Aluna Behaviour Consultancy
Newsletter Number 5, August 2022
Children & Young People’s Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing
Some children and young people are enjoying being off school, while others will have really struggled – with the coronavirus outbreak keeping them at home and away from friends. Others may be coming to terms with family problems, loss or changes to their living situation.
During the periods of lockdown and with nationwide and local restrictions they may have had to deal with, self-isolating because of an outbreak in school, or have worries about getting or passing on the virus. Whilst we are returning to “normal” it can still be uncertain what further changes we all may face. Feelings like these will gradually ease for most, but in the meantime, there are ways you can support them emotionally and help them cope with problems they face.
Sometimes children and young people can seem down for no apparent reason, but the cause could be for one of these reasons:
These are all issues that young people can get help and support with by talking with a trusted friend, family member or someone in an appropriate volunteer or professional role.
Visit Young Minds: Help With How I'm Feeling | Mental Health Advice | Young Minds to find out more about how children and young people might be feeling when they’re experiencing these issues.
Most people at some point feel worried, stressed or down about things in their lives and it’s ok to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to tell someone you’re finding things difficult. This practical guide offers advice on how to take those first steps and gives information about organisations that can offer further support.
Signs something might be wrong
Around 1 in 8 children and young people experience behavioural or emotional problems growing up. For some, these will resolve with time, while others will need professional support. It can be difficult to know if there is something upsetting a child or young person, but look out for:
significant changes in behaviour
ongoing difficulty sleeping
withdrawing from social situations
not wanting to do things they usually like
self-harm or neglecting themselves
Everyone feels low, angry or anxious at times, but these changes may last for a long time or are significantly affecting them. First think if there has been a significant, lasting change in their behaviour. This could be at home, school or college; with others or on their own; or in relation to specific events or changes in their life.
This link Information and Help for Young People Worried about Self-Harm (charliewaller.org) gives an insight into the journey of young people from self-harm.
There are times when children and young people find themselves in a very dark place. Perhaps they have shared their thoughts and experiences with you, but often friends and family members only know the true extent of the problem when it escalates beyond the young person’s control. If you're concerned or unsure, there is lots of support out there, including professional help. They may experience:
These conditions can be managed with medication and/or therapy. Referral and diagnosis by a clinical specialist is usually a lengthy process and progress can be very slow.
NHS - Every Mind Matters - Children's mental health - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
Young Minds – My Feelings - Help With How I'm Feeling | Mental Health Advice
Charlie Waller Trust - Asking for help mental health resource for young people