Can my child get access to mental health services during the pandemic?
Your child can still access emotional support from helplines, textlines and online chat services any time they need to. Childline
and the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger
all provide 24/7 support. The Mix
is also providing online, phone and counselling support as normal. You can find other organisations offering support for young people around specific mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating problems in the YoungMinds Parents A-Z Guide
If you are worried about your child’s mental health and need professional support, contact your GP. This is still the right thing to do, and it’s important that you know that you will not be wasting anyone’s time. You may still be offered a face-to-face appointment, or they may ask you to speak to them via phone or video call. To book an appointment without going into the surgery, you can contact them by phone, use their online contact service if they have one, or visit the surgery’s website to find out the best way to get in touch.
If your child is already being treated by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) or another mental health service, many are offering telephone or online support in place of meeting face-to-face or in groups. You can still get in touch with the service and/or your child’s key workers by phone to discuss anything you need to, including how the pandemic might be affecting their treatment.
If your child is already seeing a therapist or counsellor, or needs emotional support and would benefit from starting therapy or counselling while the pandemic is happening, it may be possible to arrange online or phone sessions in place of face-to-face. You can ask the counsellor or therapist about this over the phone.
If your child experiences a mental health crisis and they need urgent care, you can seek professional support in the following ways:
• If you are worried that your child is at immediate risk of harm or cannot keep themselves safe, or they have already been injured, call 999 or take them to A&E.
• If the situation is not life threatening, and a health professional has already given you a crisis number to call in this situation, call this number.
• Or, if your child is already under the care of CAMHS or another mental health team and they have a crisis plan that states who to contact when they need urgent care, follow this plan.
• You can also call your local NHS mental health helpline or 111 for urgent advice.