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Concern over mental health of Craven and Wharfedale teenagers

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Published at 7:06am 4th February 2019. (Updated at 10:25am 5th February 2019)

A new campaign is being launched today to encourage young people in Craven and Wharfedale to talk about their mental health. 

  • 'GR8 Minds' has been created by a local GP federation called The Wharfedale, Airedale and Craven Alliance 
  • It's aimed at primary and secondary school children 
  • It's after concern among GPs about the rise in young people coming to the doctors with poor mental health
  • Teenagers tell Stray FM exam stress and social media pressures are impacting their mental health 

The scheme, called 'GR8 Minds' is being launched today on social media to coincide with Children's Mental Health Week

Organisers want to encourage young people to talk about their mental health, and increase the resource in Craven and Wharfedale so people can get help when they need it. 

Stray FM has been speaking to teenagers in Skipton to find out what challenges they face. 

 

skipton teenagers
Teenagers Ellie-Louise, Hattie, Lucy and Sam with Skipton Girls PE teacher Vanessa Wingate

 

skipton teenagers 2
Teenagers Jessica, April, Clara and Matthew 

"You have to be the best"

We spoke to eight 16 and 17-year-olds who are all studying for their A Levels.

They all told us exam stress was a big concern. 

16-year-old Jessica Longdon, a student at Skipton Girls High School told us:

"It's more and more competitive in schools, you're always compared to your peers. And that can bring you down a bit."

16-year-old April Greenwood is also a student at Skipton Girls High School:

"Sometimes it feels if you don't get good grades you're not going to go anywhere. It is quite a lot of pressure."

These A Level students say they also worry about exams

 

These Skipton teenagers say exams cause stress

 

Social media and online bullying also came up as concerns during our conversation with the Skipton students. 

Dr Caroline Rayment is a Burley-in-Wharfedale GP who helped come up with the mental health campaign. She's been working with schools over the last year to look into the issue further. 

Dr Rayment said: 

"I noticed that during the last 5 to 7 years the number of teenagers who are coming in with mental health issues are increasing." 

"The children coming in are younger and younger. Some of the primary school headteachers have described children at the age of 8 or 9 self-harming or having suicidal thoughts.

"That was really shocking."

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and increase resources in Craven and Wharfedale. 

As part of the campaign they've produced advice leaflets for both parents and young people. 

mental health leaflet
The 'Let's Talk' leaflet created for parents and carers
mental health leaflet
The 'Let's Talk' leaflet aimed at young people 

In addition to these advice leaflets, which will be available in local GP surgeries, the Alliance will also be launching a web platform, www.GR8Minds.co.uk

Children will be able to to interact with some of the services on their phones and access help and support through various routes including social media. 

GR8Minds_header
A poster for the 'GR8 Minds' campaign

 

The Alliance is also planning parent and teacher workshops in the Spring, to follow up on the launch.

The aim of these sessions will be to enhance existing communication channels between parents, their children and their local school.

For more information and advice visit www.wacalliance.co.uk

Helplines: 

NHS First Response - 01274 221181 NHS 111

Samaritans - 116123 / Childline 0800 1111

Young Minds Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 

Young Minds text service - Text YM to 85258 

HopelineUk Suicide Prevention - 0800 0684141  

 

 

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