Children’s Mental Health Week kicks off today and is a perfect opportunity to highlight the range of support that is offered to children and young people through Walsall Healthcare’s School Nursing Team.
This year’s theme is ‘Express yourself’ and focuses on creative ways that children and young people can open up and talk about their feelings and thoughts.
Sallyann Sutton, Professional Lead-School Nursing, said there had never been a more important time to promote the wellbeing of children and young people; with the Covid-19 pandemic having a huge impact on them.
She said: “Children’s health is a priority and recognised nationally as being so as they continue to try and cope with so many difficulties including lockdown isolation, interrupted schooling and challenging family situations.
“School Nursing in Walsall has consistently been helping children and young people’s wellbeing, however, we have really stepped up during the pandemic to extend our reach to their families too and support their emotional health and wellbeing. We have seen an increase in the number of children and young people in need of support for their emotional health as well as parents concerned about escalating behavioural problems.
“We know that behaviour is a form of communication and that children exhibiting behavioural problems are trying to communicate that they are unhappy, frightened or anxious but often do not have the words to express these feelings. Our service tries to intervene early.”
Blogs and webinars are available via School Nursing’s website www.healthforkids.co.uk which is a safe source of accurate and sound information for parents/carers. Current blogs are:
- Understanding your child’s emotions https://www.healthforkids.co.uk/walsall/understanding-your-childs-emotions-a-guide-for-parents/
- Understanding your child’s behaviour https://www.healthforkids.co.uk/walsall/1760-2/
Sallyann explained that if parents/carers want a more interactive approach they can access a virtual workshop by calling 01922 423349 to book a place. The team also delivers parenting groups, adult resilience groups and children’s resilience groups. These are being delivered virtually at the moment and a free place can be booked via the same number.
Sometimes a crisis situation is made easier by someone to talk to or listen to you. Parents/carers can call the team’s Single Point of Access on 01922 423349 and speak to a School Nurse or text a nurse on text us on 07520 634 909. This service is offered service 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
In the same way, children in Year 6 or above can text a school nurse on 07480 635 363 or can log on to School Nursing’s Health for Teens website https://www.healthforteens.co.uk/walsall/getting-to-know-your-school-nurse/ Here they will also find a blog about School Nursing and be able to listen to a webinar.
Sallyann added: “These are uncertain, bewildering and challenging times for us all but children and young people need to keep themselves emotionally well. We are proud to say we’ll continue to be with them all the way and will do all we can to help them to get through this.”