Kent families are being reminded this Children’s Mental Health Week (February 1 to 7) of the mental wellbeing support available as Covid-19 continues to cause restrictions and impact people’s lives.
HeadStart Kent, which is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and overseen by Kent County Council, is sending out social media clips of young people talking about their experiences and tips for dealing with lockdown restrictions and home schooling.
There is also online resources and training available to parents and carers to help them support their children on the Kent Resilience Hub website.
Sue Chandler, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services, said: “Disruption to schooling, normal lessons and exams, coupled with restrictions on seeing family and friends, plus potential problems at home with relationships and financial worries, is creating a very difficult time for children and young people. We need to be honest with them but in a sensible and sensitive way so as not to worry them too much, and be aware that children and young people of different ages may need different support.”
There is also information about services available to support parents, carers and children with a range of mental health issues on a dedicated mental health and wellbeing area on KCC’s website. The site was created earlier this year by health, public sector, charity and voluntary organisations across Kent and Medway to signpost residents to information and help during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The site includes details of HeadStart Kent’s two websites – the Kent Resilience Hub, which offers support and advice for parents and carers, and the MoodSpark website, which was designed with and for children and young people in Kent and is aimed at 10 to 16-year-olds to help them learn to look after their emotional and mental health.
Kooth is also available for young people to get advice and chat to a qualified counsellor.
The Young Minds website and the NSPCC guide on working from home with children, dealing with co-parenting and family arguments and tensions.
If you are worried about your child and need urgent help you can call the Kent and Medway Single Point of Access for Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing on 0800 011 3474 to get the right support.
For those aged 14 plus, the Release the Pressure text service can help – just text ‘Kent’ to 85258 or phone 0800 107 0160 for free confidential support at any time from trained counsellors.
… Ends …
Notes to journalists:
- HeadStart Kent’s Kent Resilience Hub: https://kentresiliencehub.org.uk
- Kent County Council’s dedicated mental health and well-being pages: www.kent.gov.uk/wellbeing
- HeadStart Kent’s MoodSpark website: https://moodspark.org.uk/
- Kooth’s website: https://www.kooth.com/
- The Young Minds website: https://youngminds.org.uk/
- The NSPCC’s guides: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/coronavirus-advice-suppport-children-families-parents/