Mental health and wellbeing
Coronavirus, lockdown and everything that goes with this has been pretty hard for lots of parents and children. It’s natural to feel anxious or stressed or even overwhelmed. Lots of people, of all ages, find it difficult to cope.
For parents, looking out for our children’s mental health as well as our own may be an extra burden.
There are things you can do and people you can contact if you need help or support, or just a listening ear.
We’ve listed a few websites, helplines and services below for you to check out. Some of these are about self-care (looking after yourself) and others point you in the right direction if there’s something more deep-seated for you or even a crisis.
Sometimes parents say to us that they don’t want to be a burden on their GP or other services.
It’s good to remember that these services are there for you and everyone, especially at this time. It’s really important that you use them.
It’s usually helpful if you can get something off your chest sooner rather than later, and get help, advice or reassurance.
Getting information or news from unreliable sources can make you feel more upset and anxious, which isn’t good for your mental health and wellbeing. The websites and services we’ve listed below are reliable. Many of them have links to more information and other services.
What to do if it’s a crisis
If it’s a mental health crisis and you or someone else in the household is already getting help from a GP, phone the GP or care team first. If you’re unable to talk to them, call 111. If you need an emergency ambulance, phone 999.
Who to phone if you want to talk to someone:
- NHS 24 Mental Health Hub on 111 anytime
- Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87
Weekdays: Monday to Thursday 6pm to 2am
Weekends: Friday 6pm to Monday 6am
- Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@Samaritans.org anytime
Where to get more information and tips for coping
Get help with your mental wellbeing: NHS Inform: https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/mental-wellbeing/get-help-with-your-mental-wellbeing/
Parent Club: if you are worried about your child’s mental health: https://www.parentclub.scot/topics/coronavirus
Parent Club: mental health advice for parents: https://www.parentclub.scot/articles/mental-health-advice-parents
Connect: resources for parents: https://connect.scot/top-nav/resources including for supporting mental health: https://connect.scot/resources/supporting-mental-health
Clear your head: tips to help you clear your head and connect with others and with links to sources of help: https://clearyourhead.scot/
My life and me: advice and tips from single parents and others on lots of topics including self-care for mental health and wellbeing: https://mylifeandme.opfs.org.uk/
Outside the box: family wellbeing resources:https://otbds.org/families-wellbeing-resources/
Scottish Association for Mental Health: wellbeing information, information service and self-assessment tool: https://www.samh.org.uk/
Mind: UK charity with useful information for adults and children, including a ‘coronavirus hub’: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/
BBC Headroom: everyday tips, sounds to relax your mind, strategies to cope with parenting right now and more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/YfRzhXDKSZQxFVn30TlXBj/your-mental-health-toolkit
For children and young people
- Childline: 0800 1111 (open 365 days a year, 7:30am to 3:30am)
- Aye Feel: mental health and other information for young people from Young Scot: https://young.scot/campaigns/national/aye-feel This website has a list of useful helplines and details of NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
- SeeMe Scotland: information for young people https://www.seemescotland.org/young-people/information-for-young-people/
- Young Minds: website and text-based helpline. Information and helpline for parents too: https://www.youngminds.org.uk/