PARENTS have been urged to “be alert” to signs that their children could be experiencing anxiety, distress, or low mood after pupils headed back to the classroom after months away.
Health officials in Sefton are worried that young people could suffer mental health problems with a return to school following months of lockdown.
Dr Susan Gough, mental health lead for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “It is more important than ever to look out for our children and young people and to help them access the support they need. We know it is not easy to talk about mental health, we would really like to encourage young people to have open conversations about their wellbeing, and to reach out for help if they need it.
“If you’re worried about how your child is coping, trust your instinct and reach out for help you can talk to your GP, your child’s school or NHS mental health services.”
Signs that parents should look out for include appearing anxious or distressed, increased trouble with sleeping and eating, appearing low in mood, withdrawn or tearful or for younger children there could be bed wetting.
Margaret Jones, director of public health for Sefton Council, said: “We’d like to reassure parents and pupils that they can get back to school safely and protective measures are in place. Your child’s school or college will be able to give you more information about the specific measures they have put in place, but the government has also released information and practical guidance to support parents, carers and students returning to school or college.”
Dr Hilal Mulla, mental health lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, added: “The NHS offers a large amount of mental health support for children and young people, and if a child needs urgent mental health support or advice, check the NHS website for services in your area, including 24/7 crisis support.
“Parents should contact NHS 111 online or a GP immediately if they notice any physical injuries on a child, such as deep cuts or burns.”