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Back to school blues

26th August 2019 @ 6:06am – by NHS
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Or something more serious?

The school summer holidays are drawing to a close and many parents are getting their children ready to go back to school. Understandably, most children aren't looking forward to hitting the books again, but is there something bigger that's worrying them?

Some studies show that almost one in four young people will experience depression before they are 19 years old. It's important to get help early if you think your child may be depressed. The longer it goes on, the more likely it is to disrupt your child's life and turn into a long-term problem.

Dr Teresa Strefford, Clinical Director of Commissioning, at NHS South Cheshire CCG and NHS Vale Royal CCG said: 'There is a difference between feeling a bit low from time to time and a serious emotional health problem. Struggling with feelings and problems is a normal part of life, but sometimes it can feel like it's all too much. If your child is unhappy or low for a prolonged period of time, you should seek advice.

'Some signs of depression in children can include having trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual, eating less than usual or overeating, or being unable to relax, concentrate or make decisions. Headaches and stomach aches may be physical symptoms of anxiety.'

Dr Strefford explained: 'It's important to talk to your child if you think they're depressed. Try to find out what's troubling them and how they are feeling. If they don't want to talk, just letting them know that you care and that you're there if they need you can make a big difference

.'If they say they feel empty or numb, guilty or worthless, or have thoughts about suicide or self-harming, then encourage them to speak to a professional immediately.'

A teacher may be able to deal with the problem or may involve a school counsellor or welfare worker depending on the situation. Alternatively, book an appointment to see your GP.

Mental Health services available to children in Cheshire:

  • Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP)
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) ( offers free online resources and also runs an advice line open to everyone, including young people themselves, parents, teachers and healthcare professionals (01244 397644) which is open Monday to Friday, 5pm to 10pm and Saturday to Sunday 12pm to 8pm.
  • YoungMinds ( offers free confidential online and telephone support to anyone worried about the emotional and mental wellbeing of anyone aged under 25.
  • The Parents Helpline (freephone 0808 802 5544) is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm.
  • Childline ( offers free confidential counselling for children (freephone 0800 1111) and is available 24 hours a day.
  • NHS Choices has some tips on talking to younger children and talking to teenagers on,

This article is from our news archive. As a result pictures or videos originally associated with it may have been removed and some of the content may no longer be accurate or relevant.

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