With students returning to the classroom after the summer break health leaders in North Yorkshire and York are helping children and parents access support.
It is common for students to experience emotional wellbeing difficulties when going back to school after a long summer break. In addition, with changing COVID-19 restrictions over the last eighteen months, some children may also have struggled with the shifts in social and academic expectations placed on them. Help is available for both young people and parents and carers, and it is important to seek advice when needed.
The local NHS clinical commissioning groups are reminding young people that there are a variety of services available to them across the region to help manage their mental wellbeing.
BUZZ US is a confidential text messaging service for young people aged 11-18. Young people can text 07520 631168. A wellbeing worker is on duty Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9-4.30pm (excluding bank holidays). More information is available at: https://www.compass-uk.org/
Kooth is also available as a free online counselling, advice and support service available for children and young people aged 11-18. You can register here: https://www.kooth.com/
Many children and young people may experience difficulties with their sleep on the return to school. Providing structure through the development of daily and weekly timetables, including bedtime routines, can be helpful in providing some predictability for young people in this unsettling time. If your child is struggling you can seek help through The Sleep Charity: https://thesleepcharity.org.uk/
Dr Charles Parker, local GP and Clinical Chair for NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
It is understandable that children and young people may be feeling anxious about returning to school.
This worry is natural, and many children and young people will be able to cope with the support of their families and friends. If you think your child is struggling, it is important to try to understand the problems and provide reassurance that you have heard them and are there to help. The problems could be something you are not aware of or don’t notice at first.
For young people who are experiencing persistent symptoms which are impacting on their day to day lives, please remember that the NHS is here for those who need more help.
Dr Nigel Wells, Clinical Chair of NHS Vale of York CCG, said:
Children and young people have faced significant disruption to their routine, education and social lives in the last 18 months, and students may be feeling anxious about returning to school or college. Mental health support is available to those who need it in North Yorkshire and York, including for parents and carers who have concerns about their child’s well-being.
Kooth is one of the services local young people aged between 11-18 can access without having to provide personal details. It provides a safe and non-judgemental place for them to talk, connect and chat with others and know they are not alone.
An overview of all of the mental health services in the local area for children and young people, together with support for parents and carers, can be found on The Go-To website: https://thegoto.org.uk/