Share this with your child; it could save their life one day.
Despite the awareness and ongoing efforts to normalise mental health care, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding it. This is especially more prevalent in younger age groups such as preteen children and young adults.
There is a lot of misinformation, uneducated opinions and wrongful assumptions that lead to the negligence of mental health in children.
As a result, unresolved mental health issues are still growing in numbers. According to the Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, around 12% of 5 to 19-year-olds had at least one mental health problems assessed in 2017.
These numbers are only reflective of cases that were professionally addressed, furthering the need for more education and availability of resources available to children across the UK. Whether it’s a crisis hotline, a mental health clinic, educational website or organisations providing material for schools and parents, it can all help.
Here we’ve mentioned some children’s mental health resources available across the UK.
Children in the UK (≤19 years of age) can call 0800 1111 to talk to a counsellor about whatever they are worried about. The number is free to call on most phones and doesn’t show up in phone bills, giving children some confidentiality and privacy.
The organisation’s goal is preventing suicide in youngsters under the age of 35. Children can call 0800 0684141 or text at 0778 620 9697 to talk about their troubles or about someone they know that needs help.
Whether it’s the stress of studies, social anxieties at school or complications in relationships impacting their mental health, children (≤18 years of age) can call the hotline to discuss whatever’s causing them distress.
Young Minds is one of the leading organisations providing crises and advisory helplines for both children (between the ages of 14 to 25) and parents/adults concerned about a young person. Their website also has a lot of information about different mental health issues resulting from bullying, abuse, anger, body image, grief and loss, eating problems, exam stress, problems at school, self-harm, sleep problems and suicidal feelings. A concerned parent/adult can call the Parent Helpline on 0808 802 5544 5544 or complete the Parents Helpline Enquiry Form at https://youngminds.org.uk/contact-us/parents-helpline-enquiries/. A young person in crisis can text YM to 85258, for free, to the Young Minds Crisis Messenger or call Childline for free on 0800 1111.
Other resources providing mental health advice and support in the UK include:
- The Mix – General advice across the UK.
- CALM – Focusing on young men’s mental health.
- Scottish Association for Mental Health – Helps kids with mental health, homelessness, addictions, and employment and other issues across Scotland.
- Lifeline Helpline – The crisis helpline is available to children in Northern Ireland and young adults feeling distressed.
CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
The NHS recognises the need for mental health support for younger UK residents. The CAMHS program was first developed and introduced to the UK in 1995. It is now offered by the NHS for children until they are 18-19 years old.
Hospitals associated with NHS England, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales, and HSC in Northern Ireland have access to the services. General physicians are the ones who recommend children to the program if they see a need for professional help.
However, you can refer yourself to the programs if you are over the age of 16.
Whether you’re an educator or a parent, it’s important that you educate young kids about the importance of mental health. This includes validating and normalising mental illnesses and providing resources they can access themselves.
You may not see it right away, but recognising that a child or an adolescent needs help and seeking the right support could save a child’s or adolescent’s life.