With Children’s Mental Health Week beginning on 9 May, NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging young people to visit their online mental health hub, ‘The Go-To’ for advice and support.
The theme of the campaign for 2022 is loneliness. Loneliness can affect many of us at one time or another and it can have a huge impact on our mental and physical health.
The Go-To – https://www.thegoto.org.uk/ – is designed to be a portal or ‘single point of information’ showcasing the mental health support services and information offered by different agencies in the county.
The website includes resources and support for children and young people, parents and cares and professionals and also has specific advice around loneliness: https://thegoto.org.uk/im-a-young-person/coping-common-issues/loneliness/
NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Governing Body GP, Dr Peter Billingsley, said: “We all get lonely sometimes. Loneliness is a normal emotion like being happy, angry, sad or excited. Everyone feels it from time to time and everybody’s experience of loneliness is different.
“Feeling lonely can affect your overall mental health, especially if these feelings have lasted a long time or have increased due to the pandemic. It can make you feel anxious or depressed and give you low self-esteem and confidence, sleep problems and increased stress.
“Thinking about what is making you feel lonely may help you find a way of reconnecting and reaching out to other people in a similar situation to you.
“If you are struggling, The Go-To website has a bunch of advice and support to help you with links to local services.”
The website has recently introduced ‘mini marketplace’ resources making it even easier to find the right service for you – (link to come)
There is further advice and support about loneliness on the NHS Every Mind Matter website: https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/lifes-challenges/loneliness/
Childline also have an advice page for young people who are feeling lonely: https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/feelings-emotions/loneliness-isolation/
There are opportunities to help spread the word about helping children and young people in North Yorkshire look after their mental health by becoming a ‘Go-To Champion’. This can include writing and reviewing website content, helping with social media content and writing blogs.
You can register to become a champion here: https://thegoto.org.uk/im-a-young-person/get-involved/