This week, NELFT celebrated Children’s Mental Health Week by highlighting what services are available to children and young people in schools.
1 in 6 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition which is why raising awareness of the importance of children and young people’s mental health, is so important.
This year’s theme, My Voice Matters, hopes to empower, equip, and give a voice to every child in the UK. NELFT wants all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, to be able to say – and believe - “My Voice Matters”.
Zamzam Ahmed, NELFT Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) and student voice champion, said:
“Your voice matters because it reflects your individual experiences, perspectives, and ideas, which have the power to influence, inspire, and bring about positive change in your community and beyond”.
Empowering children and young people can have a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. For example, children and young people who feel that their voices are heard - and that what they say makes a difference - have higher levels of self-efficacy and self-esteem.
Danyel Mustafa, Senior Mental Health Practitioner (SMHP), said:
“It is super important to have an online presence to make sure we can be reached by young people and families alike. We have therefore set up a creative team within our service to create relevant content and make our service feel welcoming, approachable and inviting for young people to access!”
One of the mental health services, Havering Emotional Support Team offers one-to-one sessions with parents, group sessions with children, parent workshops to support their children, holiday clubs, student drop-ins, and assemblies. These can be accessed via referral from school or self-referral in our secondary schools/colleges.
Some parents whose children have received support from NELFT’s mental health teams said:
“Our child has been so much better! …This morning her friend was getting really upset so our child said to her friend ‘tell me something you can see, tell me something you can smell’ (a technique from the sessions), it was the cutest thing and her friend calmed down.”
“I would recommend parents having an element of the [one-to-one] sessions. I was feeling as though I wasn’t on my own, feeling like there was light at the end.”
“I now feel more in control with the consistency towards helping my child… I have a little bit more of an understanding when it comes to helping my son.”
NELFT have a variety of different services that offer help to children and young people for their mental health, see below:
NELFT Mental Health Support Teams/Emotional Support Teams:
- Barking & Dagenham Mental Health Support Team (MHST) | NELFT NHS Foundation Trust
- Essex schools mental health support team | NELFT NHS Foundation Trust
- Havering Emotional Support Team (HEST) | NELFT NHS Foundation Trust
- Kent and Medway Mental Health Support Teams | NELFT NHS Foundation Trust
NELFT CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and CYPMHS (Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service):