Family which you can find below.
From the BEAT website:
Looking after a child
• Remember, it’s important to address the thoughts and feelings causing an eating disorder, not just the behaviour. There are many different therapies that can do this, and no single therapy is the best choice in all cases. Depending on how young they are, you may have a lot of say over their treatment, so remember that if your child isn’t responding well to one form of treatment, they may respond better to another.
• Be mindful of other children and how the eating disorder might be affecting them. They may need their own emotional support. Our leaflet, “Caring for Someone with an Eating Disorder (for under 18s)” may be useful for siblings of the person with the eating disorder. It is available to download on our website.
Children's Mental Health Week
Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.
As parents and carers, you play an important role in your child’s mental health. Check out our links and find further resources below.
We've teamed up with BAFTA Kids and Oak National Academy to create a free assembly featuring pupils and well known-faces discussing the theme of 'Express Yourself."
British Psychological SocietyAdvice for parents and schools
Children's Society - mental healthAdvice and resources on many aspects of mental health
Yes futures!Activities and resources for parents around wellbeing
Parent Zone10 mental wellbeing apps for all the family
Key points from Public Health England on helping to maintain children's Mental Health.
➢ Listen and acknowledge. Look out for any changes in their behaviour. Children may feel less anxious if they are able to express and communicate their feelings. Listen to them, acknowledge their concerns, and give them extra love and attention if they need it.
➢ Provide clear information about the situation: All children and young people want to feel that their parents and caregivers can keep them safe. Provide honest answers to any questions they have. Explain what is being done to keep them and their loved ones safe, such as washing their hands regularly.
➢ Be aware of your own reactions: It is important to manage your own emotions and remain calm, listen to and acknowledge children and young people’s concerns, speak kindly to them, and answer any questions they have honestly.
➢ Connect regularly: Make sure you still have regular and frequent contact via the phone or video calls with them if you live away.
➢ Create a new routine: Make a plan for the day or week that includes time for learning, playing and relaxing; be active for 60 minutes a day; keep to bedtimes etc.
➢ Limit exposure to media and talk about what they have seen and heard: Try to avoid turning the television off or closing web pages when children come into the room. This can pique their interest to find out what is going on – and their imagination can take over. Try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age-appropriate manner, avoiding too much detail.
The guidance also outlines how children of different ages may respond for example: 3 to 6-year olds may return to behaviours they have outgrown: toileting accidents, bed-wetting etc
CBeebies videoSeven techniques for helping kids keep calm
Government adviceCOVID-19: guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Change 4 Life NHSIdeas for activities and recipes to keep healthy and active
Every Mind Matters Guidance and tips
Winston's Wish Bereavement support