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Young people encouraged to use Early Mental Health and Counselling Support Service

Help is available for young people

Published 17 August 2020

Young people in Wiltshire are being reminded support is out there if they are struggling with emotional wellbeing during COVID-19.

Wiltshire Council and BSW CCG commissioned charity Barnardo's earlier this year to provide advice for 5-18-year-olds who may be experiencing:

  • Low mood
  • Panic, stress, worry and low level anxiety
  • Problems sleeping
  • Anger difficulties
  • Low self-esteem
  • Relationship difficulties with family or friends
  • Relationship problems at school or in the community (including bullying)
  • Feeling overwhelmed by pressure; for example in relation to school work

Due to the lockdown, much of the service has moved online, so young people can access ongoing support online or by phone.

Help is available through the On Your Mind website, which provides useful information and support. A webchat facility and webinars for parents are currently being developed for the site.

The charity will also be asking young people for their input into activities to promote five steps to wellbeing.

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills said: "COVID-19 has been challenging for all of us but it is particularly difficult for our children and young people, who have had their normal way of life turned upside down.

"Barnardo's is an important part of our service at any time; however, it is particularly important during these extraordinary times to help our young people maintain their emotional wellbeing."

Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "With schools, clubs and outdoor spaces having been closed due to the lockdown, many children and young people have been not been able to access their usual outlets for managing and supporting mental health and overall wellbeing.

"However, the online support offered by Barnardo's has been a lifeline to many, and provided the reassurance and relief that, had it not been there, would have caused continued worry and anxiety for so many of our most vulnerable children and young people who have really found the experience of lockdown a difficult one."

Liz James, Children's Services Manager for Barnardo's said: "The service is underpinned by our commitment to being child-centred working in partnership with children and young people and adopting a systems approach that recognises that children and young people do not live in isolation from their families and communities."

To request support from the service please visit

Barnardo's is moving towards all requests coming to the charity via a Single Point of Access shared with CAMHS so children, young people and their parents / carers only have to tell their story once. Further information will be provided once this is fully functional.

For more information please email the service at

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