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Think Children’s Mental Health this Week

Date: Tuesday 2 February 2021
Author: Cllr Robin Brown
Title:  Finance and Resources Lead Member & Trustee of the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund

Paraphrasing Tolstoy, we are probably all unhappy with the impact of this pandemic in our own way.

Some of us carry the grief of having lost loved ones in the most difficult of circumstances. Front line medical staff and care workers are exhausted. Carefully nurtured businesses have been plunged into crisis. Parents are being driven to the end of their tether juggling home schooling with other commitments. Most of the fun things in life seem to be on hold.

But all of this has not quenched our community spirit or stopped people looking out for others. So many people in Richmond have stepped up to volunteer, help the vulnerable or support friends and neighbours.

And now I am asking you to think about our children and young people – and help them if you can.

Thankfully many children are resilient and coping with the many challenges of lockdown with support from their families. Sadly, however, increasing numbers are not. Charities are seeing increasing demand for support services and more than half of young people now report feeling anxious always or often.

Loneliness, anxiety about the future and lack of usual activities are common factors. Some children are in difficult home situations, have special needs or are seeing parents struggling desperately. They need help now. Research shows that if young people do not get the help and support required early on, larger issues can arise in the future.

I am proud to be a trustee of the Richmond upon Thames Voluntary Fund. Last year we raised in excess of £100,000 from Richmond residents to help two great local charities – Off the Record and Richmond Borough Mind – who both support children and young people’s mental health.

Thank you - that was brilliant, but now the need is even greater.

This year we are promising support to four local charities who work with children and young people in a variety of settings and who make a real difference to mental health. You can find more information about their work and what they do by following the links below.

We know many people are facing financial challenges and all donations are entirely voluntary. But if you have been able to make some savings over this past year please do make a contribution to our appeal. Our children and young people are the future of the borough – let's help them get through this so we can all enjoy their futures.

Thank you again for your support.

If you think a child or young person is in immediate danger call 999.

To report a concern about a child or young person contact Richmond Council on call 020 8547 5008 Monday to Thursday 8am to 5.15pm and Friday’s 8am to 5pm. For out of hours, phone 020 8770 5000

The organisations listed below also offer advice and support to young people:

Updated: 19 October 2021