As you are probably aware from items on the news the government have announced plans to make improving mental health a priority.
The charity Young minds reports that there are 850,000 children who have mental health problems and that there are three children in every classroom who have a diagnosable mental health disorder.
Mental health can be seen in terms of anxiety, stress, eating disorders, OCD, self-harm and suicide to name just a few.
If you have any concerns about your child’s emotional wellbeing please contact his/her Head of Year in the first instance.
I have outlined below support agencies that can help both young people and parent/carers.
Time to change
Time to change is an anti-stigma campaign that began in 2007. it is run by the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness. It has recently been involved in two digital anti-stigma campaigns. One is targeted at teenagers and the other at parents. The #nojudgement campaign is aimed at reducing stigma around mental health needs amongst parents and teenagers.
Time to change: let’s end mental health discrimination: www.time-to-change.org.uk
The government has launched the Silent Secret app to allow young people to safely share secrets. It is an anonymous social network for young people between the ages of 11 and 19. It also provides direct support from key organisations when a young person seems to need mental health support.
The idea is that it uses the support of peers which is increasingly being recognised as vital in addressing mental health needs. It encourages young people to share their secrets, thought and feelings, news and lifestyle.
Other users cannot make comments on each other’s posts but they can express their thoughts through buttons such as ‘me2’ to express empathy. There is a ‘get support’ button for those deciding that they need the support of an organisation.
Silent Secret won the 2015 National Digital Heroes award for Internet Safety.
YoungMinds is a charity committed to improving the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people. It aims to empower children and young people and incorporate their voices into the work they do. It is involved in campaigns to improve mental health services, as well as providing information for parents, young people and schools. It has six priorities that it is actively addressing in the ‘VS’ campaign:
- YoungMinds VS school stress
- YoungMinds VS sexed up
- YoungMinds VS bullying
- Youngminds VS no work
- Youngminds VS no help
- YoungMinds VS stress at university.
It has a parent helpline and its websites can be a good one for young people who are looking for more information.
YoungMinds provides information about academic resilience on its website: www.youngminds.org.uk/training_services/academic_resilience/what_is_academic_resilience
If you require further information please contact me at school.
Carol Hart (SENCO)