Mental Health Information
Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives.
The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
Things that can help keep children and young people mentally well include:
- being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
- having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
- being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
- taking part in local activities for young people.
Other factors are also important, including:
- feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
- being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
- being hopeful and optimistic
- being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed
- accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at
- having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community
- feeling they have some control over their own life
- having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems.
Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago. That’s probably because of changes in the way we live now and how that affects the experience of growing up.
There is a lot to think about at the moment. From the hectic day-to-day realities of working and schooling from home, to trying to support friends and family who are self-isolating, to the endless gloomy news reports, not to mention those who are facing real hardship or bereavement; this situation can feel like a perfect storm of stressful stimuli. That's why it is more important than ever that we all take care of our mental health and that of those around us. Below is a handy 5-point cheat-sheet for those moments when we we're feeling overwhelmed: please consider using it, or recommend it others who might find it useful; it's amazing the difference that taking a moment out can make. Finally, please remember that we at Queensway are here for everyone in our community - if you are experiencing difficulties, please don't be afraid to reach out to us.
This is a very sensitive topic, but an incredibly important one as domestic violence can affect any family and any individual can be a victim. One consequence of the current lockdown restrictions has sadly been an increase in these incidents, so it is more important than ever that people are aware of the support that is available. The above link is from the Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS) and provides information about service as well as contact details.
Their 24-hour helpline can be reached at 0113 246 0401. For emergency situations, call 999.
Safer Leeds have have launched a domestic violence campaign and can be followed on Twitter, @saferleeds and @LCCnews. There is also advice on the NHS website with information about what domestic violence is, what to do if yourself, a friend or a relative experience it, and links to a wide range of charitable organisations that provide support.
Our Queensway family is an amazing community, and we are always looking out for one another - please do what you can to make others aware of this issue and the help that is available. If in doubt, seeking advice is always the right thing to do.
Silvercloud is a leading provider of online mental health resources, and is used by the NHS in Leeds. During the coronavirus outbreak they are offering free access to online support for parents and carers.
The site has been designed by clinical experts with the aim of empowering you to think and feel better. The website contains programmes and tools for adults who are experiencing emotional well-being difficulties during the current situation. There are specific modules on stress, resilience and sleep plus some general well-being tips. It contains easy to use content and interactive tools.
The online space is secure and anonymous. No identifying details are required apart from a contact e-mail address. To access the site go to https://nhs.silvercloudhealth.com/signup/ and enter the code ‘north’ when prompted.
Young Minds Help Finder - Please use this Help Finder to access excellent ideas and support for your child.
Video clip from Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families explaining what Mental Health is to children -
Toolbox from Childline about how to look after your mental health with some activities and online games to play -
Resources on how to look after your child's mental health -
Information on mental health and supporting children on their return to school after lockdown plus a parent helpline -