Mental health charity, Lancashire Mind, are highlighting the importance of children and young people’s mental health during Children’s Mental Health Week.
Child referrals for mental health care in England increased by 39 per cent during 2021*, and Lancashire Mind’s own children and young people team saw a 116 per cent increase in demand for their services during this period.
Working closely with schools and community groups, Lancashire Mind support, educate and promote mental health resilience from early years, all the way up to young adults at college and university.
Miranda Ringland, Wellbeing Coach Lead at Lancashire Mind, said: “I think people often forget that children go through the day-to-day mental health challenges, similar to the way adults do.
“Children and young people, just like adults, can get stressed, feel anxious, or have low moods.”
Lancashire Mind works to achieve positive mental health and wellbeing for everyone living within Lancashire and that includes children and young people.
The team believes providing youngsters with the tools and techniques they need to cope with their mental health from an early age can make a positive impact during adulthood.
Miranda continued: “50 per cent of mental health conditions develop before the age of 14, and 7 out of 10 children and young people who experience a mental health condition have not had appropriate support at an early enough age. This makes the support we offer with our schools' programmes, and one-to-one coaching, a key ingredient to preventing future mental health conditions.”
Lancashire Mind can now offer their free coaching service virtually. Accessible through referral from schools, parents or carers, young people aged 10-18 can access up to six sessions of wellbeing coaching. The online coaching has little to no waiting time and be accessed almost immediately.
The young person will work with a Wellbeing Coach either 1:1 or in small groups, to identify wellbeing goals and develop a toolkit of coping strategies for lower-level mental health challenges such as worry, low self-esteem and confidence, and low mood.
Miranda adds: “Coaching is not a replacement for counselling but has a strong emphasis on moving forward and developing practical techniques to use within everyday life.”
A parent who’s own daughter recently accessed the coaching said: "I think the coaching worked so well because we didn’t brush how she was feeling under the carpet. As soon as we realised something was wrong the school acted so quickly and before we knew it Lancashire Mind were involved. Had we not done this I fear the end result would have been very different!
"Our daughter is now thriving at college and I absolutely believe it is because of the coaching she had, which helped her focus on the right things and move forwards positively. Hazel and Lancashire Mind changed my daughter's life and I am so very grateful for what they did for our family."
The charity also delivers school programmes to both primary and secondary aged children.
Hannah Holden, Children and Young Person Project Lead said: “Our ‘Bounce Forward’ programme is aimed mainly at Key Stage 2 children. It’s a universal resilience programme which aims to increase resilience and wellbeing. It’s a very practical programme focusing on what the children can do rather than what they can't do to help the wellbeing.
“Mental health is similar to physical health. If physical health is prioritised from a young age and you’re encouraged to be active, you're more likely to continue that into adulthood because it's a habit or it's a routine. And it's the same thing with mental health.”
You can get more information on our Children and Young People page.