A new online service for adolescents with mental health problems is being launched today (Friday 5th July 2013).
The service at mindfull.org is aimed at young people aged 11 to 17. It's offering advice, support and the chance to talk online and confidentially with counsellors.
The young person can choose the type of support they receive and, because MindFull is online, it is available anywhere at anytime whether it's counselling, self-help or mentoring from another young person who has been in a similar position and is now able to help others.
Young people can suffer a huge range issues that stem from depression and anxiety such as self-harm, anorexia, bulimia, substance abuse and even suicide attempts. The root cause may not be clear to see but there will be a root cause (physical and/or emotional) that needs to be addressed as much as its effects.
MindFull is here to help you get better; and we'll also give you tools and tips to help you get through those tough times that may arise in the future. We know that asking for help is not always easy, but MindFull is a safe and trustworthy space where you can choose the right support for you.
However you feel, remember that you're never alone: when you're ready to talk, were ready to listen. MindFull is open every day, between 10am and midnight.
Young people often find it difficult to start conversations about their mental health problems, fearing they won't be taken seriously or be told just to "get over it" or "pull themselves together".
Then, when they do pluck up the courage to open up about their feelings, a concerned parent may take them to the GP who may refer to CAMHS, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. As many of us know, the quality of CAMHS can be variable and a bad experience can make matters worse.
Helping as a parent can be easier said than done
At present we are involved with CAMHS and have, this time round, been pleasantly surprised although this hasn't been the case in the past and I know many of you have had bad experiences
Child mental health is a growing issue and any service that can help is to be welcomed. As a parent, it is of course, always best to foster an environment at home where your children can feel comfortable tackling difficult subjects with you. Sometimes it's best just to keep your own mouth shut and not feel you have to solve your child's problems right off the bat - non-judgemental listening is what is needed.
Oh, but that is SO easy to say, isn't it? Even as I typed that, I was thinking that I needed to learn how to do that - I know what's needed, but I just want so badly to 'fix' all my children's problems that I go about things in the wrong way and then berate myself later.
I am what's known as 'A Rescuer', ready to leap in and save any situation from disaster. I hate to see others' suffering and pain because I feel it myself. I bet I'm not alone in this. And although sometimes it works out, with your children, they may not tell you in the first place and when they do, they need support but not fixing. They have to find their own way and although parents can be a vital source of strength, they will almost always need impartial help as well or instead.
If you care for a young person/people either as parent /carer or in a professional capacity, take a look at this service and pass it on. It's a tough old world out there and our youngsters need all the help they can get.
You can find Mindfull on social media at the following locations:
- Facebook: MindFullUnitedKingdom
- Twitter: MindFullUK
- YouTube: TheBBGroup
- Pinterest: pinterest.com/mindfulluk/pins
- Tumblr: mindfulluk.tumblr.com
BBC Radio 4's Today programme had two interesting features about this this morning. You'll be able to listen again later today at this link.
Read other SNJ posts about child mental health:
- Depression: would you regognise it in your child
- Teenagers and suicide - a growing challenge for our times
- What's your experience of CAMHS
- Ritalin, talking therapies and what I think our kids really need
What has your experience been like? Do you think a service like this is a good idea? Add your comments and opinions below!