Supporting our children and young people to get the help they need
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Mental health isn’t just an adult issue – more and more children and young people are struggling to cope. Dedicated support and advice is available and Norfolk County Council is transforming its services to meet the needs of the county’s communities.
Children and young people’s mental health services in Norfolk and Waveney are being transformed, with a focus on prevention and emotional wellbeing, and getting quick and easy access to advice and support.
The long-term plan is that services for 0-25 year olds become community based, with professionals from different agencies forming teams that support children and young people, families and schools.
However, change has already begun. Children and young people no longer need a referral to access mental health services. A new webpage is available at www.justonenorfolk.nhs.uk/mentalhealth detailing what’s available, with useful advice on emotional wellbeing.
Those who are aged 11-25 can also access Kooth (www.kooth.com), an online counselling and support service that’s being funded by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) for the next 12 months, with new Mental Health Support Teams already beginning pilots to support schools and colleges in some parts of Norfolk and Waveney.
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Kooth’s online counselling is available 365 days a year, on a drop-in basis or through bookable chat sessions. Young people can use Kooth to get support or advice on any topic, including:
* Managing their feelings during the pandemic
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* Coping with exam stress
* Eating disorders
* Dealing with suicidal thoughts
* Handling sexual abuse
They can also track their mood, as well as note their thoughts in an online journal.
A Year 11 student from Breckland who has used Kooth said: “I have found Kooth very useful. After a bad experience with an adult I trusted, I struggle to talk to people, so having the service be anonymous is extremely helpful. I think other young people who find it difficult to talk to people would find it helpful as they don’t know who you are and you can still get amazing advice!”
A Year 9 Student from Fakenham echoed this feeling, by saying: “I love that it’s anonymous and it provides a safe space for me to talk, which is great.”
There are no waiting lists or thresholds for young people to use the service.
Visit www.kooth.com to get support.
Norfolk County Council Public Health has partnered with Archant to create a “Not Alone” supplement which raises awareness of the help and support on offer across the county. Click here to view the supplement.