If you are aged 18 or below and are experiencing any difficulties with your mental health or emotional wellbeing this winter – or if you know any children or young people who are –a range of help and support is available online which could make a difference.
The Buckinghamshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) web page offers advice, information and useful tips aimed at young people aged 18 and under.
Whether it is moderate anxiety, depression, eating disorders or any number of other concerns, the web page has lots of guidance available. There are also links to other support organisations and details of useful books and online apps that may be helpful. You can also contact the CAMHS team to arrange an appointment if needed.
To access the Buckinghamshire CAMHS webpages, which are run by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, simply go to www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/camhs/bucks.
A 24/7 Mental Health Helpline is also available to support children and young people, as well as their parents, carers and adults, via NHS 111 (or online at 111.nhs.uk). The helpline is staffed by Oxford Health mental health professionals.
Dr Juliet Sutton, GP and Clinical Director for Children’s Services and NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This year has been incredibly difficult for us all because of the pandemic and children and young people have been hard hit. They have experienced school closures, missed out on social contact with friends, and many will have been unable to see grandparents or other vulnerable family members in the usual way. Lots of young people have also lost loved ones, whether due to COVID or other causes, in this confusing and worrying time.”
Dr Sian Roberts, GP and Clinical Director for Mental Health and Learning at NHS Buckinghamshire CCG, added: “All of these things impact on our mental health and emotional wellbeing. But help and support is out there, and it can really make a difference. If you are a young person experiencing difficulties this winter, or if you have any children or young people in your life who you are concerned about, please do visit the CAMHS webpage – it is a great first port of call for advice and support. And if you need more immediate help, there is also the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline available via NHS 111.”
Eleanor Rowsell, Head of Psychological Services at Buckinghamshire’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, said: “Young and old, we’ve all felt the challenges of 2020. Buckinghamshire CAMHS is here to support children and young people, their family and carers.
“Our website offers a wealth of information and simple steps families and young people can take to support their mental health.
“We know it can be hard to reach out for help and so also offer 11 to 19 year olds access to Kooth (www.kooth.com) who provide free online mental health support 365 days a year. This includes chats (counselling) with a professional counsellor, reading self-help articles, and joining peer-to-peer forums.
“People can get in touch with our services directly through the website or, for urgent advice, they can speak to our mental health professionals at Buckinghamshire 24/7 Mental Health Helpline via NHS 111.”