The degree to which a young person worries appears out of context or disproportionate to the reason why they might be worrying.
Episodes of anxiety might be more frequent or prolonged and cause the young person distress, or might have some mild impact on their ability to cope with everyday life such as going to, or coping at school, seeing friends or taking part in leisure activities.
Examples might be:
- Fears that something bad might happen to themselves, or someone else
- Worry about not coping
- Worry about performance in exams or the future
- Worries related to being habitually bullied, or experiencing regular conflict or distress, either at home or school
- Worries about what others might think, say, or do
- Worries about negative judgements by others, or social rejection/exclusion
- Specific Phobia e.g. fear of dogs that impacts on day to day life
- Repetitive behaviours e.g. excessive hand washing, counting, checking windows and doors. That are beginning to impact on day to day life.
If families or professionals are concerned that a young person is experiencing any of the issues above support is available, this includes:
Kooth is a free online counselling and wellbeing support service, which is available to all young people aged 11-25 in Portsmouth.
Young people can access self-help resources, moderated peer support and professional support from counsellors.
There are no waiting lists or referrals, young people can visit Kooth.com and register anonymously. The site is available 24/7 with counselling available 12pm – 10pm on weekdays and 6pm – 10pm on weekends, all year round.
Hampshire Youth Access counselling (HYA) service
Hampshire Youth Access offer counselling, mental health and emotional wellbeing support to people aged 5-17 (or up to age 24 for care leavers or those with SEND). Sessions will be delivered by No Limits in schools, in the community or, for older children, sessions may be online via Zoom.
Young people aged 11 and over can refer themselves to HYA or be referred by a parent, carer or professional.
To refer a young person: call 023 8214 7755, email firstname.lastname@example.org or refer online at Hampshire Youth Access.
Support in schools
All secondary schools have a named Mental Health Lead and within schools there is a range of pastoral support available. Schools also work with other professionals in order to gain advice and guidance on how best to support children’s social and emotional needs. These services may include the Portsmouth Educational Psychology Team, the Multi Agency Behaviour Support Team and the Inclusion Outreach team.
Within many schools, pastoral support may be provided by Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs)
ELSAs are teaching assistants or learning mentors in schools who have been trained by Educational Psychologists to work with children who are showing a wide range of emotional or social needs for example; anxiety, low self-esteem, problems with anger etc. Through individual (and small group) support programmes ELSAs help children to develop their social and emotional skills.
Support will also include Mental Health Support Teams (MHST’s) who are available in all secondary schools.
MHST’s support children and young people with mild to moderate mental health problems. They use cognitive behaviour therapy informed interventions to make changes in the way young people think and behave, improving their outlook on life. They can help young people who avoid situations, or worry frequently due to their anxiety. The type of issues MHST’s can support with is generalised anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety and panic disorder
The school should make contact with MHST for consultation and support for MHST referral where appropriate.
For professionals such as GP’s they should encourage young people to register with Kooth and to link in with the school-based support described above. The CAMHS Single Point of Access is available for consultation and advice.
Available: Monday to Friday: 9am – 5pm.
Please contact: 0300 123 6632.