Healthwatch Northamptonshire voices its concerns about the impact of the disruption to exams on the health and wellbeing of young people and their families

During this time of distress caused by the exam results confusion, here are some sources of support
Young woman mid conversation with a young man

We are concerned about the pain and distress caused by the exam results confusion and the challenges this creates for the health and wellbeing of many young people and their families in Northamptonshire.

The exam results process is always stressful and there is inevitably disappointment as well as jubilation. However, this year the process has been particularly difficult. For some young people this will result in additional pressure that can affect their physical and/or mental health as they grapple with planning for their futures during a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

Healthwatch Northamptonshire Chair, David N Jones, commented:

The challenge for Northamptonshire is to develop realistic plans to address the needs of young people going forward, including the inequalities that can lead to poorer health and quality of life revealed in the recent Annual Report from the Director of Public Health for Northamptonshire*.
— Healthwatch Northamptonshire Chair, David N Jones

“Our advice to young people who are in distress or despair today is to keep talking to somebody you trust: parent, teacher, friend” David Jones urged.

“If necessary, contact the school nurse, one of the crisis cafes, Samaritans or Young Minds. Today may seem bleak but new options will emerge.”

*  Annual Report from the Director of Public Health for Northamptonshire

If you need support

Local services

Youth Works Northamptonshire has an online live chat every Monday and Tuesday, 5pm - 7pm where a young person, parent or carer can message to receive mental health support and advice. This is available via their Facebook and Instagram pages

The Lowdown offers one to one emotional support for 11-25 year olds (and for parents of people younger than 25) and has an Online emotional support chatbot and wellbeing support helpline: 01604 622223. More wellbeing resources and videos are also available on their website.

The School Nursing service is still operational and is available for advice via their text service, Chat Health: 07507 329 600 (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm).

Crisis Cafés

12-18 year olds can get support in person at the Young people’s Crisis Café in Northampton, Monday 4-8pm or Kettering, Thursday 4-8pm. Both are still running, but do now require young people to call up in advance so that a safe service can be maintained. Contact details are: Lowdown (for Northampton) 01604 622223 / info@thelowdown.info and Youth Works (for Kettering) 01536 518339

Over 18s can visit the NHFT and Mind Crisis Cafés

Adults can call the Northamptonshire mental health number for local support and services - call a friendly mental health navigator any time of the day or night:

0800 448 0828 - Lines available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

More online advice

YoungMinds

YoungMinds have lots of online advice, such as - Coronavirus mental health advice for young peopleWhat to do if you’re anxious about coronavirusCoronavirus mental health advice for parents and carers and other articles.

They have a Crisis Messager service for free 24/7 support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis - if you need urgent help, text YM to 85258 (all texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors. Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus).

They also have a Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines).

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