People are urged to look for signs of poor mental health in children

The pandemic has increased the risk of mental and physical harm to children and young people, but these signs of harm have been harder to detect, due to the lack of usual face-to-face interaction.

Before the pandemic, A&E attendances by children with psychiatric conditions had tripled in the last 10 years. Now, month on month, the numbers arriving at hospital are continuing to rise.

Often children will self-harm or harm themselves in other ways to deal with stressful situations.

People are urged to look for signs of poor mental health in children and the younger generation as things start to open up.

The CAMHS team is dealing with a surge in referrals – self-harm, suicide attempts, anxiety – a grim but growing list of troubles.

“There is going to be a section of people in our society who are kind of surviving through this now and are in total survival mode,” said the trust’s lead clinical psychologist, Dr Chantal Basson.


“And as we come out of the pandemic, we’re more likely to see the mental health impact on those young people and families.

“I think we might be feeling the tremors, but I think the impact may well yet to be seen.”

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility!

Everyone across the county are being urged to be vigilant to the harm endured by children and young people during lockdown and to report any concerns they might have.

The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns have placed increased importance on parents, carers, families, friends, those working with children and young people, and communities to ensure that they are alert to changes in children and young people, safeguarding risks and take appropriate action by reporting any concerns they may have, vigilance against harm endured at home is essential.

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