A new guide focusing on young people’s emotional and mental health has been produced for parents and carers in Brighton and Hove by a group of young volunteers.
The guide, published by Right Here Brighton and Hove, a project that aims to improve the emotional and mental wellbeing of young people aged 16-25, has been produced after months of research and focus groups with parents who have helped their child through mental and emotional challenges.
It offers advice on how to help a child through difficult times, with tips on communicating, a list of local support services and specialist information on mental health, alongside ways they can look after themselves to support their child as best they can.
There is also a pull-out section for young people to empower them to access support services themselves and ways they can communicate their feelings to their parents or carers.
Volunteers at Right Here hope that the guide will tackle the lack of support and isolation many in the focus groups faced when trying to look after their child during struggles with mental and emotional health.
This guide comes from young people, from their perspective. A volunteer from Right Here explained that: "We know as young adults what we're going through, how we want to be treated and what would help us get through bad times. With this knowledge, we hope we can get parents to see it from our point of view and hopefully improve relationships so that young people like us feel supported and can open up to their parents or carers about how they feel."
Parents and carers have welcomed this new resource. One father said: "I think, in the busy lives most parents lead today, we can overlook the need to talk as families, the kids also get trapped in their virtual worlds and do not interact with the family when at home. I wish I’d had a guide like this about 6 years ago."
An early prevention project led by young people, Right Here also aims to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health to help them through the turbulent changes which adulthood brings. The project also looks to raise awareness through workshops on mental health at schools and colleges in and around the city.
The guide will be distributed to schools, colleges, youth clubs, community hubs and GP surgeries throughout Brighton and Hove. You can access it online at www.right-here-brightonandhove.org.uk/parents or pick up a copy at Reed House, 47 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2BE.