As schools re-open once again, children and young people are facing yet more change. Some will be looking forward to the structure and routine of school, classroom learning and seeing their friends. For others, this may be a source of anxiety and apprehension.

Over this last year, we have faced so much uncertainty and disruption to our lives. If we have been struggling with this as adults, it’s important to recognise and acknowledge how this has affected the younger generation. Loneliness, worries about school and the future, and increased use of social media have all been cited as factors affecting the mental health and wellbeing of this population.

Why this is so Important

Research shows that mental health difficulties usually present during childhood or adolescence. Roughly half of all mental health disorders start by a person’s mid-teens, and three quarters by their mid-twenties. As we enter another period of transition, it’s important to be aware of this and know how to access support for a young person if they are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.

Signs That Something Might be Wrong

It’s important to keep in mind that we all experience difficult emotions such as sadness, anxiety and anger at times and adolescence can be a particularly volatile time. But if these emotional states last for extended periods, it may be helpful to consider seeking professional support. The NHS highlight signs that a young person may be struggling with their mental health may include:

  • Ongoing sleep difficulties
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Disengagement from things they would usually enjoy
  • Significant changes in behaviour
  • Self-harm or self-neglect

Support and Advice

Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) – These are NHS services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing. This was formerly known as Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Young Minds – Young Minds are a charity supporting young people’s mental health. They offer a parents helpline and offer advice, emotional support and signposting for parents concerned about a child under the age of 25.

Crisis Support – If you need help for a mental health crisis or emergency, seek urgent support. Click on the hyperlink to find out more, including what this support involves and how to find local NHS urgent mental health helplines.

Looking After Your Own Mental Wellbeing

Often, looking after others requires us to be feeling well in ourselves to be able to this as best we can. We believe in empowering you to improve your mental health and wellbeing and make informed choices about the support you access. We have a number of articles to help with this.

Brighter Minds don’t currently offer treatment to children under 18, however, we work with adults and specialise in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT acknowledges we can’t always change a difficult experience or situation, but we can change the way we think and behave in response to it in order to improve the way we feel. If you yourself are struggling with anxiety, depression or stress, we’re here to help. Feel free to find out more or get in touch.