Feeling good mentally is just as important as feeling good physically. Emotional health plays a huge role in how children and young people think, feel and behave.
Poor emotional health and wellbeing can lead to stress, anxiety, depression and panic attacks, and can make it difficult for a child or young person to feel positive about their daily life and maintain good relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
For some young people, just talking their problems over with someone can be extremely helpful.
Maintaining good mental health
It’s important to take care of yourself and get the most from life.
Good mental health is not simply the absence of diagnosable mental health problems, although good mental health is likely to help protect against development of many such problems.
Good mental health is characterised by a person’s ability to fulfil a number of key functions and activities, including:
- the ability to learn
- the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
- the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others
- the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty.
Young Minds have a guide aimed at young people all about looking after yourself and your mental health.
How to access mental health services
Mental health services are free on the NHS. A referral to Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) can be made by anyone – including parents or the young person themselves if appropriate – as long as parents have given consent.
Devon School Nursing Service operates in schools across the county, delivering health advice and support to school-aged children and young people. A school nurse can provide support and advice on toileting issues, healthy lifestyles, sleep routines and mental health and wellbeing.
Devon’s CAMHS are offering additional 24/7 telephone support during the coronavirus pandemic. Please contact 03300 245 321 during normal hours (8am-5pm, Mon to Fri) or 0300 555 5000 outside these hours.
Young Devon provide information, advice and counselling for children and young people over 11. If you need to talk to someone, please email email@example.com. Anyone already receiving support through Young Devon’s Wellbeing service should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07935364652 and leave a message with your name and contact details.
The ChatHealth text line allows young people aged 11-19 a place to talk completely confidentially with a school nurse about any worries or concerns they may have. Text 07520631722.
Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous online support and counselling for young people.
Other support and guidance
Young Minds have a range of help and advice, including guide for parent’s on how to support your child during the coronavirus pandemic and advice for young people about how they can look after their own mental health.
Meanwhile, the NHS Every Mind Matters website has tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus and how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home – you can even make your own Mind Plan.
Stem4 is a charity that promotes positive mental health for teenagers and encourages them to build resilience and manage difficult emotions with online resources.
Or you could try one of the following apps:
- Clear Fear
- Combined Minds
- Calm Harm