Leeds’ support for children and young people’s mental health during the coronavirus outbreak

At the start of Mental Health Awareness Week (18 – 24 May), Leeds City Council and the local NHS are reminding children and young people that ‘Support is still here for you’ when they’re in need of support for their mental wellbeing.

Leeds City Council and the local NHS are working with the third sector, to ensure children and young people in Leeds have access to mental health support during the coronavirus outbreak by visiting the MindMate website (www.mindmate.org.uk).

Cllr Fiona Venner, Leeds Executive Board Member for Children and Families said; “We know that a lot of children and young people will be feeling really anxious with everything that’s going on with the coronavirus outbreak.

“Some may find it easier to talk to their family or friends, others may find it easier to access some support to help with their mental wellbeing. We want them to know there is support available to them if they feel like they need it through the MindMate website (www.mindmate.org.uk).

“The website provides mental health and emotional wellbeing advice and information for children and young people across Leeds. It has a page specifically on coronavirus and how children and young people can look after their mental wellbeing during this difficult time. It also includes a resource section for young people as well as for parents and carers.

“This forms part of the council’s wider support for children and families and I’m grateful to all staff at the council and our partners for the invaluable work they are doing at this difficult time.”

Dr Jane Mischenko, Lead Commissioner for Children and Maternity at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We’ve been working hard with our partners as well as the third sector, to make sure that if children and young people needed support for their mental health they still have access to services during the lockdown period.

“With Mental Health Awareness Week (18 – 24 May) around the corner, we want children and young people to know that there are several services which they can access for support to help with their mental health and wellbeing. The way they access these services has changed but the support is still available to them, and the MindMate website has a wealth of information which they can access. It includes a section on how to cope with common issues, like stress, panic / panic attacks, self-image and eating disorder.”

For many children and young people with mental health needs, the current disruption to daily routines is a struggle. In a recent survey by the mental health charity YoungMinds, which included 2111 participants up to age 25 and who have experience of mental illness, 83% said the pandemic had made their conditions worse.

Children and young people can access support through the following:

MindMate website

The website provides mental health and emotional wellbeing advice and information for children and young people across Leeds. A page specifically for coronavirus (www.mindmate.org.uk/information-on-coronavirus-taking-care-of-your-mentalwellbeing/), it has information about:

  • how they can look after their wellbeing as well as where they can go for support
  • resources for young people
  • resources for parent and carers
  • what support they can access if they’re in a crisis or need urgent help

Teen Connect – service provided by Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service and The Market Place

They provide emotional support for 11 – 18 year olds over the phone.

  • Opening times: Monday – Friday from 3.30pm to 2am and Saturday – Sunday from 6pm to 2am
  • Telephone: 0808 800 1212
  • Text: 0771 566 1559

For further information, visit https://www.lslcs.org.uk/services/connect-helpline/teenconnect/

Safe Zone – crisis support provided by Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service and The Market Place

This service supports 11 – 17 year olds who are in a crisis over the phone.

  • Opening times: Monday, Thursday and Sundays from 6pm to 9pm
  • Telephone: 0113 819 8189

For further information, visit https://www.lslcs.org.uk/services/safe-zone/

Kooth – free online counselling https://www.kooth.com/

10 – 18 year olds can chat 1-2-1 with counsellors, access self-help articles 24/7 and connect with peers through live moderated forums.

Calm Harm app – downloaded from App Store and Google Play

The Calm Harm app has been customised for young people in Leeds aged 12 – 25 years.

It helps to resist the urge to self-harm, it has a number of activities including breathing techniques to help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.

The Market Place

The Market Place offer a support service for 11 – 25 year olds and are only currently offering telephone support service, they’re open 7 days a week between 12pm to 6pm.

For further information, visit www.mindmate.org.uk/the-market-place/

MindMate – Single Point of Access (SPA)

The SPA is operating as normal and changes have been made to this, professionals can refer into, when they’re working with children and young people, and identify they have a need for support with their emotional wellbeing or mental health.

Young people (13 – 17 years) or parents and carers of children (5 – 17 years) can now talk directly to the SPA team. They can call 0300 555 0324.

For further information, visit https://www.mindmate.org.uk/im-a-professional/leedsmindmate-single-point-access/

ENDS

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Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively, please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net