0191 643 2626
admin@voda.org.uk

Children’s Mental Health

Supporting your child’s mental health as they return to school during COVID-19

UNICEF has published advice on how parents can help their children navigate their feelings during school reopenings.

The coronavirus outbreak has caused major disruptions to daily life and children are feeling these changes deeply. While the return to school will be not only welcome but exciting for many students, others will be feeling anxious or frightened. UNICEF has put together a series of tips to help your children navigate some of the complicated emotions they may be facing with going back to school. Issues covered include:

  • My child is scared to go back to school. How can I help him feel at ease?
  • My child’s school is recommending the wearing of protective clothing, which is making my child feel more nervous. What should I say to her?
  • How can I encourage my child to follow precautions (such as frequent handwashing, physical distancing, etc.) at school without alarming her?
  • My child is not part of the same group as his close friends returning to school and is feeling even more isolated. How can he feel more connected to the classroom and his friends?
  • How can I gently check in to see how my child is coping?
  • Is there anything I should look out for as my child starts back at school?
  • My child is worried about bullying at school and online, how can I talk to them about it?

Read more here.

Read more

NICE recommends ‘Smartphone therapy’ for children with depression

Children and young people can be offered digital cognitive behavioural therapy (digital CBT, also known as computer CBT) as a first-line treatment for mild depression,according to new advice from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice). Digital CBT is delivered on mobile phones, tablets or computers, meaning users can access help quickly, avoiding waiting lists.

The guidance, for identifying and managing depression in children and young people aged five to 18, says online therapy and courses in mindfulness should be the first options for treatment of mild cases. Group CBT, group interpersonal psychotherapy and group mindfulness are also recommended as first-line treatments. NICE says that the choice of treatment should be based on clinical need and patient and carer preferences. The child or young person’s history, circumstances and maturity should also be considered. Read more here. 

Read more

New mental health support in schools and colleges and faster access to NHS care

NHS England

In 2017, the Government published its Green Paper for Transforming children and young people’s mental health, which detailed proposals for expanding access to mental health care for children and young people, building on the national NHS transformation programme which is already underway.

Supported by partners, NHS England is leading the delivery of two of the programme’s main commitments:

  1. Establishing new Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs);
  2. Trialling a four-week waiting time for access to specialist NHS children and young people’s mental health services.

The first Mental Health Support Teams will be set up in 25 trailblazer areas of which 12 trailblazers will also trial a four-week waiting time. These are expected to begin work by the end 2019. NHS England regional teams will support the trailblazers through this process.

Further plans for the development of children and young people’s mental health care will be detailed in the forthcoming NHS Long-Term Plan.

Read more here. 

Read more