Published: Monday, 7th February 2022

We are supporting a national campaign which aims to encourage open conversations around mental health.

The theme for this year’s national Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs between Monday, 7 and Sunday, 13 February, is Growing Together.

We are reminding residents of the tools and support services available to children, young people and adults to help support their mental health.

Medway has a range of in person and online support for residents, including Kooth and Release the Pressure.

Kooth is an online service which offers mental health and wellbeing support for young people, provided by XenZone.

Kooth enables Medway’s children and young people aged 11 to 25 to chat to counsellors through their instant messaging service using their online drop-in service or during a scheduled session. Young people can also read and contribute to articles about mental health, join moderated forums and discussions enabling peer support as well as benefit from online journals and goal trackers.

If residents are feeling distressed, anxious or down, they can call Release the Pressure on 0800 107 0160 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to speak to highly trained support workers who will provide emotional guidance and information.

Residents are also able to access the service by texting “Medway” to 85258, to start a conversation with a trained and experienced volunteer who can give support at any time, wherever you are. Texts are free on all major mobile networks.

Wide range of advice and support

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “The health and wellbeing of all Medway residents is our top priority and we all need to make sure that we look after our mental health. We have a wide range of mental health advice and support available and I’m pleased that young people are able to access Kooth outside of normal working hours, including evenings and weekends. I would encourage all residents, including children and young people, to access support if they need to.”

Raising awareness

Medway Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Josie Iles, said: “As part of our aspiration to make Medway even more Child-Friendly, I am pleased that we are supporting Children’s Mental Health Week and raising awareness of the support that is available. It is so important that Medway’s younger residents feel heard and are encouraged to speak about their mental health. Medway’s children and young people have adapted so well to the uncertainties over the past two years, but we understand that some young people may still be feeling overwhelmed and I would encourage them to access the support available.”

Find out more about mental health support services available in Medway.

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