As children and young people are preparing to go back to school, health organisations in the Black Country and West Birmingham are reminding parents, carers and guardians that mental health support is available.
The message is to look out for signs that children could be experiencing low mood, distress or anxiety as they return to school or college after many months away.
Scott Humphries, Divisional Director for Children, Young People and Families, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “As children and young people return to school after so many months at home, it is more important than ever to look out for them and to help them access support. Some children may be feeling worried or anxious about returning, and they may have concerns about COVID-19 and safety.
“We know it’s not easy to talk about mental health, but we’re encouraging young people to reach out for help if they need it, and to talk about any worries or concerns they may have.
“If you’re worried about your child’s mental health, the YoungMinds Parents Helpline can provide advice and support. The NHS is here for you, so please talk to your GP or local NHS mental health services. Also raise any concerns with your child’s school.”
The signs that parents, carers and guardians should look out for in children and young people include:
Dr Salma Reehana, Clinical Chair, Wolverhampton CCG added: “We are reassuring parents and pupils in Dudley, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Sandwell and West Birmingham that they can return to school safely and that protective measures are being implemented in all schools as per national guidance. School and colleges will be able to provide information about their particular measures, but the government has also released information and practical guidance to support parents, carers and students for their return. Parents should speak to their individual schools and teachers is they have any concern about their children’s safety. Our children’s education matters and I would urge parents to send them to school.
“The national Every Mind Matters Mental Health campaign also includes some great new resources to support children and young people with their mental wellbeing and emotional resilience as they go back to school.”
Scott Humphries, Divisional Director for Children, Young People and Families at Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “It’s vital we give our children and young people the support they need to maintain their mental health and wellbeing. The NHS offers a range of mental health support for all ages. If a child needs urgent mental health support or advice, check the NHS website for services in your area, including 24/7 crisis support.
“Visit NHS 111 online or contact your GP immediately if you notice any physical injuries such as deep cuts or burns.”
The following local mental health support and helplines are available:
The following national helplines and websites are also available: