Worried about your child’s mental health? As a mother myself, I know what it is like to worry about your child’s emotional wellbeing. Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people, with their problems often being a direct response to what is happening in their lives. Around 70% of children who experience a mental health problem do not receive the appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
Concerns about our children can vary depending on their age. From worries about not meeting developmental mile stones when they are younger, to bullying, friendship issues, exam stress and pressure from social media; the list can seem endless. Our children can experience the same mental health problems as adults; issues such as depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, suicidal thoughts, OCD, eating disorders, PTSD and bereavement can all be experienced by children.
Emotional problems in children can take a grip quickly and if you have concerns about your child it is important to seek advice. Your child’s school may have access to a counsellor or school nurse; alternatively you could visit your GP and ask to be referred to CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service). However, there may be a waiting list. Charities such as Family Lives and Young Minds also offer parenting and family support over the telephone.
How does counselling work?
Counselling gives the child the opportunity to express their feelings without fear of judgement and can help them to understand what may have caused them to feel this way. The methods used in sessions will depend on the child’s age, situation and their development. Play and art therapy, reading stories and talking about the feelings of a specific character can help them understand the emotion and, in turn, encourage them to discuss their own feelings. Drawing, painting or drama can also help the child express themselves better. Older children may prefer talking therapy, or a mixture of both. This is down to the child and the counsellor, who will discuss the situation together to decide what method will be most beneficial.
At Heswall Hills Counselling Centre we have four counsellors, CBT therapists and a Clinical Psychologist all with training and experience in working with children. If you would like support and help in managing your child’s mental health problem please get in touch.