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- How can I access mental health support and treatment for my child during the coronavirus pandemic?»
How can I access mental health support and treatment for my child during the coronavirus pandemic?
- If your child is already being treated by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) or another mental health service, get in touch by phone with the service and/or their key workers to discuss how their support will continue during the pandemic. Many services will be offering online or telephone support in place of meeting face-to-face, so this is something you can ask about.
- If your child is already seeing a therapist or counsellor, or needs emotional support and would benefit from starting therapy or counselling while the pandemic is happening, it may be possible to arrange online or phone sessions in place of face-to-face. Ask the professional supporting your child about this, as well as any other ideas they have for how they can make sure some contact continues, rather than cutting off support abruptly.
- Your child can still access emotional support from helplines, textlines and online chat services anytime they need to – and Childline, Samaritans and the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger all provide 24/7 support. The Mix is also providing online and phone support as normal. You can find organisations offering support for young people around specific mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and self-harm on our Parents Guide to Support.
- If you are worried about your child’s mental health and need professional support, contact your GP. In line with NHS advice, avoid going to the GP surgery in person if you can. To speak to a doctor or book an appointment, you can phone the surgery, use their online contact service if they have one, or visit the surgery’s website to find out the best way to get in touch.
If your child experiences a mental health crisis and they need urgent care, you can seek professional support in the following ways:
- If a health professional has already given you a crisis number to call in this situation, call this number.
- If your child is already under the care of CAMHS or another mental health team and they have a crisis plan that states who to contact when they need urgent care, follow this plan.
- If your child needs urgent care but it is not life threatening, you can call 111 for advice.
- If there is a medical emergency, for example if your child is injured or you are worried that they or someone else is at immediate risk of harm, call 999.
If you’re unsure about anything and need some advice, you can call a Parents Helpline for free. They’re open Monday-Friday from 9.30am-4pm and you can reach them on 0808 802 5544. If you need further help after speaking to one of the Helpline advisors, they can refer you to one of their specialists – whether it’s a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, psychologist or mental health nurse. They will arrange a phone consultation within 7 days of your call.