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08 January 2021

Pastoral Blog: Everyone needs help sometimes

Pastoral Blog: Everyone needs help sometimes

In my Year 12 assembly this week, I was very conscious of the fact that I was addressing a group of young people whose lives seem very uncertain at the moment.  Added to the usual teenage worries about issues such as relationships with parents, friendships, schoolwork and body image, we can now unfortunately add Coronavirus to the list of things for young people to worry about!

I spoke to the students about the importance of reaching out when in need.  When I was at school, we had two basic choices - you could speak to your Form Tutor, or you could call Childline, whose number was to be found on posters in places such as libraries.  In the era before mobile phones and internet access, this would involve finding a public call box, collecting enough spare change to make the call and being brave enough to make an emotional phone call in a call box in a public place.

Nowadays, there are so many more avenues open to young people who want to talk.  Yes, they can approach parents, teachers or their friends.  However, sometimes it can be helpful to reach out to someone more anonymously, and that is where these organisations can help.  Childline remains a wonderful organisation, and they are much more accessible than in the “olden days”, with features such as message boards as well as traditional phone calls.  There are also services where you can receive support via text or email, and services where you can talk to a trained counsellor as well as those where you can talk to a volunteer peer.  You can remain anonymous if you like, and the services below are free of charge.

I shared this list with all of the students in the College this week, and I believe that these amazing organisations deserve to be publicised more widely.  If you are a young person in need of support, I recommend that you explore the following to find an approach which suits you and your needs.  You can also contact these organisations if you are worried about the wellbeing of a friend or relative:

  • www.childline.org.uk
  • www.samaritans.org (for all ages, not just young people)
  • ww.togetherall.com/en-gb/ (for students over 16)
  • www.sidebyside.mind.org.uk/ (for students over 18)
  • Mental Health apps (recommended by the NHS) can be accessed here.
  • https://youngminds.org.uk/
  • https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/get-urgent-help/youngminds-crisis-messenger/
  • https://giveusashout.org/
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