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Mental Health

​Sometimes it can be difficult to explain what mental health is. The World Health Organisation defines it as a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to their community. ​

Mental health problems can take many forms including depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, eating disorders, anxieties, phobias, drug and alcohol abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementia and many more.

It is estimated that one in four people experience mental health problems at some time in their lives. UHNM is committed to working together with partners to make sure people get the help and support they need. We want to ensure that our patients have a positive experience when they come to UHNM and that all of their needs are met.

Improved mental health and wellbeing is associated with a range of better outcomes for people of all ages and backgrounds. These include improved physical health and life expectancy.

Since 2013, NHS England has been working with service users, carers and key partners to improve the outcomes and experiences of people of all ages with mental health problems, to ensure that mental health is treated with the same level of importance as physical health.

The NHS Five Year Forward View for Mental Health 2016 sets out a series of practical and realistic steps for the NHS to deliver a better, more joined-up and more responsive NHS in England.

We aim to ensure patients receive the highest standards of care and that patients are treated with respect and dignity.

Our current workforce includes a number of mental health nurses in certain ward areas that are able to provide holistic care which meets the needs of people who are living with mental health problems.

Areas of work are emergency portals, care of the older person, trauma and orthopaedics, general medicine and gastroenterology and child health. 

 

This website has been designed to help you find out more about mental health: what it is and how it can affect you.

Did you know?

Mental health can affect anyone and sometimes it feels scary and unsettling. 

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Good mental health allows you to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life has in store for you and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults with something called 'emotional intelligence' (the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others).​

Please use this website to look for information to help you and let us know if we can do anything to improve it. Tell us what you would like to see on the website, because it is here to help you. 


EMPOWERS

 

The term 'EMPOWERS' was derived from using different words to describe mental health.

It stands for Emotional, Mental health, Psychological, Openness, Wellbeing, Encouragement, Resilience and Support.

The term was chosen to help people take back control of their mental health and have their own say about what happens in their treatment. We wanted to use something that would give people the empowerment to talk about mental health.

This working group helps staff to have a better understanding of mental health. It will continue to meet regularly and ensure that momentum is carried on and forms part of our vision for the future. The group is also designed to build partnerships with our external stakeholders to support the development of CAMHS services across Staffordshire.​

​At UHNM, it is our goal to ensure adults and older people are well care for both physically and mentally. Sometimes our patients need extra support.

For example, many of our patients have mental health issues, some of which have not been detected, diagnosed or treated. Some may have dementia which is not yet diagnosed. Their dementia may be mild, moderate or severe. Others may have depression and some may have delirium which is an acute confusional state which can be due to a variety of causes.​​​

We follow the national requirement to give all patients aged 65 and over a six-item cognitive impairment test (6CIT). This ensures that we are screening hospital patients for dementia anytime within 72 hours of admission. At UHNM screening is completed on admission or within 24 hours of admission. This ensures we are meeting Objective 2 of the National Dementia Strategy for earlier diagnosis and to provide a baseline measure.​

For professionals:

Dementia Liaison Service

Positive Mental Health Care in Hospital

What we do

We aim to provide a high quality service for adults over the age of 65 in an acute care setting and who have a diagnosis of dementia or who appear to be suffering from a degree of cognitive impairment. We aim to provide support and advice for people suffering from possible early onset dementia through to sudden onset of confusion caused by physical illness (delirium). The team maintains good links with community based dementia teams, care home education and support services (CHESS Team) and the memory service. We aim to provide advice and management whilst a patient is in the acute care setting and provide a seamless service back out into the community with referrals to appropriate agencies to ensure good follow up care once back home. A further aim of this service is to identify possible early onset dementia and signpost for further assessment once discharged back to the home environment.

When does the service operate?

The team operates 8am - 5pm Monday - Friday.

Who are we?

  • Stacey Kerr-Delworth - Lead Practitioner, Occupational Therapist
  • Kumar Vencatasamy - Dementia Liaison Nurse (R.M.N)
  • Elizabeth Morgan - Dementia Liaison Nurse (R.M.N)
  • Madeleine Botfield - Dementia Liaison Nurse (R.M.N)
  • Hannah Coombe - Dementia Liaison Support Worker
  • Samantha Buxton - Dementia Liaison Secretary.
  • We also have input and access to a Consultant Psychiatrist and Community Matron for Older Adults.

Where are we?

We are based within County Hospital and cover all inpatients of County Hospital and Fairoak Ward, Cannock Hospital.

Direct Line - 01785 230570 ext 4570

How to refer to our service

Referrals are made via the Dementia Liaison Referral Form, found on the UHNM intranet site—Clinicians Tab—Clinical Services— Frail and Elderly– scroll down to Dementia Care at County Hospital. Please fax completed forms to 01785 230921. If it is an urgent matter then please phone.

Useful Contacts

Carers Association Staffs 01785 606675
www.carersinformation.org.uk/cass

Alzheimer’s Society 0845 300 0336 Lichfield office: 01543 255955

Dementia UK 020 7874 7209

Age UK 0800 00 99 66

Stafford & District: 01785 607060

Stroke Association 0845 3033 100

Carers UK 020 7490 8818

Cinnamon Trust (provides help for older people and their pets) 01736 757900

Counsel & Care 0845 300 7585

Attendance Allowance Forms 0800 88 22 00

Olive Branch (Staffs Fire) 0800 0241 999

Social Services 01543 510300

Emergency Duty Team 08456 042889

South Staffordshire & Shropshire Mental Health Teams Community Dementia Team and Memory Services 01543 431529

Dementia Team East 01543 441461

Approved by patient information group

 

In case of emergency

The Samaritans
01782 116 123
They operate a free service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you can talk to someone in confidence.

999
You should only call this number if:

  • it's an emergency
  • a crime is in progress
  • someone suspected of a crime is nearby
  • when there is danger to life
  • when violence is being used or threatened

Other important phonelines

North Staffordshire Mental health access team
0300 123 0907
Available 24/7

Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline
0808 800 2234 or Txt 07860 022821

SANEline
0300 304 7000
Offers emotional support and information from 6pm–11pm, 365 days a year. 

The Silver Line
0800 470 8090 (freephone).
If you're an older person (over the age of 55), the Silver Line is there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide information, support and friendship.

CALM
0800 585858
If you're a man experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They're open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. They also have a webchat service if you're not comfortable talking on the phone.

Nightline
If you are a student, you can look at the Nightline website to see if your university or college offers a night-time listening service. Nightline phone operators are all students too.

Switchboard
0300 330 0630, or you can email chris@switchboard.lgbt
The LGBT+ helpline. If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, Switchboard is available from 10am–11pm, 365 days a year, to listen to any problems you're having. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+

C.A.L.L.
0800 123 737 or you can text 'help' to 81066.
If you live in Wales, you can contact the Community Advice and Listening Line (C.A.L.L). for a confidential listening and support service. 

Others
Your local GP
NHS 111 (just dial 111)

Brighter Futures
Provides support to those who require extra help to live independent and fulfilled lives: http://www.brighter-futures.org.uk/ 

Staffordshire Mental Health
Provides information and contact details about local organisations and projects within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent: http://www.staffordshirementalhealth.info/startpage.aspx

NHS Choices
Here you can find an introduction to articles and videos on mental health from the NHS. It includes where and when to get help, accessing therapy, and real stories of psychosis, schizophrenia and OCD: 
http://www.nhs.uk/LiveWell/mentalhealth/Pages/Mentalhealthhome.aspx 

Websites for help with dementia

https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/
https://www.dementiauk.org/
http://www.sane.org.uk/
http://johnscampaign.org.uk/#/

Other useful websites

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
http://www.together-uk.org/
https://www.mind.org.uk/
https://www.rethink.org/
https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/
https://youngminds.org.uk/
http://www.carersuk.org/

Our partners​
South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: http://www.sssft.nhs.uk/

North Staffs Combined Healthcare NHS ​Trust: 
https://www.combined.nhs.uk/​

​At UHNM we work with partners across Staffordshire and Shropshire to provide care for you. Our key partners are other NHS and non NHS organisations that help UHNM support people who come to our hospital​. They include the following:

Mental Health Trusts

  • North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare
  • South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Trust

CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups)

'CCGs' (Clinical Commissioning Groups) were created following the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which saw the replacing of primary care trusts from April 2013. CCGs are clinically-led, statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area.

In our area, they include:

•NHS North Staffordshire

•NHS Cannock Chase

•NHS East Staffordshire

•NHS Stafford and Surrounds

•NHS Stoke-on-Trent

•NHS South East Staffordshire and Seisdon Peninsular

Local authorities

The local authorities for this area are Stoke on Trent Council and Staffordshire County Council.

Regulators

As an NHS trust, we are regulated by NHS Improvement, which oversees our organisation and provides us with guidance and support.

 The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.

Our charities

UHNM Charity​

Mental Health Leaflets

Make time for breaks, Care for others, Talk about your feelings, Be Active, Eat well, Create work & home life balance, drink sensibly, do something you're good at, stay in touch, ask for help when you need it

Most apps are available on Google Play or the AppStore.

Apps are not designed to replace contact with health services or professionals— please contact your GP if you are concerned about your symptoms.

Breathe to relax– portable stress management tool using a breathing exercise.

Fear tool—anxiety kit; contains a thought diary and breathing tools.

Self-help for anxiety management (SAM)- helps understand and manage anxiety.

Calm— guided meditations, sleep stories and relaxing music.

Stay Alive—pocket suicide prevention resource with information to help you stay safe.

Mood tools—designed to combat depression and low mood. Includes various helpful ideas including activities and creating a safety plan.

Happify- Reduce stress and overcome negative thoughts. Includes tools
and programs to improve emotional well-being.

Whatsup—Uses Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) methods to help you cope with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Calm harm—provides tasks to help you resist and manage self -harm. There are four categories to help target the main reason people self-harm.

Stressheads—use this app to take out your frustration on the head that appears. There are also some tips for managing stress/ frustration.

Quit That!-helps users beat their habits or addictions. Either stopping drinking alcohol, quit smoking or stop taking drugs.

Mind Shift—a mental health app designed specifically for teens and
young adults with anxiety. Stresses the importance of changing how you
think about anxiety.

Lifesum—this is a broad resource for looking at healthy living. It helps you set personal goals like eating healthier, increasing exercise.

PTSD Coach—offers a self-assessment for PTSD. Offers opportunities to find support, positive talk and anger management. Customise tools for your own individual needs.

Recovery Record—a great app for those recovering from an eating
disorder who want to develop a more positive body image.

MY3—is aimed at people who are depressed or suicidal. It helps you create
a safety plan helping you think through and list your own warning signs, coping strategies and support networks.

nOCD-designed with the help of OCD specialists and patients to incorporate two treatments : mindfulness and exposure response prevention treatment

Wellmind—free NHS mental health and wellbeing app designed to help with stress, anxiety and depression. It contains advice with tips and
tools to improve your mental health and boost your wellbeing.

Mental health recovery guide—Looks at 17 essential things you need to know to help recover from a mental illness.

All apps listed were free to download at the time of publishing. Some apps may contain advertising or in-app purchasing

Five Steps to Wellbeing

Evidence suggests there are five steps to help improve your mental wellbeing. If you try them they may help you feel happier, more positive and get more out of life.

CONNECT— Feeling close to and valued by other people is a fundamental
human need. Connect with the people around you, your family, friends, spend time developing these relationships.

BE ACTIVE— Regular physical activity is linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. You don't have to go to the gym. You could go for a walk, meet friends at the park for football or cycle to school.

KEEP LEARNING– Learning new things enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction. It can also give you selfconfidence and a sense of achievement. You could take up cooking or learn a musical instrument.

GIVE TO OTHERS– even the smallest act can count, just a smile
as you walk past someone, a thank you or a kind word. One act of kindness a week can make you feel better about yourself and improve your over all wellbeing.

TAKE NOTICE (or Be mindful) —be more aware of the present moment. Pay attention and focus on the “right now”. Some people refer to this a “Mindfulness”. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach things. You can start by simply focusing on your breath,
noticing the air moving in and out.

These 5 steps to wellbeing were produced for adults in 2008 by The New
Economics Foundation (NEF). A research project conducted by NEF and The Children’s society concluded that creativity, imagination and play had
an important role in the wellbeing of children.

If you struggle with mental health issues it might be worth creating a safety plan. Do this whilst you are well so that when a crisis occurs you can refer to it. The following website shows how to do this and provides a template to simplify the process. www.stayingsafe.net

SLEEP– Sleep has a huge part to play in how you feel throughout the day. Poor sleep can be linked to symptoms of depression such as feeling down, hopelessness and thoughts of suicide. Every now and then everyone has a bad night’s sleep but if it happens regularly it can become a problem. Follow these simple steps to help yourself to try to get a good nights sleep. Don't worry if you can’t manage them all, try just a couple to start off with.

  1. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day—even at weekends! This will help you get into a sleep routine.
  2. Don’t nap during the day as this can effect your sleep routine.
  3. Take exercise, such as walking, during the day. Most people should avoid strenuous exercise too close to bedtime.
  4. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine and energy drinks close to bedtime.
  5. Turn off screens, such as your mobile phone or tablet device at least 30 minutes before sleep. The light that they give off can prevent your brain from producing the sleep chemical, Melatonin, keeping you awake.
  6. Natural sleep cycles are based on your body clock which is mainly set by exposure to natural light so make sure you get at least 30 minutes outside or by a bright window each day.
  7. Keep your bedroom and bed for sleeping. Doing activities such as watching TV, homework or on-line activities can make your brain link your bed space with being awake.

If your sleep issues persist contact your GP to discuss the issue with them.

Wellmind—free NHS mental health and wellbeing app designed to help with stress, anxiety and depression. It contains advice with tips and tools to improve your mental health and boost your wellbeing.

A guide to mindfulness and how it can help with mental wellbeing

This leaflet is for information only and is not designed to replace contact with
mental health professionals. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

Mindfulness

Paying more attention to the presentmoment—to your own thoughts and feelings and to what is going on around you-can help you with your mental wellbeing. This awareness is often referred to as mindfulness. Becoming more aware of the things around you can help you recognise the things that you take for granted. It can also help you recognise the number of thoughts running through your head and focus more on how helpful they are or not.

We all have issues that we find hard to let go or resolve. Mindfulness can help you focus on the things that you have control over and change your way of thinking about a problem.

Mindfulness isn't about sitting in a quiet
room and meditating. It’s about doing small things to bring your awareness back to the here and now. You can do this at anytime. You could be walking to school or to the shops. Instead of allowing your mind to wander as you walk begin to look around you and think about what you can see or feel. For example; who else is around, what can you hear, is the wind blowing, what does that feel like.

You can also just think about your own breath. Notice the air moving into your nose down to your chest, observing the movements, you don't need to change your breathing just notice it, notice it coming back up and out, what parts of your body move with the breath. You may only do this for a second or two at first before you become distracted again. This is normal. Just notice it happened and then draw your mind back to what you were observing. The more you practise the easier it will become.

It’s important you don't judge yourself. If you only manage it for a short while make sure you tell yourself that it’s okay. If a negative thought enters your head, acknowledge it then refocus. Mindfulness isn't going to take away your worries but it can help you think clearly about what you
may need to do to help make it better. Mindfulness is not nonsense or silly. It does however take effort and work to develop the skill and you need to take the time to practise. You can’t try it a couple of times then when in crisis and expect it to work. Practise frequently then, when you really need it you will find that it will come naturally to you.

What Else Could You Do?

YOGA

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise which focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing. Yoga is good for all fitness levels and ages.

There are many different types of yoga, for example; Hatha, Dru and Ashtanga so it important to try different styles to find the one that suits you best.

There are several ways to access Yoga. Many gyms run classes or you can find a studio that runs independent sessions that you pay for individually. It is better to attend a class initially rather than using a DVD or on-line source. This will enable an instructor to check you are positioning yourself correctly to reduce the risk of injuries.

TAI-CHI

Tai-chi combines deep breathing and relaxation with flowing movements. There are several types of Tai-chi so you may need to try different classes to see which you prefer.

Tai-chi is suitable for all fitness levels and ages. The movements are slow and are gentle on muscles and joints. It is best to do Tai-chi in a class rather than using a DVD or on-line source. The class instructor can ensure that you are breathing and following postures correctly. If you are worried about exercise and have a medical condition consult with your GP before beginning.

There are apps you can download to your phone/tablet device to help you 

Breathe to relax– portable stress management tool using a breathing exercise.

Calm—guided meditations, sleep stories and relaxing music.

Happify—Reduce stress and overcome negative thoughts. Includes tools and programs to improve emotional wellbeing.

Fear tool—anxiety kit; contains a thought diary and breathing tools.

Calm harm—provides tasks to help you resist and manage selfharm. There are four categories to help target the main reason people self-harm.

Apps were free to download at time of publishing but may contain in-app purchasing/adverts.

A guide to self-harm and finding the help and support you need.

Please note the information provided is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

drawing: Forearm with ribbon wrapped round reading don't punish yourself help is out there

What Is Self-Harm?

Self-harm is when you hurt yourself on purpose. You usually do it because something feels wrong. It seems the only way to let your feelings out. If you self-harm it is usually as a result of another problem. It can happen if you feel anxious, depressed, stressed or bullied and feel you don't have any other way of dealing with these issues.

Self-harming brings only temporary relief so it is helpful to try to find
more healthy ways of coping. After self-harming you may feel better
however the cause of your distress is unlikely to have gone away. Once you have started to depend on self-harm it can take a long time to stop.

Why Do People Self-Harm?

Some people describe self-harm as a way to:

  • Express something that they find hard to say.
  • Turn invisible thoughts and feelings into something visible.
  • Change emotional pain into physical pain.
  • Have a sense of feeling in control.
  • Have something in life to rely on.
  • Escape traumatic memories
  • Punish themselves for their thoughts and experiences.
  • Express suicidal feelings and thoughts without taking their own life.

DO NOT READ THE NEXT SECTION IF YOU FEEL IT COULD TRIGGER SELF-HARM THOUGHTS—PLEASE MOVE TO THE LAST SECTION FOR HOW TO GET HELP

How Do People Self-Harm?

Ways include:

  • Cutting
  • Poisoning
  • Over eating or under eating
  • Biting
  • Burning
  • Overdose
  • Picking/scratching
  • Hitting yourself/walls
  • Pulling hair
  • Excessive exercise
  • Getting into fights that you know might get you hurt.

People who self-harm are at greater risk of suicide—please seek help if you begin to feel this way.

What To Do About Self-Harm

Talk to someone you trust, a parent, relative, teacher, school counsellor/ nurse. If that’s too hard try talking to your GP who can signpost you to a service that can help you.

Who Else Can You Turn To?

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line
about any problem big or small.

0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk

(to talk one to one with a counsellor register for an account with Childline on the website)

Samaritans

If you are in distress or need support, you can ring the Samaritans for free at ANYTIME of the day or night.

116 123 (24/7 service)

Your GP can help direct you to services including CAMHS. If your GP is in North Staffordshire you can self refer to the Children and Adolescent Mental Health central referral hub for under 18s on: 0300 123 0907 (option 4)

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge to talk to someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you prefer by visiting their website.

0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

Papyrus (Prevention of young suicide)

Confidential advice and support for young people (under 35) who feel suicidal.

Hopeline: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07786 209 697

Available: Mon-Fri 10am to 10pm
Sat, Sun and Bank Hols 2pm to 10pm

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

There are apps you can download to your phone/tablet device to help you:

Calm harm—provides tasks to help you resist and manage selfharm. There are four categories to help target the main reason people self-harm

Happify—Reduce stress and overcome negative thoughts. Includes tools and programs to improve emotional well-being.

Apps were free to download at time of publishing but may contain in-app purchasing/adverts

 

A guide to anger issues and finding the help and support you need.

Please note the information provided in this leaflet is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

What is anger?

Anger is one of a normal range of emotions we can experience. Sometimes however we can feel angry but not know why. Lots of things can make us angry, this is fine so long as it doesn't get out of control. Being angry is not usually the problem. It is how anger is dealt with that can lead to issues.

What can make you angry?

Here are some examples of things that may make you angry:

  • Being embarrassed in front of other people.
  • Changes in the family like divorce or separation.
  • Being let down.
  • Something that feels unfair.
  • Not being listened to.
  • Pressure from home or school.
  • Death in the family/bereavement.
  • Being bullied.
  • Being hurt or abused.

How do you know when anger is an issue?

  • Hitting or physically hurting other people.
  • Shouting at people.
  • Breaking things.
  • Losing control.
  • Spending time with people who you know will get you into trouble.

Anger can sometimes be used by young people when they feel guilt, shame, hurt, fear or vulnerability.

Sometimes when you are angry you may be harming yourself. This may be demonstrated by behaviour such as:
  • Eating problems.
  • Feeling low.
  • Putting yourself in danger.
  • Refusing to go to school.
  • Harming yourself.

In the short term these things may help but could lead to problems in the future.

How can you manage your anger?

How we respond to anger is heavily influenced by our upbringing and cultural
background. Try to see if there is a time or situation that makes you more angry. Think about keeping a diary to help you do this. Include how you feel physically so that you can recognise the warning signs in the future. Find someone you can talk to about your issues. This could be a friend, relative or
teacher. You can also see your GP who can signpost you to counselling services.

Have a look at some calming techniques that you could use, for example:

  • Deep breathing.
  • Going for a walk/exercise.
  • Reading a book.
  • Playing a computer game.
  • Listening to music.
  • Taking a bath.

Who Else Can You Turn To For Help

There are many services and helplines available, which offer chat on-line, a text service or a phone line depending on how you prefer to make contact.

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line
about any problem big or small.

0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk

(to talk one to one with a counsellor register for an account with Childline on the website)

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge in order to talk to
someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you prefer by visiting their website.

0808 808 4994 (daily 2pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

Youth Counselling

This website will help you find a counselling service in your area. (For ages 12-25)
www.youthcounselling.org.uk

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

There are apps you can download to your phone/tablet device to help you :

Breathe to relax– portable stress management tool using a breathing exercise.

Calm—guided meditations, sleep stories and relaxing music.

Stressheads—use this app to take out your frustration on the
head that appears. There are also some tips for managing stress/frustration.

Apps were free to download at time of publishing but may contain in-app purchasing/adverts.

A guide to anxiety and finding the help and support you need

Please note the information provided in this leaflet is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

What Is Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of fear or panic. Feeling generally anxious sometimes
is normal. Most people worry about something.

For example; money or exams. However once the difficult situation is over, you feel better and calm down. If the problem has gone but the feelings of fear and panic are still there or are getting stronger, that’s when anxiety becomes an issue.

You are not alone if you are feeling this way. One in six young people will
feel anxious at some point making it a very common experience.

Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety start in the same way as feeling generally
anxious but get worse or last for longer than they should.

These may include:

  • Feeling frightened, nervous or panicky all the time
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Low appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Tired and irritable
  • Palpitations—feeling like your heart is racing.
  • Dry mouth
  • Trembling
  • Feeling faint
  • Stomach cramps/diarrhoea

Feeling one, some or even most of these symptoms does not mean you
have anxiety. It is important to talk to your GP to get a diagnosis.

What To Do About Anxiety

If you think you are affected by anxiety talk to a teacher, GP, school nurse or relative.

How Is Anxiety Treated?

There are two ways of treating anxiety. With the use of anti-depressants
which can help you think differently about the things that are worrying you. They can take between 2 and 4 weeks to start to work so don't worry
if you don't feel better straight away.

Anxiety can also be treated with cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). You will work with a therapist to help you understand your thoughts and feelings. You will also learn techniques to help you relax.

You will need to see your GP to discuss treatment options. They can also signpost or refer you to other services including CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health services).

Who Else Can You Turn To For Help

There are many services and helplines available, which offer chat on-line, a text service or a phone line depending on how you prefer to make contact.

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line
about any problem big or small.

0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge in order to talk to someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you prefer by visiting their website.

0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

You can contact your GP who can signpost you to services including CAMHS, if your GP is in North Staffordshire you can self refer to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Central Referral Hub on:

0300 123 0907 (option 4)

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

No panic

No panic are the people to call if you are suffering from panic attacks, OCD, phobias and other related anxiety disorders.

Youth Helpline for 13 to 20 year olds: 0330 606 1174 (charges apply)
Helpline: 0844 967 4848 (daily 10am to 10pm—charges apply)
www.nopanic.org.uk

There are apps you can download to your phone/tablet device to help you:

Breathe to relax– portable stress management tool using a breathing exercise.

Fear tool—anxiety kit; contains a thought diary and breathing tools.

Self-help for anxiety management (SAM)- helps understand and manage anxiety.

Calm—guided meditations, sleep stories and relaxing music.

Apps were free to download at time of publishing but may contain in-app purchasing/adverts.

A guide to bereavement and finding the help and support you need.

Please note the information provided is guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

Grief

Children and young people experience grief just as deeply as adults. They often grieve by copying what the adults around them do. However they may display grief by behaving in a variety of different ways.

Younger children in particular have more of a tendency to “act out” as they struggle to use words to explain how they are feeling. Children also have a tendency to jump between different behaviours and emotions. One moment they may be inconsolable but then the next be playing
as if nothing has happened. Teenagers behave in this way too however they tend to have longer periods of one behaviour or another. They may try to keep themselves busy by going out a lot or they may become more isolated and withdraw from things they used to enjoy.

Is Grief Normal?

Grief is a normal reaction to the loss of someone/something that means a lot to us. However it can lead to symptoms of low mood and anxiety which may need further support if they do not improve.

Losing A Sibling

When losing a sibling the remaining child/children may feel left out as all the emotions shown by those around them are for the child that has died. They can be filled with sadness but then also experience some relief that parents/carers may have sometime for them. This can leave them feeling bad and guilty for having these thoughts.

They could also question why their sibling died rather than them and be left thinking that maybe they will be next.

Sudden Or Expected Death

When someone dies suddenly there is no chance to say goodbye. The child may be left with feelings of frustration about the things that they had planned and now can’t do or never had the opportunity to say. This doesn't mean that an expected death is any easier to cope with especially if the child has not been made aware of how serious the situation is.

Losing A Parent/Care Giver

The loss of a parent or care giver can be devastating for the child. They may be worried about who will look after them now or have a fear of losing someone else close to them.

Some children feel the need to take on the burden of replacing the parent/care giver even though no-one has suggested that they do so.

What Can You Do?

Each child or young person will react to grief in a different way. They will need reassurance that they are still loved and that someone still cares for
them. It can be an exhausting and tiring time for everyone. Children are very in tune with the things that are going on around them so it is important to have honest conversations with a child or young person especially if it is known that someone will pass away soon, the conversation will be hard but the child will feel better for being included instead of feeling uncertain and confused.

If they don’t know what is happening it could lead them to believe that they have done something wrong. There are things you can do with the child to help them. For example you could suggest that they draw a picture, write a poem or song about the person, maybe write a letter to the person who has died expressing their feelings. You could make a memory box or book with them and fill this with pictures or objects that remind them of the person who died.

After someone has died things will be different. However with the passing of time it is possible to work through feelings of grief and become more able to face the future.

Seeking Extra Support

Initially it is unlikely that a child or young person will need to have professional help and can be supported by those already around them. However if things don't seem to improve consider contacting your GP or one of the many support lines available. See the back page for a list of some of these numbers

Support Lines

Child Bereavement UK

Offers support to families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

9am—5pm Monday to Friday.
0800 028 8840

Hope Again

Supports young people living after loss. Free helpline. Monday to Friday 9.30am to 5pm.

0808 808 1677

Winston’s Wish

Supports young people after the death of a parent or sibling.
0808 802 0021

The Dove Service

Counselling service to those living in the Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire area. They see children from age 4 upwards.

Request an information pack on-line or telephone the office on: 01782 683155 (see website for opening hours).

www.thedoveservice.org

All numbers were correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

A guide to eating problems and finding the help and support you need.

What Is An Eating Problem?

Lots of people have different eating habits and forgetting to eat for a day or having an occasional blow out are not signs of an eating problem. Neither is occasionally going on a diet. Trying to control what or how much you eat or having urges to eat and then making yourself sick are signs that you could have an eating problem.

Eating problems are common and can effect anyone regardless of body shape or lifestyle. They can be triggered by a number of things but you often develop an eating problem when other areas of your life don't feel right.

Worry or stress can trigger an eating problem. It can be difficult to notice a trigger. Often the people around you will notice an issue or a change in your behaviour before you.

Symptoms Of An Eating Problem

Some eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia are serious mental health conditions that need professional help to diagnose and treat.

Some signs that eating is becoming a problem:

  • Losing appetite
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Obsessing about body image
  • Eating only certain foods and developing a “faddy” diet
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Dramatic weight loss or gain
  • Being sick after meals
  • No longer enjoying eating socially or leaving the table early in order to be sick or hide food
  • Focusing on buying or cooking food for other
  • Feeling secretive about food
What To Do About an Eating Problem:

If you think you are affected by an eating disorder talk to someone you trust. Many young people who have suffered from an eating disorder report that beginning to talk about it has been a positive step towards recovery. Speak to your GP they can suggest other services including referral for talking therapies or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Where To Turn To For Help:

If your GP is in North Staffordshire you can self refer to the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Central Referral Hub for under 18s on:
0300 123 0907 (option 4)

B-eat

If you have an eating disorder or someone in your family does then B-eat can help you with support and information. The website has a help finder to input your postcode and find help in your area.

Helpline for under 25s:
0808 801 0711 (daily 3pm to 10pm)
www.b-eat.co.uk

Anorexia and Bulimia care

If you are effected by an eating disorder you can contact them on:
03000 11 12 13 (option 1 support line: option 2 friends and family)
www.anorexiabulmiacare.org.uk

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge in order to talk to someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you prefer by visiting their website.

0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

Phone numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

There are also some apps you can download to your phone/tablet device to help you.

Fear tool—anxiety kit; contains a thought diary and breathing tools.

Self-help for anxiety management (SAM)- helps understand and manage anxiety.

Calm—guided meditations, sleep stories and relaxing music.

Breathe to relax– portable stress management tool using a breathing exercise.

Apps were free to download at time of publishing but may contain in-app purchasing/adverts.

A guide for children and young people.

Please note the information provided in this leaflet is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

If someone in your family is diagnosed with a mental illness it can be very hard to deal with. It can be confusing and difficult and sometimes you can be unsure about how you are supposed to act and you may worry about how people who are not in the family home will see you.

You may experience feelings of loneliness, guilt and responsibility. You may be fearful or experience shame— fear that each day you wake up you won’t know if they are having a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ day and shame that other people in your life such as your friends or even other family members may find out.

Common mental illnesses include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Psychosis—this includes bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
Who is looking after who?

Parent

Depending on who is unwell you may feel that you need to look after them. This is especially the case if it is a parent who is unwell, you may feel the need to parent them and look after them. You find yourself being their carer instead of them looking after you. You may also find that if you have younger siblings you also take on the role of parenting them. You may begin to experience a sense of loss for the childhood that you are not able to have.

Sibling

If you have a sibling that has a mental illness it can lead you to feel resentment towards them as your parent/carer may be spending so much of their time looking after them that you feel neglected by them. You may want to play or socialise with them but they don't want to be with you.

Sometimes social services need to become involved to ensure that as a child you receive support, this could be extra support from school or a social care support worker. Having social services help is not a bad thing and it is not always about taking you away from your family.

What can you do about it?

You should not feel burdened by anyone’s mental illness. If you do seek
some support and help. First recognise that it is okay to feel frustrated about your situation and that any feelings of guilt are understandable
given your situation. Find someone you can talk to, perhaps another family member or a school counsellor/nurse.

Make sure that if it is your parent who is unwell that you take some time for yourself to do things you want to do and try to enjoy it without feeling guilty. Get out of the house and see your friends. Ensuring you try to maintain your own social groups and continue to meet other people will help with your own well-being and improve your own resilience against mental ill health.

Who can you turn to for help and support?

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line
about any problem big or small.

0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk
(to talk one to one with a counsellor register for an account with Childline on the website)

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge to talk to someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you prefer by visiting their website.

0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

Youth access

Information and advice on counselling services for people age 12—25. Use their ‘find a service’ on the website:
www.youthaccess.org.uk

Carers UK

Information and advice for carers of any age. The website has a directory of all local support groups.

0808 808 7777
Monday – Friday 10am—4pm
www.carersUK.org

Chat Health

You can contact a school nurse to ask a question about anything that might be bothering you. Their text service is for young people aged
11-19. It isn't 24 hours but they will always get back to you as soon as they can.

07520 615723

Changes YP

Free friendly confidential service. Offering mutual support for 11s to 18s.

01782 413355

Numbers correct at time of publishing— some numbers may incur a charge.

A guide to finding the help and support you need.

Please note the information provided in this leaflet is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

Hearing Voices and Seeing Things

Children often see or hear things that may upset or scare them. For example, the wind making a window creak or a shadow on the wall. Children could have an imaginary friend whom they speak to and insist is involved with day to day things in the home. This is normal development in children and part of growing up.

Hallucinations

Hallucinations are where someone sees, hears, smells, tastes or feels things that don't exist outside of their mind. The most common of these is hearing voices. The voices can be critical, complimentary or neutral. Hallucinations can make you feel paranoid, nervous and frightened. They can give commands which could be potentially harmful. They can even engage you in conversation.

Hallucinations can be caused by many different things and they can be part of a child’s normal development. Some things that can cause hallucinations are:

  • High fever
  • Drug and substance misuse
  • Sleep issues e.g. narcolepsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Trauma experiences e.g. abuse
  • Bereavement
  • Neurological conditions
  • Severe emotional stress
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Mental Illness

The content of the hallucination may help us understand what type of illness the child is suffering.

It is important that causes of hallucinations are explored in order to determine the correct treatment required for the child or young person. For example, scans or tests to rule out physical causes. Children under the age of 12 who report hearing voices have generally find that these voices fade out and disappear as they get older.

Anyone hearing voices persistently after this age may have an under lying mental health issue. Traumatic life experiences are a significant trigger for children to begin hearing voices or experiencing other types of hallucinations.

Psychosis

Sometimes hearing and seeing things is referred to as psychosis and is a symptom of a mental illness. Psychosis can be treated very effectively with medication. It is important that other factors e.g. physical illness are excluded when considering a diagnosis of a mental illness.

What Should You Do If You Are Worried?

If you are worried about the symptoms you or someone you know is experiencing. Your GP can give you advice and signpost you to services including CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

Who Can You Turn To

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line about any problem big or small.

0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk

(to talk one to one with a counsellor register for an account with Childline on the website)

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge in order to speak to someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you
prefer by visiting their website.

0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

CAMHS

If your GP is in North Staffordshire you can self refer to the Children and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) central referral hub for under 18s on:

0300 123 0907 (option 4)

Samaritans

If you are in distress or need support, you can ring the Samaritans for free at anytime of the day or night.

116 123 (24/7 service)

NHS direct

24/7 phone line to help advise you. They can signpost to services , make GP appointments or call an ambulance if they feel it is needed.

Dial: 111

Youngminds crisis messenger:

Text : YM to 85258 (24/7)

This is for crisis support if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. This is a free text service for users of EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT mobile, Giff Gaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom plus.

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge

In an emergency where there is IMMEDIATE risk to life always dial 999 for assistance with physical or mental health issues.

Useful Phone Numbers:

This provides details of several helpline contact numbers that young people or their parents/carers may find helpful to gain advice or support for issues that may be related to poor mental health. Remember in an emergency where there is immediate risk to life always call 999. If you are worried about the symptoms you or someone you know is experiencing your GP can give you advice and signpost you to services including CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

NHS direct

24/7 phone line to help advise you. They can signpost to services , make GP appointments or call an ambulance if they feel it is needed. Dial: 111

Samaritans

If you are in distress or need support, you can ring the Samaritans for free at ANYTIME of the day or night.

116 123 (24/7 service)

Staffordshire Mental Health

0808 800 2234
Free and confidential advice

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line about any problem big or small.

0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk
(to talk one to one with a counsellor register for an account with Childline on the website)

Youngminds crisis messenger

Text : YM to 85258 (24/7)
This is for crisis support if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. This is a free text service for users of EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT mobile, Giff Gaff, Tesco Mobile or Telecom plus.

Papyrus (Prevention of young suicide)

Confidential advice and support for young people (under 35) who feel suicidal.

Hopeline: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07786 209 697
Available: Mon-Fri 10am to 10pm Sat, Sun and Bank Hols 2pm to 10pm

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge in order to talk to someone.

0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

Local CAMHS teams

If your GP is in North Staffordshire you can self refer to the Children and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) central referral hub for under 18s on:
0300 123 0907 (option 4)

B-eat

If you have an eating disorder or someone in your family does then B-eat can help you with support and information. The website has a help finder to input your postcode and find help in your area.

Helpline for under 25s:0808 801 0711 (daily 3pm to 10pm)
www.b-eat.co.uk

Anorexia and Bulimia care

If you are effected by an eating disorder you can contact them on:

03000 11 12 13 (option 1 support line:option 2 friends and family)
www.anorexiabulmiacare.org.uk

Changes YP

Free friendly confidential service. Offering mutual support for 11s to 18s.
01782 413355

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Offers support to men aged 15-35 who are feeling down or in a crisis. There is a phone line or website which you can use to webchat if preferred.

0800 58 58 58 (daily 5pm to midnight)
www.thecalmzone.net

Chat Health

You can contact a school nurse to ask a question about anything that might be bothering you. Their text service is for young people aged
11-19. It isn't 24 hours but they will always get back to you as soon as they can.

07520 615723

No panic— Youth helpline

0330 606 1174 (charges apply)
Youth Helpline for 13 to 20 yr olds: (daily 10am to 10pm)

No panic are the people to call if you are suffering from panic attacks, OCD, phobias and other related anxiety disorders.
www.nopanic.org.uk

If you are experiencing a panic attack you can call this number 24/7 which has a prerecorded breathing technique—01952680835

Mind Infoline

0300 123 3393 Mon—fri 9am—6pm
Provides information on a range of topics including:

  • types of mental health problems
  • where to get help
  • medication and alternative treatments
  • advocacy

They will look for details of help and support in your own area.

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

The Internet

The internet is an amazing place to find information and contact people
and friends however it must be done with caution. When you are online it is important to stay safe and make sure you don't share things that could put you in danger.

Social Media

Social media allows you to keep in touch with your friends and find out
what's happening. It is important that you understand that using social media can also make you vulnerable and you should be mindful of what you post and where you decide to post it.

Tips For Staying Safe
  • Don't choose a profile picture that advertises where you live to strangers.
  • Check your privacy settings regularly.
  • Check your location settings so that strangers can’t find where you are.
  • Don't share anything that you wouldn't want your parents, teachers or friends to see.
  • Never share or reveal your passwords. Make sure that they are strong and can’t be guessed.
  • Be careful who you chat to. If somebody you don't know sends you a friend request don't accept it instead ignore it and delete it. Never share personal information with them.
Beware Of Online Grooming

Online grooming is when someone builds a relationship with a young person and tricks them or pressures them into doing something sexual, for example send a naked picture. A groomer can be old or young and male or female they may lie to you and pretend to be someone your own age in order to develop an emotional connection.

Be wary of people you talk to online if they do any of the following:

  • Try to get you to keep your conversation a secret.
  • Send you lots of messages via various methods to get you more engaged with them.
  • Ask you questions for example to find out if anyone else could read your messages
  • Start to send you sexual messages, these could start with something as simple as being asked to blow a kiss.
  • Try to blackmail you. They may say they will be upset if you don't send pictures. They could also use pictures you have already sent, against you.
What Should You Do If You Think You Are Being Groomed?

Grooming doesn't only happen online, it can happen through someone you know, by a family member or a club you go to. If something doesn't feel right talk to someone you trust. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable by making you do or say sexual things either to them, yourself or someone else then you need to speak to someone you can trust. You will not get into trouble for seeking help. You have not done
anything wrong. It may be that you feel you can manage the situation yourself and can tell the person to stop but if things get too much tell an adult you trust.

Who Can You Turn To?

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line about any problem big or small.

0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk

Chat Health

You can contact a school nurse to ask a question about anything that might be bothering you. Their text service is for young people aged
11-19. It isn't 24 hours but they will always get back to you as soon as they can.

07520 615723

Zipit- Childline has an app called Zipit which contains funny images you can send to anyone who is asking you for naked/sexual photos.

CEOP—Child Exploitation and Online Protection. If you are worried about
online abuse or the way someone is communicating with you—you can report your concerns to CEOP by visiting their website.

Please note the information provided is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

Mental Well-being

Mental well-being and physical well-being are equally important for everyone. Children in the care system are four times  more likely to have issues relating to their mental well-being than children living with their birth families. If these mental wellbeing needs are not met then they are likely to experience placement breakdown and under achieve in education.

Mental well-being can be broken down into three parts: emotional well-being, psychological well-being and social well-being.

Children in the care system have often been subject to some sort of abuse or neglect. Children can be placed into care with or without the agreement of their parents/carers by a social worker’s assessment.

However the decision is made it is likely that the child will feel that it is in some way their fault. Feelings of bewilderment, anxiety, grief, fear and guilt will be mixed with feelings of relief when they are moved from an unsatisfactory or abusive home life.

Children will take their past experiences and the survival strategies they developed with them when they move into the foster system. These strategies have the potential to disrupt any new relationships.

Promoting and supporting Children’s mental health and well-being

Having individuals around children and young people can help them to build self-esteem. It can also provide them with positive messages about their abilities and achievements and encourage positive aspirations and hope for the future. This all helps to promote positive mental health and
well-being. Support of this kind can be provided by the carers and health/social professionals. Children in the care system or foster homes
need routine and stability in order to help them thrive.

The rights of the child

A looked after child has several rights that must be considered on a case by case basis. For example, they should have contact where it is deemed appropriate with any members of their family or who they see
as important. If however it is deemed not to be in the best interests of the child then it would be reasonable for contact to be prevented or withdrawn.

Children have a right to see the file that social care have kept about them —however this should be done with caution as it may contain upsetting
information and there may be information in it that the child may not have been aware of. There will be forms/letters to complete in order to view the file and in some cases there may be a cost involved.

Useful Phone Numbers

If you are worried about symptoms you or someone you know is experiencing your GP can give advice and signpost you to services including CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). Some CAMHS teams accept self-referrals but this depends on where your GP surgery is located.

NHS direct

24/7 phone line to help advise you. They can signpost to services , make GP appointments or call an ambulance if they feel it is needed. Dial: 111

Samaritans

If you are in distress or need support, you can ring the Samaritans for free at ANYTIME of the day or night.

116 123 (24/7 service)

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge to talk to someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you prefer by visiting their website.

0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

Staffordshire Mental Health

0808 800 2234—Free and confidential advice.

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line about any problem big or small.

0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk
(to talk one to one with a counsellor register for an account with Childline on the website)

Papyrus (Prevention of young suicide)

Confidential advice and support for young people (under 35) who feel suicidal.

Hopeline: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07786 209 697
Available: Mon-Fri 10am to 10pm Sat, sun and BHs 2pm to 10pm

Fosterline

Confidential and impartial advice, information and support for foster carers
on a range of issues.

0800 040 7675 (M-Fri 9am to 5pm)
There is an answer phone for out of hours calls.

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

 

A guide to low mood and finding the help and support you need.

Please note the information provided in this leaflet is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

Low Mood

We all have times when our mood is low, and we feel sad and miserable about life. However if your negative emotions last for a long time you may be suffering from depression.

Depression is one of the most common types of mental illness. Although it’s hard to feel optimistic when you’re feeling low there is lots of support
available to help you feel better. This is available through helplines, apps or self-referral to a service that might be able to provide face to face support.

What Causes Low Mood

Low mood can happen as a reaction to something like abuse, bullying or family breakdown, but it can also run in families. Low mood can be triggered by stressful life events including bereavement. Low mood can have a significant impact on young people and affect a young person’s emotional, educational and social development.

Signs and Symptoms Of Low Mood

Low mood can make you feel and behave differently to how you normally would.

  • Down, upset, tearful
  • Restless, agitated, irritable
  • Guilty and worthless
  • Hopeless and despairing
  • Empty and numb
  • Feelings of wanting to self-harm
  • Suicidal
  • Stop doing things you usually enjoy
  • Become socially withdrawn
  • Eat more or less than normal
  • Sleep more or less than normal
  • Experience physical pain with no apparent cause
What to Do About Low Mood

Low mood can effect everyone, and you deserve help to feel better.
Talk to someone you like and trust— teacher, friend, relative, counsellor. You can also see your GP, they may refer you for specialist help to the Children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

How is Low Mood Treated?

Low mood or depression if diagnosed, can be treated with therapy, or a combination of medication and therapy. The most common therapy used is
cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to help you manage your thoughts and feelings.

Who Can You Turn to For Help

There are many services and helplines  available which offer chat on-line, a text service or a phone line depending on how you prefer to make contact. Contact your GP if you are concerned about your or someone else’s symptoms.

Samaritans

If you are in distress or need support, you can ring the Samaritans for free at ANYTIME of the day or night.
116 123 (24/7 service)

Papyrus (Prevention of young suicide)

Confidential advice and support for young people (under 35) who feel suicidal.

Hopeline: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07786 209 697
Available: Mon-Fri 10am to 10pm Sat, sun and BHs 2pm to 10pm

NHS direct

24/7 phone line to help advise you. They can signpost to services , make GP appointments or call an ambulance if they feel it is needed.
Dial: 111

CAMHS

If your GP is in North Staffordshire you can self refer to the Children and Adolescent Mental health central referral hub for under 18s on: 0300 123 0907 (option 4)

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line
about any problem big or small.
0800 1111 (24/7 service)

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Offers support to men aged 15-35 who are feeling down or in a crisis. There is a phone line or website which you can use to webchat if preferred. 0800 58 58 58 (daily 5pm to midnight)
www.thecalmzone.net

Youngminds crisis messenger

Text : YM to 85258 (24/7)
This is for crisis support if you are experiencing a mental health crisis. This is a free text service for users of EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT mobile, Giff Gaff, Tesco Mobile or Telecom plus.

Chat Health

You can contact a school nurse to ask a question about anything that might be bothering you. Their text service is for young people aged
11-19. It isn't 24 hours but they will always get back to you as soon as they can.
07520 615723

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge to talk to someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you prefer by visiting their website.
0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

There are apps you can download to your phone/tablet device to help you:

Whatsup—Uses Cognitive behavioural therapy methods to help you cope with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Stay Alive—pocket suicide prevention resource with information to help you stay safe.

Mood tools—designed to combat depression and low mood. Includes various helpful ideas including activities and creating a safety plan.

Happify-Reduce stress and overcome negative thoughts. Includes tools and programs to improve emotional well-being.

Apps were free to download at time of publishing but may contain in-app purchasing/adverts.

Please note the information provided in this leaflet is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

Young People & Sexuality

Teenagers go through a lot of hormonal and physical changes, during which they may notice an increase in sexual feelings. It can take time for people to understand who they are and who they are becoming. Sexuality is part of who you are. Feeling comfortable with your sexuality is part of your healthy development. Sexuality isn't just about sex, it is about how
your body is developing, how you understand and express emotion and
affection to others, and how you can develop respectful relationships. Most teenagers will experiment with sexual behaviour at some point however this does not mean that they are having sex. Being interested in the same sex does not necessarily mean that you are gay. Most medical experts believe that sexual orientation is not a choice but a natural part of who the person is. Thoughts and confusion about your sexuality can make day to day activities such as attending school even harder as you try to decide whether you should tell your friends and family about how you feel.

What Can You Do As a Parent/ Carer

They may ask you questions that you feel embarrassed about answering for example, about sex or masturbation, but it is important you answer their questions to demonstrate your openness to the topic. Try to see things from their perspective and empathise with them as they may be going through a lot of internal conflict and confusion and trying to find their own identity. If they ask you a question and you don't know the answer be honest and suggest you find out the answer together.

Consent

Make sure that your child understands consent and that they have a right to say “no” to something they don't want to do.

Safe

educate your child about keeping safe and using contraception, not just
against pregnancy but against sexually transmitted diseases. You need to make sure you support your child in making informed, positive and safe choices.

Gender Identity

Parents will find this a hard issue to consider and will have feelings of frustration and anger about why their child has identity issues there could also be an element of blame that parents might feel.

Gender Dysphoria (Unhappiness)

Gender dysphoria is where a person experiences distress or discomfort because of a mismatch between their biological gender and their gender identity. Biological gender is assigned based on the genitals at birth. Gender identity is the gender that the person “identifies” or feels
themselves to be. Gender dysphoria is a recognised medical condition for which treatment is sometimes appropriate. It is not a mental illness.

Some people with gender dysphoria have such a strong and persistent desire to live according to their gender identity that they will opt to change their appearance to match how they feel they should look. These people are known as trans people. Some go on to have treatment to make their physical appearance more like their gender identity.

Sexual Attraction And Sexual Identity

These two things are not the same. You can be attracted to people of the same sex, opposite or both. You may refer to yourself as heterosexual when it seems you are attracted to the same sex however you identify as being a different gender. There is no right or wrong way as far as this is concerned. What matters is how you feel and how you want others to refer to you.

Who Can You Turn To For Help?

Your GP can help if you wish to talk to someone more about your gender identity. They can also refer you to a gender identity clinic. These clinics can perform a personal assessment and provide any support you need. Suppressing your feelings about your sexual orientation or gender identity can become very distressing and can lead to feelings of low mood, self-harm and suicide. Seek help if you begin to feel this way as soon as possible.

Gender Identity Research and Education Society (G.I.R.E.S)

UK wide organisation whose purpose is to improve the lives of trans and gender nonconforming people of all ages, including those who are non-binary or non-gender.
www.gires.org.uk
01372 801554

Mermaids

Offers support for children, young people (up to the age of 19) and their parents/ carers about gender identity issues.
Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm (answer phone available)
0344 334 0550

Trans-Staffordshire

Peer to peer support for trans people. Including social meetings and confidential spaces. They also run groups for young people and a dedicated group for friends and families. See website for dates/times/ venue.
http://trans-staffordshire.org.uk
01785 283425 or 07470 485425

NHS direct

24/7 phone line to help advise you. They can signpost to services , make GP appointments or call an ambulance if they feel it is needed.
Dial: 111

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line about any problem big or small.
0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk

Samaritans

If you are in distress or need support, you can ring the Samaritans for free at ANYTIME of the day or night.
116 123 (24/7 service)

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

A guide to drug and alcohol misuse and finding help and support

Please note the information provided in this leaflet is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

Drug & Alcohol Misuse

Drug (sometimes referred to as substance) and/or alcohol misuse in children and young people is a form of risk taking behaviour that could be a sign that you are experiencing or dealing with some sort of adversity or trauma. You may be using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate to help escape upsetting memories or help you tolerate an abusive/traumatic relationship.

Alcohol Use

You may need help with alcohol if you find that you “need” a drink, you get into trouble because of your drinking and other people comment on how much you drink. If you are physically dependant on alcohol (this means that your body needs the alcohol to work) then suddenly stopping
drinking it can mean that you become very unwell if you stop drinking it suddenly and completely. So please seek advice first from a professional, for example your GP.

Solvent Abuse

Solvents can be found around the home and include lighter gas refills, aerosols (e.g. hairspray, deodorant), glue and paint. Abusing gases and solvents can kill even the first time they are used.

New Psychoactive Substances

New psychoactive substances used to be referred to as “legal highs”, however they are now illegal to produce. A psychoactive substance is anything that causes hallucinations, drowsiness, changes in perceptions of time and space or change in mood or empathy with others. They often look like many other substances for example, a white powder and can come in packets that have other names on them.

Sometimes there is a list of ingredients on the packet however this is no guarantee concerning the contents or the effects they could have on you. It’s not illegal to possess new psychoactive substances however that does not mean that they are safe.

Who Can Help?

Contact your GP for help and advice. They can help you or sign post you to the services that can offer the best support to get the help you need.

Who Else Can You Turn To For Help?

T3—Drug and alcohol 01785 241 393

T3 offer free and confidential advice for young people (up to the age of 18)about making informed choices about their drug and alcohol use. This includes support and assistance to parents, teachers, carers and so on. They welcome new clients—contact them via the telephone number or by email: t3staff.stafford@cgl.org.uk

They accept referrals from family or friends or from the young person
themselves. They will only accept referrals if the young person is aware of the referral.

Community drug and alcohol service 01782 221090
This is not a 24/7 service but they have an answer phone and will call you back if you leave a message. They provide advice to anyone about drug
and alcohol use including someone you may be worried about who is using substances for example a parent or family member

FRANK

Friendly and confidential drug advice. 0300 123 6600 (24/7)

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line
about any problem big or small. 0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk
(to talk one to one with a counsellor register for an account with childline on the website)

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge to talk to someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you prefer by visiting their website.
0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

Narcotics Anonymous

Offers support and advice for anyone about the nature of drug use and addiction.
0300 999 1212 (10am—midnight daily)


There are apps you can download to your phone/tablet device to help you:

Quit That! - Helps users beat their habits or addictions. Either stopping drinking alcohol, quit smoking or stop taking drugs.

Apps were free to download at time of publishing but may contain in-app purchasing/adverts.

Please note the information provided in this leaflet is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

PLEASE SEEK IMMEDIATE HELP IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE AT RISK OF
ATTEMPTING TO HARM YOURSELF ALWAYS CALL 999 IF THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE RISK TO LIFE

Suicidal Feelings

Suicidal feelings are when feeling very down become much deeper and more intense and you believe that the only way forward is to end your own life. It is important to realise you are not alone in having these thoughts and that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. With the right help things can improve to enable you to live a full and productive life.

What Causes Suicidal Feelings 
  • Suicidal thoughts/feelings can be triggered by a number of things:
  • Being depressed or having another mental illness.
  • Low self-esteem and feeling empty inside.
  • Using drugs or alcohol especially if your mood is already low.
  • Feeling anxious about the future and being under pressure now.
  • When things are difficult at home.

Suicidal feelings can become so overwhelming that you feel that they are never going to end and you only have one option left to you.

Suicidal thoughts/feelings or suicidal intent?

There is a significant difference between feelings/thoughts and intent. Someone may have suicidal thoughts/ feelings but have no plan however to attempt suicide. However, someone who has intent will have a plan of how they wish to take their own life. In either case seeking professional help is critical - call 999 if there is immediate risk to life.

Warning Signs of Suicidal Feelings

There are some things you can look out for which could lead to you experiencing suicidal thoughts.

  • Deep sadness
  • Loss of interest in things you usually enjoy
  • Trouble sleeping or eating that is getting progressively worse.
  • Feeling helpless or worthless.
  • Self-harm
  • Anger and feeling that things can’t change.
  • Always talking and thinking about death.
Who Can Help?

ALWAYS CALL 999 IF THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE RISK TO LIFE

If you have suicidal feelings talk to someone you trust. Being able to talk about the way you are feeling is a brave thing to do but it is the first and most important step in helping you recover and begin to feel better about your situation. If you are a parent/carer for a young person and you think that they may be considering suicide then ask them—by asking you will not put the thought in their head. In fact evidence suggests that it could actually decrease the likelihood of the young person going on to attempt or succeed in taking their own life.

Contact your GP for help with services that can provide support including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Who Else Could You Turn To?

ALWAYS CALL 999 IF THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE RISK TO LIFE

There are help lines that you can call if you want someone to talk to.

Samaritans

If you are in distress or need support, you can ring the Samaritans for free at ANYTIME of the day or night.
116 123 (24/7 service)

Papyrus (Prevention of young suicide)

Confidential advice and support for young people (under 35) who feel suicidal.

Hopeline: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07786 209 697
Available: Mon-Fri 10am to 10pm; Sat, sun and BHs 2pm to 10pm

NHS direct

24/7 phone line to help advise you. They can signpost to services , make GP appointments or call an ambulance if they feel it is needed.
Dial: 111

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line
about any problem big or small. 0800 1111 (24/7 service)

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Offers support to men aged 15-35 who are feeling down or in a crisis. There is a phone line or website which you can use to webchat if preferred.
0800 58 58 58 (daily 5pm to midnight)
www.thecalmzone.net

There are Apps that you can download to your phone/tablet device to help you.

Whatsup—Uses Cognitive behavioural therapy methods to help you cope with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Stay Alive—pocket suicide prevention resource with information to help you stay safe.

Mood tools—designed to combat depression and low mood.  Includes various helpful ideas including activities and creating a safety plan.

Apps were free to download at time of publishing but may contain in-app purchasing/adverts.

A guide to trauma and finding the help and support you need

Please note the information provided in this leaflet is for guidance only and not designed to diagnose a specific condition. Contact your GP if you are concerned about any of your symptoms.

What is Trauma

When a child or young person feels intensely threatened by an event they
witness or experience, this event is referred to as trauma. There are a range of trauma types or traumatic events to which children and young people can be exposed. Learning how to understand, process and cope with difficulties or tragedies are part of a child’s natural development. However some children can find themselves unable to move on especially if they are repeatedly exposed to a certain experience. This can leave a child with the overwhelming sense of loss and fear, leading them to feel that they are not safe and that they have no control over their lives. These feelings can stop a child from developing socially, physically, educationally or emotionally.

Trauma can often lead to increased anxiety and low mood. Sometimes young people can often turn to self-harm as a way of managing their emotions. At this point treatment for trauma should be considered especially as unaddressed trauma can have serious long term consequences.

The most common traumatic events/ experiences children are exposed to are:

  • Accidents
  • Bullying
  • Death of a loved one
  • Emotional abuse or neglect
  • Physical abuse or neglect
  • Separation from a care giver
  • Sexual abuse
  • Stress caused by poverty
  • Sudden and/or serious medical condition
  • Violence—at home/school/local community
  • War/terrorism
  • Chaos or dysfunction in the home, e.g. domestic abuse, mental illness or
    substance misuse.

It is important to understand that children do not all react in the same way to a traumatic experience. Some children may be resilient enough to cope well with trauma however others may need further help and support.

Young people who are exposed to more than two traumatic experiences are likely to have more significant issues of their own in the future.

What Can You Do?

Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. Contact your GP who can signpost you to services including your local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. (CAMHS)

Treatment for trauma is usually through talking therapies. Sometimes medication may be used.

Who Else Can You Turn to?

There are a number of help lines that you can call for support and advice.

CAMHS

If your GP is in North Staffordshire you can self refer to the Children and Adolescent Mental health central referral hub for under 18s on: 0300 123 0907 (option 4)

Samaritans

If you are in distress or need support, you can ring the Samaritans for free at ANYTIME of the day or night. 116 123 (24/7 service)

Papyrus (Prevention of young suicide)

Confidential advice and support for young people (under 35) who feel suicidal.

Hopeline: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07786 209 697
Available: Mon-Fri 10am to 10pm Sat, sun and Bank Hols 2pm to 10pm

NHS direct

24/7 phone line to help advise you. They can signpost to services , make GP appointments or call an ambulance if they feel it is needed.
Dial: 111

Childline

Anyone under the age of 19 can confidentially call, email or chat on-line
about any problem big or small. 0800 1111 (24/7 service)
www.childline.org.uk
(to talk one to one with a counsellor  register for an account with Childline on the website)

The Mix

If you are under 25 you can contact The Mix free of charge to talk to someone. You can also use their text or webchat if you prefer by visiting their website.
0808 808 4994 (daily 1pm to 11pm)
www.themix.org.uk

Numbers correct at time of publishing. Some numbers may incur a charge.