Mental health and emotional wellbeing
If a child is in immediate danger please call 999
Emotional wellbeing means a lot of different things, for example being happy and confident and not anxious or depressed. As professionals working with children and young people we are always concerned about their safety and particularly their emotional wellbeing.
We want them to flourish and be able to do things for themselves, to be able to solve problems, manage their emotions, be resilient to life’s challenges, have good relationships with others and not exhibit behavioural issues, such as being disruptive, violent or bullying.
However, there are lots of reasons why some young people become emotionally unwell, for example, experiencing abuse, having poor relationships with people that are close to them, struggling to get on with people at school, living in challenging home conditions.
Just as we all have physical health, we have mental health too. And just as our bodies can become unwell, so can our minds. Like physical illness, mental illness affects people of any age, race, religion or income.
Poor emotional health can lead to problems later in life. Did you know? 1 in 10 young people experience mental health problems
Even as professionals we do not always know where to look for help if we suspect that our children are going through a tough time, experiencing poor emotional wellbeing or mental health. Indeed some may feel that to ask for information, help or support reflects badly on them as parents, when the opposite true.
Line manager and colleagues have learned knowledge and are often an excellent starting point.
However should you wish to source additional knowledge or support then you could try Young Minds. They have lots of useful information and tips for children and young people and parents.
There are lots of simple, everyday ways we all can support a child or young person who may have emotional wellbeing or mental health problems. Small things can make a big difference – like being there to listen, keeping in touch and reminding them you care.
Time to Change have produced a conversation starter which you might find helpful. Download the template and have a go. For more information and resources, visit the Time to Change website.
In Barnet, there are local agencies and organisations that can provide support if you suspect children and young people of experiencing poor emotional wellbeing or if you are worried about their mental health. These include:
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS): their website explains about the NHS services available and how families and professionals can make a referral.
Barnet - Local Offer gives information about services available for children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities and their families.
If you feel the child or young person would prefer to talk to someone anonymously, interact with other young people who may be feeling the same in a moderated environment, or would like to read information for themselves, take a look at:
KOOTH – a free confidential online counselling service for Barnet 11-19 year olds.
Childline – will support children and young people in a variety of ways, including by phone and by app.
The Young Barnet Foundation holds a wealth of information on local charities that can offer support and advice to young people and families on emotional wellbeing.