October 2020

Families First News

The latest news

Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing Support

We have continued to re-run this page, as it has proven to be a popular page, which is being updated for each edition.

With mental health being one of the predicted areas where we will see an increase in presenting needs, we have set out below some very useful links which we have received from the Families First partnerships.

Stand-by-me bereavement support is an award-winning registered charity that was created to support bereaved children, young people and their families in North Hertfordshire and Stevenage.

At the heart of our service is our innovative groupwork programme, staffed by highly trained and experienced volunteers. Run over a number of weekly sessions, it gives children and young people the opportunity to explore their feelings and talk about their loss as well as to meet other children who have had similar experiences.

In 2016 Stand-by-me launched a new project called ‘Contact-me’ to give bereaved children additional support in schools.

Please visit www.stand-by-me.org.uk or email info@stand-by-me.org.uk to find out more. Please also click here for their latest newsletter.

Supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus – Information for professionals

Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during Coronavirus - Information for Children and Young People

Schools and Families Advice Line (SFAL): The ‘Schools and Families Advice Line’ (SFAL) is a new service established to provide emotional wellbeing advice and early help to children and young people, families and schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information can be found here

The new JUST TALK website provides a host of useful information to YP families and professionals during COVID 19: https://www.justtalkherts.org/just-talk-herts.aspx

Healthy Young Minds in Herts: The below website has a Professionals, Schools, Parents/ Carers and Young Persons section. Information on emotional health and wellbeing support available for children and young people in Hertfordshire for school staff. https://www.healthyyoungmindsinherts.org.uk/    NOTE The schools section requires log in details

View the latest CAMHS bulletin here


YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People provides youth work, information, advice, guidance, work related learning and support for young people. Although face-to-face work is currently suspended, you can still contact a Youth Worker or Personal Adviser for one to one and project groupwork support by calling 0300 123 7538, emailing yc@hertfordshire.gov.uk or visit https://www.ychertfordshire.org/

Supporting schools and colleges booklet - the Anna Freud Centre: This free booklet provides advice and guidance for school staff about how to help children and young people manage their mental health and wellbeing during times of disruption to their learning.

Chathealth School Nursing texting service and the Health for Teens website. As part of our remaining services, during the Covid -19 pandemic, Chathealth offers support, advice and guidance to 11-19 year olds. They can text us from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday and a School Nurse is operating the line during those times and they will get a response on that day, usually within the hour.

The OLLIE Foundation is a charity dedicated to delivering suicide awareness, intervention and prevention training by empowering professionals and young adults in their own communities to lead suicide prevention activities.

BOUNCE FORWARD - are holding regular sessions for parents to build vital skills to help their children be more resilient during this uncertain time. To book visit: https://bounceforward.com/raising-resilience-free-session/

Mind in Mid Herts: Are now able to offer FREE living well courses to the people of Hertfordshire via zoom. You do not need to be an existing service user or be diagnosed with a mental health problem to access- anyone can attend. More information and if you would like to refer someone please click this link to book on:


Herts Mind Network: Please see the current timetable and support services for anyone struggling with their mental health.

Their free one to one Peer Support service is also operating via telephone not face to face.

They have offices in Letchworth, Borehamwood, Watford, Hemel, Waltham Cross, Bishops Stortford and Borehamwood. They offer support to anyone living in Hertfordshire.

Barnet Council have produced a very user friendly "Back to School Guide for parents, carers and guardians" which could be very useful for supporting anxiety in getting children back to school.

Here at The Counselling Foundation we offer a wide range of support, which includes specific support for clients experiencing bereavement during the coronavirus pandemic.   We would be keen to highlight our services within Communities 1st website and www.suicidepreventionherts.org.uk/.

Rehab 4 Addiction offer three types of treatments which have been proven to help overcome a variety of mental health conditions. For more info visit:


Mental Health Services - contact numbers

The wide range of support for people who have mental health concerns includes:

  • Herts Help – a signposting and advice service which can help direct people to the right support - 0300 123 4044 or email info@hertshelp.net
  • Hertfordshire Mind Network crisis helpline – 01923 256 391
  • NHS HPFT’s Single Point of Access - for people in a mental health crisis who live in Hertfordshire - 0300 777 0707 from 8am – 7pm, 01438 843322 out of hours or email: hpft.spa@nhs.net
  • Samaritans - 116 123, 24 hours a day, every day

Every Mind Matters campaign

Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and you ng people now back at school or college, the new Public Health England (PHE) Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and equip parents and carers with the knowledge to support them.

The new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities, including Young Minds, The Mix, Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre. It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them, and also provides advice that can help maintain good mental wellbeing. The site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.

We hope you find these resources useful in supporting the families you work with.


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