Mental Health and Well-being
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:
- 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent or someone you care for;
- help to speak to a mental health professional;
- an assessment to help decide on the best course of treatment.
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.
Eating Disorders and Concerns
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
The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is Express Yourself.
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.
Children's Mental Health week resources
Actions for Happiness
Helping your child manage their emotions
Resources from Birmingham's Educational Psychology Team
What is Know Your Normal?
In 2017 the Youth Council and myVoice volunteers unanimously decided that they wanted to run a campaign around mental health.
The Know Your Normal campaign aims to reduce the stigma around mental health and create resources for autistic young people to work out and understand what their normal is.
Keys to Happiness posters for children
Top tips for parents
Character Building Activities
Mentally Healthy Schools - links, activities, exercises and helplines all linked to mental health for children and adults
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