There has been an increase in distress in young people who are feeling socially isolated and may be struggling with conflict or relationship difficulties at home. In addition, people who display behaviours associated with neurodevelopmental conditions such as Autism and/or ADHD are likely to find it more difficult to recognise their stress, to regulate or allow others to regulate them and then access support associated with their wellbeing.
Action is being taken by our school of Milestone, health services and social care settings to try to identify young people who may be particularly vulnerable to emotional distress at this time. However, we would like to draw your attention to a range of resources to support the Milestone community to aid our students communicate, learn and feel less stressed and anxious.
To seek further support regarding Mental Health
Below is where you can seek further support. We do recommend that you contact your child’s teacher to inform them of the difficulties arising at home, as they or specialist staff within the school may be able to support these difficulties. At any point you feel a greater level of support is required outside of the expertise of Milestone Academy staff we would recommend that you put in place actions given while you await support from external agencies.
If families or children are not sure of what Mental Health support is needed, then you can call the Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0300 123 4496 to talk through what information, advice and support might be appropriate. This is also the number to call if a child needs urgent mental health support.
For people of all ages needing immediate mental health support, just text the word “Kent” or “Medway” to 85258. This is a new 24/7 text service provided by SHOUT and the Crisis Text Line as part of the Kent and Medway Release the Pressure campaign.
Other services that young people can access directly are:
- Kooth is a mental health and wellbeing online platform for young people aged 10 to 16 across the whole of Kent. The service is free and can be accessed at www.kooth.com. It’s a place to get advice, information and support 24/7. Young people can chat to a friendly qualified counsellor Monday to Friday between 12 noon and 10pm and Saturday and Sunday between 6pm and 10pm.
- Accessing www.moodspark.org.uk or www.kentresiliencehub.org.uk to learn about mental health and find tips and resources to keep emotionally healthy.
- Texting ChatHealth for support around physical and mental health on 07520 618850. The number is monitored Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
- Self-referring to the Children and Young People’s Counselling Service at www.kentcht.nhs.uk/forms/school-health-service-referral-form
- Accessing the Big White Wall if aged 16+ for anonymous support through https://www.bigwhitewall.com
During the latest restrictions, we continue to offer:
- General health support Emotional wellbeing support Strategies for low level support: For some children and young people it can be difficult to manage and understand their feelings. School Health supports low level emotional health needs and can provide strategies to manage emotional health and build resilience. Young people may be offered up to six virtual sessions of support over 12 weeks to improve wellbeing.
- Children and Young People’s Counselling Service: We offer up to six counselling sessions to help a young person gain understanding and develop strategies to help them feel better. For primary school aged children, we offer the child six sessions with a counsellor, or if more appropriate, we will offer parents six weekly sessions with advice on practical, easy to use strategies to support their child. We have also extended our service to include bereavement counselling for those aged 4-19 who have been bereaved as a result of the Coronavirus. Sessions are delivered virtually or face-to-face within a clinic setting. Referrals are accepted via the online referral form.
- Unsure whether you need to make a referral? Schools or parents can call and speak to one of our team to receive a consultation to assess if a referral is needed – call 0800 0113474 between 8am and 6pm.
- Support for parents There are a range of support options online for young people and their families including: The Kent Resilience Hub is aimed at parents of children aged between 10 and 16. It has a range of helpful articles, tools and resources for parents and carers, so that you can increase understanding and find tools and approaches to help build your child’s resilience.