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How you feel matters

The Bedford Sixth Form Therapy Stock Photo

With the start of the summer holidays, we wanted to ensure that all families and young people have clear access to support and advice whilst they are not in school/college.

There can be a lot of pressure on young people at this time of year from exam results, friendship groups, social media, worries surrounding body image and health to simply not having the normal regular routine of school/college.

We are sending out the accompanying information How You Feel Matters to all our students and their parents/carers to raise awareness about what is available over the summer period and year-round, to support them, their friends and their family.

If you or someone you know is feeling lost, desperate or alone encourage them to speak to a trusted friend or family member, sharing how you feel can be a big step in the right direction.

If you are a parent or carer and worried about your child or someone you know:

  • Encourage the person or your child to ask for support if needed.
  • If you are concerned about the emotional and mental health of a child or adult encourage them to seek professional help and talk to their GP. If they need urgent immediate support, phone NHS 111 option 2, or take them to an A&E department.  In an emergency call 999.
  •   Also many online or phone resources now provide anonymous counselling and text services for young people to use directly. Please see the sources of support available in the information provided.
  • If they, or you, are worried about them harming themselves, ask them direct questions, such as “sometimes when people feel like you do, they think about suicide and harming themselves, is that what you are thinking about”?
  • Empathic listening is key here – ask open and honest questions and show that you’re listening by reflecting on what they say and clarifying what they mean. Don’t jump in with solutions – allow them to express their problems first.
  • Don’t minimalize their feelings by saying it’s ‘just a phase’, ‘you’ll grow out of it’ or ‘why is that even bothering you?’ Take time to imagine what it’s like for that person, focus on their feelings and their experiences – not your own
  • Firstly, it is important that you try to stay calm and listen to the young person – hear them out. Avoid judgement, regardless of what’s going on
  • Please ensure the young person you live with has the information provided saved somewhere easily accessed so they can always refer to it should they need help, advice or support.
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