This page summarises many resources that might be useful to you and/or your family, whether your child requires additional specific support or you simply would like to access further tools that could be helpful. Please click on the links to view items in more detail, or to print out materials.
Mental Health Support Teams in Schools have produced an excellent resource for teachers and parents including various support strategies, called
SUPPORTING STUDENT'S MENTAL WELLBEING. Please click on the image below, taken as an example from the document, to download the full resource.
It includes overcoming unhelpful thinking; challenging unhelpful thoughts; worry time; focus on what you can and cannot control; positive thinking; coping statements; relaxation techniques; distraction techniques; visualisation; managing mood and motivation; sleep hygiene; self-care; how to express how you feel; useful apps; self-harm information and conversation prompts.
As part of the Autism & ADHD transformation, Family and Health Services Commissioning have recently launched the following Autism & ADHD Support Digital Animation. This animation is aimed at all families that are living in Hertfordshire and seeking support and guidance for a child or young person with neurodiverse needs. Click below to watch the animation
Out-of-term/holiday Support Info
There are various agencies for support that will be available to pupils when schools are not open, to help them look after their mental health and wellbeing
Emotional wellbeing support and self-help tools
- Services for Young People offer a range of emotional wellbeing support as well as programmes and activities over the summer break. More details can be found here - https://servicesforyoungpeople.org/support-for-young-people/
- Herts Mind Network offer messaging and telephone support for young people - https://www.hertsmindnetwork.org/services-for-young-people/
- Chat Health text messaging support can be accessed on weekdays via the school nursing service. Secondary school aged young people can text any physical or mental health question or concern to 07480 635 050
- Kooth online support for 10 – 25 year olds - https://www.kooth.com/
- Togetherall 16+ (online support for parents, professionals, and year 13 students) - https://togetherall.com/en-gb/
- Just Talk Five ways to wellbeing e-learning and other information on self-help tools - https://www.justtalkherts.org/just-talk-herts.aspx
- SPA (single point of access) for more specialist mental health services: HPFT's freephone 24/7 helpline: 0800 6444 101
CONSIDER THE '5 WAYS TO WELL-BEING'
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), more commonly known as ARFID, is difficult for many people and has only become a diagnosable disorder in recent yers. It is a condition characterised by individuals who avoid certain foods or food groups either entirely or is restricted in quantity (eating small amounts). ARFID is not affected by poor body image issues or for losing weight. Also, it doesn't always feature other behaviours usually associated with anorexia, bulimia, BED or OSFED. Click on the image below to view the leaflet produced by First Steps ED and access further information/support.
Free Eating Disorder Service to Hertfordshire CYP Aged 5-18 Years
First Steps to Understanding Eating Disorders (First Steps ED - https://firststepsed.co.uk) can support 5-18 year olds in Hertfordshire. They offer face to face and digital one-to-one support sessions, as well as weekly psychoeducation and group support programmes (Wellbeing Workshop, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) Support Group, Binge Eating Workshops etc). This service is also available to support parents/carers and older siblings (18 years +) with skills for carers workshops and one-to-one parent support through befriending and counselling. How to refer – Referral by self-referral, parent/carer or professional direct on the website https://firststepsed.co.uk/make-a-referral/
EMOTIONALLY BASED SCHOOL AVOIDANCE
Hertfordshire have produced a Guide for Parents regarding EMOTIONALLY BASED SCHOOL AVOIDANCE. Click on the image to review the full document. The guidance is aimed at parents and carers of children who are at the early stages of EBSA- those for whom school is just beginning to be a major source of anxiety and attendance a cause for concern. It should help you
- understand more about anxiety and school avoidance
- help you understand the link between EBSA and special educational needs
- let you know why it is so important for you to work together closely with your child's school
- help you understand what your child's school can do to support your child and share information about other services that can support you and your child through this difficult time
NHS Hertfordshire Partnership University, NHS Foundation Trust have compiled a comprehensive list of support contact numbers to support Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing for Families and Professionals. CLICK HERE to view the complete document, which includes Samaritans, Young Minds Crisis Messenger, AFC Crisis Messenger, Shout, The Mix Crisis Messenger, Childline, Kooth, Youth Talk, Talk-in-Herts Counselling Service, Papyrus, CALM, Hertfordshire Young Peoples' Helpline, Night Light Crisis Helpline, Herts MIND Network, No Panic Youth Helpline, Anxiety UK, Family Lives, SANE, The Ollie Foundation, Switchboard LGBT Helpline, Parent Talk, Hub of Hope, Just Talk, GET.gg, MindEd, Families Feeling Safe, Families in Focus, Family Action, ADD-Vance, SPACE, Beat Eating Disorders, Chat Health, Carers in Hertfordshire, NSPCC Helpline, Families First Hertfordshire, Herts County Council, Services for Young people as well as a large range of suggested apps to support and help you.
School Nursing Service
You may not be aware that you can self-refer your child to the school nursing service. They can offer support and advice on topics such as relationships, eating, sleeping, behaviour, and feeling sad or angry. Text your school nurse on 07480635050 or look for an on line referral form on www.hct.nhs.uk/our-services/school-nursing
You can also seek advice for teenagers on www.healthforteens.co.uk
There is also an interactive website for children and parents www.healthforkids.co.uk
Support resources launched by the BBC
The BBC have launched Headroom, a page designed to offer support across many different areas from their Mental Health Toolkit through to inspiring feel-good films and music, podcasts and tips. Whether is it everyday tips, sounds to relax your mind, strategies to cope with parenting or films to get you talking, the site is designed to help you look after yourself and your loved ones. It is a great resource to dip in and out of and we are very pleased to share the link with you below- simply click on the graphic to visit the site.
More recently the BBC have also launched Tiny Happy People, a site filled with tips from experts and other parents to explore simple activities and play ideas to support early development. You can choose age-appropriate activities and gain advice about developmental milestones. Simply click on the graphic below to visit the site
Suzi Dart is Prae Wood's Education Mental Health Practitioner. This leaflet introduces Suzi and explains more about her role. If you would like to be referred to Suzi, please contact Ms Collinge.
Hertfordshire NHS have compiled a list of websites, apps, information and guidance and further support resources for families, published in October 2020. To access details please click here or on the header image above
Safe Space have produced a document called Top Tips & Practical Ideas for Maintaining Positive Emotional Well-Being. This guide has been produced with the help of Safe Space therapists, volunteer mentors and colleagues. It includes a range of top tips, practical ideas and techniques, and engaging resources that you may find useful to help maintain and improve your emotional well-being during what is currently an undoubtedly difficult time for all.
For your ease the guide is sectioned by themes but be sure to take a look at all the different sections as you may find some ideas that you wouldn’t normally consider beneficial. There may be other ideas not listed which you already find useful but hopefully there are a few new suggestions for you to try.
The document includes Top Tips, Practical Ideas, Techniques and Resources:
- Mindfulness; breathing techniques, colouring, grounding techniques
- Personal Care
- Spend Time with Loved Ones (near or far!)
- Keep Healthy; eat well, sleep, get moving!
- Gratitude and Kindness
- Limit your intake of the news
- Enjoy the Outdoors
- Staying well and healthy in your home
- Ask for Help; contact details, what to do in an emergency
Click here to download the full document
Safe Space Hertfordshire have compiled an extensive list of websites, which address a wide range of concerns in relation to parents, children and families. They are listed in categories:
Generic emotional well-being & mental health links
This is a fantastic website that has free downloadable books, weblinks, apps, videos and contains resources around emotional / mental health. Topics include managing anxiety, controlling anger, stress, self-esteem, sleeping difficulties, ADHD, ASD, mindfulness and depression.
Young Minds – Children and Young people’s mental health charity. There are some wonderful resources for parents/carers to support themselves or their children if Coronavirus is affecting yours or their mental health. There is also a parents helpline.
https://www.healthyyoungmindsinherts.org.uk/parents-and-carers Healthy Young Minds in Herts
This is the website developed to support the work of the Princes and their Heads Together campaign. It is largely targeted at schools but includes many useful resources such as a mindfulness session.
Supporting an anxious child https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/age-6-12/mental-health-conditions-in-children/anxiety
Helping managing change for children https://youngminds.org.uk/media/2957/top-ten-tips-poster.pdf
Includes sleeping difficulties https://www.childline.org.uk/info-advice/your-feelings/anxiety-stress-panic/
Fight Flight Freeze – A guide to Anxiety for Key Stage 2 primary school children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfSbWc3O_5M
The owl and guard dog brain – For Key Stage 2 primary school children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so8QN9an3t8
Winston’s Wish https://www.winstonswish.org/
Child Bereavement UK https://www.childbereavementuk.org/
Parenting for Lifelong Health has developed online parenting resources during COVID-19. It includes information on topics like keeping calm and managing stress, talking about Covid-19, learning through play etc. This might be particularly helpful for families where English may be their second language
This is a specific resource for children and young people on the Autistic Spectrum http://www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/documents/1143/Supporting%20Children%20with%20LD%20&%20ASD%20with%20COVID%20Isolation.pdf
Primary School age resource https://660919d3-b85b-43c3-a3ad-3de6a9d37099.filesusr.com/ugd/64c685_319c5acf38d34604b537ac9fae37fc80.pdf
Advice for parents and carers on supporting children concerned about COVID https://emergingminds.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID19_advice-for-parents-and-carers_20.3_.pdf
A lovely free downloadable information book about Coronavirus for children, illustrated by Axel Scheffler is now available
A children’s guide to coronavirus from the Children’s Commissioner
A wonderful clear social story about pandemics, written by Carol Gray
'Everybody Worries' by Jon Burgerman, a new book, which is free to download:
A guide about guarding<https://www.rehab4addiction.co.uk/coronavirus/mental-health-coronavirus> mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
'What's going on?' is a wonderful book by Clare Shaw, with colourful illustrations, to help younger children understand what is happening during this global pandemic. Click on the cover image below to download a pdf version of the story
Fantastic source of resources around problematic eating and eating disorders https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/
Understanding Childhood http://www.understandingchildhood.net/our-leaflets/
Building resilience in young children https://resources.beststart.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/K35-E.pdf
Positive body image resource https://parentinfo.org/sites/default/files/Uniquely%20Me_0_0.pdf
The document 'Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Services and Resources for Professionals and Families', produced by NHS Hertfordshire Partnership University, NHS Foundation Trust was circulated to all families in March 2020. To revisit this document, which includes an extensive list of resources, please click here
Zones of Regulation
The ZONES is a concept designed by Leah Kuypers, a licensed occupational therapist, to help pupils develop self-regulation skills. Self-regulation can go by many names, such as self-control, self-management, and impulse control. It is defined as the best state of alertness of both the body and emotions for the specific situation. The ZONES are designed to help the pupils recognise when they are in different zones as well as learn how to use strategies to change or stay in the zone they are in.
Please click here to access a powerpoint, which explains the system more fully and gives examples of how you can employ this to support and empower your child to recognise and manage their emotions and reactions.
March 2019 Workshop 'Understanding and Supporting your child with Anxiety'
In March 2019 we hosted the workshop 'Understanding and Supporting your child with Anxiety', in association with DSPL7 and Vista St Albans. The speakers presented on topics including 'What is anxiety', 'When is anxiety a problem', 'Spotting the signs' and 'Supporting your child'. They shared some suggestions and resources for parents, which are illustrated below.
To view the presentation slides from the evening please click here
Further Parent and Family Resources
Click on the title below to print a copy of:
The Stress Bucket acts as a visual reminder to manage levels of stress and aim for effective ways to cope with stress factors. Imagine your body as the vessel and realise that if you take on too much then the system could simply overflow.
Use The Calm Jar as a visual aid and discuss how it can be used as a meditation tool when feeling upset, worried or stressed. When shaken the whirling glitter can represent whirling thoughts and emotions, which calm and settle after a little while.
At any given time up to 40% of adults and 50% of children (this rises to 80% with a SEND diagnosis) have difficulties with their sleep. Yet in a recent survey, almost 60% of adults felt there was a lack of support for sleep issues. Sleep problems can leave people feeling isolated and lonely.
Our free helpline is run by trained sleep advisors, many of whom are specialists in working with SEND. We can talk to young people directly, or parents (we can also talk to adults, including older people, about their sleep issues).
The helpline is open 5 times a week, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday evenings 7-9pm, and Wednesday mornings 9-11am. The number is 03303 530 541.
You can read more here: https://thesleepcharity.org.uk/national-sleep-helpline/
Use My Network (designed as a folding page) to talk with your child about building a network of people that they know they can turn to if they need help. Counting around the fingers on the hand, think of family and friends and some professionals (such as teachers at school) who can act as 5 points of contact and support. Understanding that there is a strong network can help to tackle feelings of stress and anxiety.