Lockdown has been a very difficult time for a lot of people, and nationally we are seeing that young people with ASD and ADHD are often struggling more than their peers. The lack of routine, not being able to go out, missing out on school supports and arguments at home all seem to be contributing to young people with ASD and ADHD finding it hard to manage emotionally.
Depression in young people can be hard to spot. Sometimes young people will be open and say that they are struggling and feeling sad. Others will keep it to themselves. Sometimes parents will spot that young people are going off their food, not sleeping as well, losing motivation, feeling low in energy and not enjoying their usual hobbies. They might notice that a young person is becoming more irritable and snappy, or isolating themselves away from friends and family. In serious cases they may even have thoughts about self harm or even about ending their life.
If you are concerned about your child’s emotional wellbeing, do talk to them about it. There may be some specific things that are affecting them that the adults around them could help them with. If you feel your child needs more help, don’t forget that there are a range of supports for young people that are still very much available. You can make a self referral through the Single Point of Access. You can speak to your Social Worker, your CAMHS team, or your therapist at Tier 2 (CAMHS Wellbeing Service) if you already get some supports from these services. If your child is not known to services, you can arrange an urgent appointment at your GP, or in an emergency you can call 111 or 999. During covid these services are still working, although often appointments will be by telephone or video.
Single Point of Access
Other services for young people
Kooth.com https://www.kooth.com/ The UK’s leading mental health & wellbeing platform for children and young people giving them easy access to an online community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors. Access is free, there’s no waiting lists, no thresholds, no cost and complete anonymity.
YoungMinds https://youngminds.org.uk/ provides mental health support and information for children and young people. They also have a Crisis Messenger which provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.
If you need urgent help text YM to 85258
All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.
Childline http://www.childline.org.uk If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, email or chat online about any problem big or small.
Freephone 24h helpline: 0800 1111
Chat 1:1 with an online advisor
Youth Access www.youthaccess.org.uk
A place for you to get advice and information about counselling in the UK, if you’re aged 12-25.