Today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May 2022).
The following are local and national resources to help and support children and young people's mental health.
(Slide Away does not endorse any of the following websites or apps but we thought you might find them useful).
Kent-based mental health websites
www.kentyouthhealth.nhs.uk - contains lots of information and includes a self-referral form for access to the Kent Children’s and Young People’s Counselling service. It also promotes the Chat Health text service for young people.
www.moodspark.org.uk - a website created by young people in Kent for young people in Kent. It helps to improve resilience.
www.kentresiliencehub.org.uk - a resource for young people, parents, and professionals working with young people providing information and advice to improve resilience.
www.kooth.com - a mental health community with articles, discussion boards, online counselling, etc.
www.togetherall.com - a mental health community, etc like Kooth for ages 16 – 18.
National mental health websites
www.themix.org.uk - a website providing support for young people aged 10 – 25. It has self-help articles and guides, discussion boards, an online chat function with a trained adult, and text services. It includes a crisis service too.
www.youngminds.org.uk - a website providing information and support for young people and their parents. Includes a crisis text service. They also have a parentline which parents can phone to talk about being a parent to a child/young person struggling with their mental health too.
www.childline.org.uk - a website providing support to children and young people. It has self-help articles, guides, and discussion boards. Children and young people can chat online or on the freephone number to a trained adult.
https://www.papyrus-uk.org Offers confidential advice and support for young people struggling with suicidal thoughts. Its helpline service - HOPELINEUK - is available to anybody under the age of 35 experiencing suicidal thoughts, or anybody concerned that a young person could be thinking of suicide.
Apart of Me - is a therapeutic gaming app to help young people cope with bereavement. It acts as a guide through grief, translating bereavement-counselling techniques into a beautifully illustrated, magical 3D world. The app was co-created by child psychology experts with young people who have faced loss themselves and it’s endorsed by major bereavement charities (including Child Bereavement UK).
Ollee - helps children talk about feelings, with advice to support wellbeing.Ollee is a digital friend for children aged 8-11 – created by Parent Zone and BBC Children in Need’s A Million & Me initiative. It helps children explore their feelings around subjects like school, family, friends, their body, the world and the internet, and seek the support of their parents or another trusted adult. Ollee supports conversations between children and parents and helps them to share expert advice with each other through connected accounts.
Calm Harm – an app to support children and young people who are self-harming. The app supports young people through the wave of emotion they are feeling that normally leads to self-harming with safer coping strategies.
Smiling Mind - has been developed by Australian psychologists and educators to address the rise of youth mental illness. It focuses on wellbeing through mindfulness, and has something for every age, right down to four-years-olds (its bitesize meditations are great for children’s bedtimes). Free to download, it’s a good alternative to the paid-for Headspace and Calm apps.
Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame - is an app intended for parents and caregivers to use with their young children (ages 2-5). The app aims to help teach children real-world problem solving skills by calming down and solving everyday challenges.Tap and touch to help the monster friend take deep breaths, think of plans, and try them out!
Combined Minds - helps families and friends support young people with their mental health. Combined Minds uses a ’Strengths-Based’ approach which has been shown to be effective in recovery. This approach focuses on the positive attributes of the person and builds on resourcefulness and resilience. Combined Minds helps families and friends to find ways to provide the right environment to help the individuals they support affect their own change. As important influencers in the lives of young people, this provides a positive impact on their mental health.
MindShift - uses scientifically proven strategies based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help you learn to relax and be mindful, develop more effective ways of thinking, and use active steps to take charge of your anxiety. Specific tools help users tackle issues such as dealing with perfectionism, worry, panic, social anxiety and phobias. These tools address everyday situations that contribute to increased levels of anxiety, in order to help users change their overall relationship with anxiety. The goal is to help young people learn and practice anxiety coping skills.
Children’s bedtime meditations - features a number of children's bedtime meditation stories including 6 completely free children's bedtime meditations and many more available as in-app purchases. The app has meditations and mindfulness tracks for children of all ages and covers a range of themes to help your kids to sleep soundly at night. The topics include sleep, bedtime, mindfulness, general confidence, anxiety, stress, self esteem and more. The meditations can help kids with feeling of confidence and motivation at school, with peer pressure and fitting in with friends and to generally feel happier and more positive.
Cove - allows you to create music to capture your mood and express how you feel. Instead of words, create music to reflect emotions like joy, sadness, calm and anger. You can store your music in a personal journal, or send them to someone and let the music do the talking.