West Berkshire Council has set up a dedicated telephone helpline for young people experiencing issues and concerns relating to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The helpline, which is linked to its Emotional Health Academy (EHA), will offer the district’s young people self-help support, advice and guidance from trained EHA workers. It will come into operation on 6 April 2020, providing an opportunity for children and young people (aged 11 to 18) to express their concerns and talk about issues directly affecting them during the current Coronavirus crisis. EHA workers will use active listening skills to support young people in dealing with difficult feelings around Covid-19 and provide signposting and self-help support for their general wellbeing.
This local helpline is a short-term service and will be available only during the Coronavirus pandemic, to provide ‘in the moment’ support to children and young people. It will provide access to trained EHA workers who can offer advice and self-help tools and provide support to manage ‘low level’ problems. It is not a crisis line and does not replace other services such as the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).
From Monday 6 April, the EHA helpline will be open between 9:00am and 5:00pm, Monday to Friday, and young people aged 11 to 18 can use it to access advice and support by calling: 01635 503587.
Commenting on the service, Councillor Dominic Boeck, Executive Member for Children, Education and Young People at West Berkshire Council, said:
“We know that many children and young people are feeling anxious and upset at this time of national crisis, and are struggling to adjust to changes in their everyday lives. That is why we are setting up this helpline in addition to other services provided locally and nationally to support the mental health and well-being of children and young people.
“The EHA helpline will offer a listening ear and a range of self-help and signposting resources to support young people in West Berkshire to cope with lifestyle changes relating to Covid-19 both now and in the difficult times ahead.”