Mental health support for children and young people returning to school

More children and young people are returning to school this week, but with smaller class sizes and new room layouts, the school day will be quite different from what pupils are used to. As they start to adapt to this new routine, the NHS in Leeds is encouraging parents and carers to look out for signs that their child is struggling with their wellbeing, particularly if they already experience mental health difficulties.

Signs of anxiety in young people may include avoiding spending time with family, having trouble sleeping, or changes in eating habits. Signs of depression may include not enjoying things they used to like doing, feeling tearful or upset regularly, or persistently lacking motivation.

Dr Jane Mischenko, Lead Commissioner for Children and Maternity at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s normal for children and young people to feel worried or anxious at the moment. We are all living with uncertainty during these times. While some pupils may be welcoming the return to school, others may be feeling anxious or upset, so we would like to remind parents and carers that help is available if they notice changes in their child’s behaviour.

“We’ve been working hard with our partners as well as the third sector, to make sure that if children and young people need support for their mental health, they still have access to support and services during this period. The MindMate website (www.mindmate.org.uk) offers information about the various services available in Leeds, as well as a wealth of resources on how to cope with common issues, like stress, panic / panic attacks, self-image and eating disorders.

“MindMate also has a variety of resources specifically for parents and carers, with advice on how you can provide emotional support to your child, all recommended and approved by parents in Leeds. We want young people and their parents or carers to know that support is still here for them during this uncertain time.”

Parents, carers, or a young person who needs support with their mental health, can visit the MindMate website www.mindmate.org.uk.

Notes to editors

About MindMate

MindMate is a dedicated mental health and emotional wellbeing website (www.mindmate.org.uk) in Leeds for young people (age 12 – 25), parents and professionals who work with young people.

There’s a page specifically set up on the MindMate website, on how children and young people can take of their mental wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak: https://www.mindmate.org.uk/information-on-coronavirus-taking-care-of-your-mental-wellbeing/

The page includes:

  • Resources for young people
  • Resources for parents and carers
  • Tips on how to look after your wellbeing whilst staying at home

Support for children and young people across Leeds to help with their mental wellbeing

NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have put together a single sided sheet, this includes daytime and evening support available for children and young people: https://bit.ly/3hyOad7

For media enquiries please contact:

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