Mental health support for young people

Support during COVID-19

  • Essex County Council has launched the Family Innovation Fund Xtra (FiF Xtra) to support children, young people and families who are not already receiving support from other services. It aims to provide help during the Covid-19 pandemic across key areas such as children’s mental health, healthy relationships and coping with change. It is available to children aged 0-19 years old or up to 25 years old for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
  • Returning to school? Coram Life Education launched a free teaching toolkit to support children’s health and wellbeing when they return to school, designed to build children’s resilience, self-esteem and kindness and includes practical resources in line with new government guidance, such as lesson ideas for smaller class sizes and to use outdoors. It also includes adaptations for parents and carers of children who are home-schooled and in preparation for a return to school.
  • The Government has released some advice for how to support children’s mental health during these unprecedented times
  • The NHS campaign – Every Mind Matters – includes ten helpful tips to help parents and carers support their child. There is also now tailored advice for children and young people managing their mental health as they return to school.
  • The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service are still providing you with a safe and high quality service over telephone or with CHAT Health which is the school nurse text-messaging service (open 9-5pm Monday to Friday, all messages responded within 24 hours Monday – Friday)
  • The Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) have some tips to stay positive and healthy during COVID-19 and have created a self-isolation support pack
  • See this parent’s guide to helping your child’s anxiety around Coronavirus
  • Childline have produced guidance and easy to understand information for children about Coronavirus
  • Explaining Coronavirus to young people: there is free e-book available by Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler or a #Covibook free to download to support and reassure children around the world
  • Relate offers useful tips to help parents and carers support their child
  • Advice to support families cope practically and emotionally is also available from Family Lives.
  • MindEd is a free educational resource for parents and carers looking for support around children’s mental health and wellbeing
  • See, Hear, Respond is a partnership to help children, young people and families cope with the Covid-19 crisis, aiming to provide early intervention such as an online hub of support and information, online counselling and therapy, face to face therapy for those at risk of exploitation and helping children and young people reintegrate back to school.

Safeguarding children during COVID-19

The Essex Safeguarding Children Board’s dedicated Coronavirus pages aim to provide a single point of access for anyone needing information and resources in relation to safeguarding children and young people, whilst the COVID-19 outbreak is ongoing.

Bereavement support during COVID-19

  • Simon Says has developed an excellent reading list for all ages to support children and young people in understanding and dealing with loss. They also have excellent resources for teachers too.
  • The British Heart Foundation have developed an animated short story to help bereaved children.
  • See more support services on our bereavement page.

Sexual health services during COVID-19

Essex-wide services

  • There is an online generic Essex-wide service called Kooth that young people (11 to 26) can access for Kooth logocounselling. Young people can access Kooth themselves, by setting up a confidential account.
  • Healthwatch Essex has an Information Service that you can call for advice. Tamsin, a Mental Health Ambassador reflects on her struggle with her own mental health in her blog. They also have some useful advice for young adults feeling stressed, anxious or feeling low.  Contact them if you have a concern or a complaint relating to any health service provider in Essex.
  • Big White Wall is an online mental health and wellbeing service for young people (16 to 18) offering self-help programmes, creative outlets and a community that cares. The site is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, support is available to anyone who logs on.
  • Find self help in your local library- Reading Well for young people recommends expert endorsed books about mental health, providing 13 to 18 year olds with advice and information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams.
  • MiLife is an online help service designed by young people from Essex with useful information and links to other organisations that work with young people.
  • The Mix– UK’s leading support service for young people (13 to 25).They are here to help you take on any challenge you’re facing – from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. Talk to them via online, social or our free, confidential helpline.
  • Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity championing the well-being and mental health of children and young people. On the site is a wealth of resources on the topic for children, young people, parents and anyone working with young people. There is also a helpline for parents looking for help and support.
  • Papyrus is the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. They have the resources to help you if you have suicidal thoughts.
  • BEAT is the UK’s national eating disorder charity and can provide advice and guidance for both people suffering from eating disorders and those around them.

Useful links

Livewell Partners