As part of Children's Mental Health Week Wirral's Response Counselling team have pulled together some quick tips for young people to use when looking for self-help support digitally.
Searching for information on the internet is often the first choice. But it can be time consuming and doesn’t always provide you with what you want straight away.
So that searching doesn’t feel too frustrating, make sure you think about what you are looking for and use key words e.g. anxiety and young people... so that you don’t end up with pages and pages of anxiety information before seeing where you fit into it all!
There are many different dedicated support websites specifically aimed at young people – which makes their content much more relatable. Just remember, that everyone’s experience is their own, yours may be entirely different to the person you’re listening to or reading about and that’s fine.
Some website that may be helpful:
- YoungMinds - Committed to improving wellbeing and mental health. Discover information, advice & support for young people affected by mental health.
- Barnardos - Helping families mental health and supporting young people’s mental health & emotional wellbeing.
- Anna Freud Centre - On My Mind aims to empower young people to make informed choices about the mental health support they want, the treatments they receive and the outcomes they desire.
- Mind - national charity with lots of support for mental health.
- Become - dedicated support for children in care and young care leavers .
Apps are now widely used and can be a useful to find support. Some act as a portal for everything from information to direct 1-2-1 support. Before you download, read user reviews and if possible choose one from a recommended source, such as the NHS or CAMHS. There are some useful ones listed on their apps stores.
For example, the CAMHS website resources page is very visual and shows a large selection of apps available for young people - you can link straight to the individual apps from there. You might prefer to explore them yourself, or you may have heard good feedback about a particular app and want to try it out. Either way remember to check out the basics before you sign up to anything!
As long as you choose carefully, there is a wide range of apps available... just don’t forget that there may be a charge for some of them!
Social media has become a big part of most people’s daily lives. You will have your own feelings about how helpful or unhelpful it can be but either way, it’s often the first thing people turn to for information.
It connects us and gives us information in an instant – but not all the information shared is trustworthy, so always remain vigilant. For support services and advice on wellbeing, it is recommended you only use official services, organisations and agencies
Online messaging, including forums and social media apps, can be very easy to join. Although they can seem helpful, if you’re considering using them it’s really important you check out the privacy settings and who’s running them first.
It’s important to make sure you feel safe and not under any pressure if you choose to have a conversation this way; particularly if you are feeling vulnerable. If so, then make a choice which supports your wellbeing at that moment...if that means leaving the conversation, that’s fine.
Supportive elements of social network platforms are usually well publicised and accessible so you can review feedback first, which is a good idea.
Even if your friends do all use the same thing. Trust your own judgement and make an informed choice for yourself.
Tailored Support from Young People’s Services and Agencies
If you have already looked into self-help and tried working on a problem yourself - you might decide that you want to access 1-2-1 support.
There's lots of 1-2-1 support from; Counselling or CBT sessions to music, arts projects and access to social support.
Remember there are professionals ready to talk and help you, no matter what you’re facing. Wherever you choose to go for support, however you access information, it should be safe, secure and your own personal choice.
Local services and agencies:
Local agencies and services to contact if you would like more information.
- Response - 0151 666 4123. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Open Door - 0151 639 4545. Visit www.theopendoorcentre.org
- WEB Merseyside - 0151 653 3771. Visit webmerseyside.org/
- Wirral Children and Young Peoples Helpline call free on 0808 196 4147 or use the live chat feature. The team are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and also Wednesday evenings 7pm-10pm.
- Kooth Online counselling service