A national mental health charity has responded to recent figures which show the amount of therapy for mental health delivered to children in areas of the Black Country and Staffordshire has soared since the start of the pandemic.
The Kaleidoscope Plus Group based in West Bromwich supported 332 children and young people between April 2020-21 and despite the ongoing pandemic, it has continued to offer a range of services including counselling, play therapy, art therapy and a 24-hour text crisis line for those who need it.
It comes after the Royal College of Psychiatrists warned that children and young people are at risk of lifelong mental illness due to the mental health crisis triggered by the pandemic.
Chief Executive Monica Shafaq said: “We have seen the devastating effect that school closures, disrupted friendships and the uncertainty caused by the pandemic have had on the mental health of our children and young people.
“Early intervention and treatment is vital and that’s why, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, The Kaleidoscope Plus Group has continued to deliver services to children and young people who might be struggling with their emotional health and wellbeing.
“Our Primary Mental Health Workers come from a range of professional backgrounds and have specialist training and experience in helping children, young people and their families and carers when there are emotional or mental health concerns.
During the first lockdown, the leading mental health charity produced a guide to help children and young people and their parents and carers manage their anxiety during the pandemic. Meanwhile its 24-hour text support service saw an increase of 25% more texts than usual.
Ms Shafaq added: “We want children and young people to know that there is support here for you if you need it and our crisis text line is one way we’re able to provide 24/7 mental health support to those in urgent need.
“The text messaging support service is there for anyone who’s struggling to cope, at any time of day or night. By texting TEAMKPG to 85258 you will receive support from a trained volunteer who will listen without judgement 24/7, and to help you feel calm, safe and with a plan to support yourself going forward.
“The current situation is really taking its toll on everyone’s mental health and wellbeing, which is why, we, at The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, aim to do everything we can to help.”