NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is supporting children and young people to look after their mental health and wellbeing this Mental Health Awareness Week (10–16 May).

The local Clinical Commissioning Group is reminding young patients that there are a variety of services available to them across the region to help manage their mental wellbeing.

BUZZ US is a confidential text messaging service for young people in North Yorkshire aged 11-18. The service allows young people the opportunity to message a wellbeing worker for support, signposting, information or advice around mental health and wellbeing. Young people can text 07520 631168. A wellbeing worker is on duty Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9-4.30pm (excluding bank holidays). More information is available at: https://www.compass-uk.org/

Kooth is also available as a free online counselling, advice and support service available for children and young people in North Yorkshire aged 11-18. You can register here: https://www.kooth.com/

Early Help is North Yorkshire’s new approach to ensure children, young people and their families receive the right support at the right time to stop problems escalating. The Early Help team can be contacted via the North Yorkshire County Council website: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/early-help

If you are 17 or over you can also refer yourself to the North Yorkshire IAPT service. This is a national NHS programme available in North Yorkshire designed to increase the availability of talking therapy treatments: https://northyorkshireiapt.co.uk/

NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group GP Clinical Lead for hospital-based care and vulnerable people, Dr Peter Billingsley, said: ” I think it is really important that young people have knowledge of the mental health services to them not just locally but nationally.

“I would urge any young person who are is struggling with their mental health to utilise these services and share details with friends and family.

“The theme of this mental health awareness week is going outdoors. Now that lockdown is easing this is the perfect opportunity to go outside. You could exercise in your garden or head out to your local park.

“Being surrounded by nature can be very impactful on our mental health, especially for people experiencing stress, anxiety and depression. The pandemic meant many people were not able to enjoy the great outdoors as they had previously and for some this had an impact on their mental health.”

If you are anxious, self-harming, being bullied or want further signposting information and advice on how to manage your mental health, this can be found on North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s Go-To website. This contains local and national resources for children, parents and carers and professionals: https://www.thegoto.org.uk/