Early intervention and children’s mental health

NECS were delighted to read about this study carried out by our colleagues at Place2Be.  They have carried out some extensive research into how swift access to counselling can have a positive impact on a young person's mental health - not just in the short term, but into their future too.

Early intervention is key

The report states that the pupil could visit the counsellor when they needed it.  They didn't have to wait until someone noticed that their behaviour had changed.  The pupil didn't have to go through a referral process to see the counsellor.  It fell to them to realise there was something on their mind and go to a safe place to talk about it.

Reducing the stigma

We've had situations where schools struggle find a confidential room for pupils to see a counsellor.  The stigma of being seen going into the room stops access to the support they need.  With this initiative children learn at an early age that getting support for their mental health is ok.

Changing the way counselling happens

Counselling has traditionally been a one-hour session weekly.  It's great to be moving to a world where getting counselling is easy to access.  It is also great to find that the support is tailored to the needs of the pupil and that they don't  have to fit into a model that has been constructed by society.

Does this just apply to children?

We know that getting the right help as soon as you notice problems is vital.  Leave it too long and your poor mental health might have escalated.  If it has you might need extra support.

What indicates a mental health problem?  when should I get help?

It's generally a sign that things aren't going well for you if you have got thoughts whizzing through your head that you can't stop.  It maybe that your mood has changed and you are angry all the time.  It could be that you can't sleep.  Or maybe you've started to have panic attacks.

If this describes what is happening for your or a family member then getting some support quickly is the best thing to do.  You may need to only talk to a counsellor once and it helps you to straighten out your thoughts.  Or you may need a few more sessions.  Either way, the same principles apply to children and adults alike.

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