Talking Children's Mental Health
If you’re a parent, there can be few things that make you feel as powerless as watching your child struggle.
It doesn’t matter how successful and otherwise ‘sorted’ in life you seem to be - chances are if your teenager is experiencing mental health problems, it’ll be impacting on the whole family.
It’s one of the reasons LionHeart established a youth counselling service through an innovative partnership with specialist counsellors Open Door, opening up free quality counselling to the children of UK-based RICS professionals.
Young people’s mental health, especially in the wake of the Covid pandemic, has been in the media spotlight, along with the well-documented problems in accessing timely, professional support. It’s something that worries many parents, who tell us they don’t know how to handle things with their child; they don’t quite understand what’s going on - or how they can help.
This Children’s Mental Health Week (6th to 12th February), LionHeart and Open Door will be highlighting the subject. Each day from Monday to Thursday, we’ll be releasing a short ‘explainer’ video on some of the main themes youth counsellors see in the young people they work with: anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders and bullying.
And on Friday 10th February, we’ll be offering a live Q&A session with the Open Door youth counselling experts and some of the Lionheart team, who will be able to answer questions about concerns you might have, offer advice about how you might approach certain situations, and explain more about what you can expect if you’re offered a youth counselling referral through LionHeart.
Jo Grant, LionHeart’s training and wellbeing projects manager, who has organised the event, said: “We hope the session will help people understand a little bit more about our youth counselling service and give them a platform to put their questions to our experts, anonymously if they prefer. The videos we’ll be sharing throughout the week (which will also be available on the LionHeart website) will hopefully give some insight into some of the issues young people may struggle with, as well as some simple pointers for the adults that care for them.”
Bena Kansara, support services manager for LionHeart, added: “We know that if your young person is struggling with their mental health, it can be a very lonely - sometimes frightening - thing to experience. It’s quite natural to want to ‘fix’ things, to make it better, so it’s quite understandable if this is part of your parenting journey that has you feeling completely helpless and out of your depth.
“Our main message is that you are not on your own. We can support you, and in turn, we can help to put in place professional support for your child - and relatively quickly. If you have any concerns over your child’s mental health we urge you to join us and listen in, and take the first steps to getting the right support.”
Colette Hartley, safeguarding lead at Open Door, said: “We are really looking forward to teaming up with LionHeart for Children’s Mental Health Week. The Q&A session is your opportunity to ask questions about young people’s mental health that might help you better understand and support your own child.”
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