CSCP 5 Minute Briefing - Children Mental Health Awareness Week 1-7 February 2021 DAY 5

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CSCP 5 minute briefing

CMH week 2021

Importance of Words

turning feelings

Words are really important for helping us to express ourselves – how we are feeling, what we need etc.  They can be spoken, written, sung, shouted or whispered! Verbalising our feelings help us to regulate our mood, self-sooth, reflect on how we are feeling and give some sense of release.

Helping children and young people to use their words will help them to navigate and share their feelings better. So what can we do?

Name them! How many feelings can you name? Happy, sad, scared? That's a good start. Can you name some more? How about playful, joyful, calm? Mad, upset, worried. Confused, lonely, nervous. Grateful, glad, cozy. Loved, friendly, peaceful. There are so many feelings to name. Try coming up with some of your own that mean something to you.

No matter how you feel — good or bad — it's healthy to put your feelings into words. Talking or writing about feelings helps us feel close to people who care. It helps us feel better when we're sad or scared. Putting feelings into words helps us use self-control when we feel mad or upset. 

Be honest! It’s ok not to be ok sometimes – be us old or young, sharing how we are feeling makes a huge difference. You don't have to talk or write down about every feeling you have. But noticing your feelings and saying how you feel and why is good practice – whether you are a child, young person, parent/carers, teacher, professional or . The more you do it, the easier it gets. Talking about your feelings is a healthy way to express them. And when you have difficult feelings you need to talk over, you'll be ready.

Power of the written word! Using books or poems or lyrics to talk about thoughts and feelings creates many opportunities to talk about what people are thinking and feeling. Write a diary or feelings journal, write a poem or song – it doesn’t have to be perfect, or even make sense for anyone else, but the expressing of your feelings this way can help us reflect on how we are feeling. Why not right a positive action plan or a list of what makes you feel better or your goals and aspirations. Find a quote that really inspires you or makes you feel better and repeat it everyday when you get up in the morning.

The best way is to practice putting emotions into words, a skill that helps us feel closer to the people that matter. Make it a daily practice to share feelings with a friend or family member. You could share something that's quite personal or something that's simply an everyday emotion.

Just like anything else in life, when it comes to emotions, practice makes perfect! Remind yourself there are no good or bad emotions. Don't judge your feelings — just keep noticing and naming them.

What is available around you?

In Cumbria, we have access to lots of libraries! Many of which are still open through the lockdown and even still offering some services. Books are a great resource for entertaining yourself during these boring times as well as helping to educate yourself. For example, on your feelings and worries. Currently they have books available called ‘Reading Well’ which provides information to help people understand and manage their health and wellbeing through self-help reading. The books cover common mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, phobias, and some eating disorders. There are three books available: one for young people’s mental health, one for long term conditions and one for younger children. 

  1. Reading Well for young people ‘SHELF HELP’ provides information and advice for 13 to 18-year olds. The book list contains information about issues like anxiety, stress and OCD, and difficult experiences like bullying and exams. The books have been chosen by young people and health experts.
  2. Reading Well for long term conditions provides people living with long term conditions and their carers with expert endorsed health information and self-management support. The book list covers general information on living well with a long term condition, titles on specific conditions (diabetes, arthritis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, heart disease, bowel conditions and stroke), symptom-based titles (mental health and wellbeing related to living with a long term condition, sleeping difficulties, fatigue and pain management) and titles for family and carers.
  3. Reading Well for children recommends reading to help children understand their feelings and worries and cope with tough times. The books have been chosen by children, carers, health experts and librarians.  The booklist is targeted at children in Key Stage 2 (aged 7 to 11) and includes a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers and to encourage children to read together with their siblings and carers.

Additionally, there is an extensive range of digital resources that can be accessed from home available on the Cumbria County Council website here.

These include access to e-audio books and e-books, comics, magazines and newspapers, online courses, research, driving theory test practice, historical newspapers, family history and local studies. Please visit the website to see the full range of digital services there really is something for everyone!

Where can I go if I need help?

There are lots of services and support out there for people who may be struggling in these difficult times, such as:

Kooth.com

Carlisle and Eden Mind 

E-School Nurse - 5-19 Public Heath

If you feel that you or someone you know needs to see a professional please use the contact details below or contact your local GP, we are always here to help!

To Contact the CAMHS Teams in North Cumbria: Telephone 01900 705800 for Allerdale and Copeland or 01228 603017 for the Carlisle and Eden area.

North Cumbria - CAMHS referral form

To contact the CAMHS Team in South Cumbria: Telephone 01229 402696.

South Cumbria - CAMHS referral form

If you are in the Morecambe Bay area you can also self-refer via an online form found on the Healthy Young Minds site.

If you feel you or someone you know is in a mental health crisis, referrals can be made by any professional, family member, carer or young person by ringing 0300 123 9015. This service is available 24/7.


Express Yourself Entries

Here are some of the entries we’ve had from Cumbrian children and young people, showing and telling us about what’s helped them during COVID. All entries received will be entered into a prize draw

charlie & bethany
alexis jacob joshua

We have been amazed at the high numbers of entries we have received this week. A huge thank you to everyone who has got involved and shared something with us. Truly amazing!

We have five price vouchers of £10 for the 'Express Yourself' Children's Mental Health Week Competition.

The entrants will be divided into age groups and each given a number.  We will then use a random number generator online to give us the numbers of prizewinners. 

Our Council Digital Team are going to build an online Gallery for us where all the entries can be seen and we will be in touch once that's ready in a couple of weeks' time.