Your emotional wellbeing
Having a teenager can be really different experience than anything you've experienced before. It can be a whirlwind of emotions that don’t always feel like they make sense. You can love them wholeheartedly and sometimes you just feel overwhelmed, or you might start to question yourself.
If you are feeling worried, sad, or depressed talk to your healthcare professional such as your GP or call The Mental Health Number on 0800 448 0828.
You are not alone in these feelings and it is important to share them.
Our ten tips from Changing Minds IAPT
We have some advice on how you prioritise your health and wellbeing; and ensure that you can take some time out today, or any day for that matter, to focus on you.
- Talk to someone and stay connected, sometimes just talking and contacting another person can make you feel much better. This can be a relative, a friend or a professional.
- Try to organise a sleep routine, go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Sleep is important to your wellbeing even if the normal structure and routine you once had has been disrupted.
- Try to write down three positive things a day you have achieved. These do not need to be big as sometimes just posting a letter is an achievement.
- Take a breath, breathe in for 7 seconds and out for 11 seconds, this will refocus you and give you space.
- Get outside, go for a walk, or stand in your garden just take in some fresh air; ensure you see daylight once a day during your allotted exercise break. Given all the pressures, make sure you have time for yourself.
- Set some small goals for your day that are achievable to give you a sense of purpose.
- Eat regular and healthy meals to ensure your body is well fuelled.
- Make sure with all the juggling of extra roles, that we no longer expect miracles of ourselves, we are trying to do more in abnormal circumstances, with often less support. On any given day, our best is good enough and our best will be different on different days; that’s okay, that is normal.
- Discover mindfulness apps on your phone, they can provide useful techniques.
- Most importantly be kind to yourself, it's okay not to be okay during these very difficult times.
The Changing Minds IAPT Team are a self-referral service so please do feel empowered to reach out if you need our help.
Espresso Yourself - wellbeing cafe for teens
Northamptonshire has many mental health support systems in place if your teenager is feeling emotionally or mentally unwell.
Across the county, Espresso Yourself crisis cafes for young people and parents run to help offer support when needed. These are led by NHFT, the Lowdown, St. Andrew’s Care and YouthWorks.
You can find out more about the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Service here at NHFT and what they offer on their webpage including Live Chat, CAMHS Connect amongst other offerings.
As your teenager starts to get more independent it can feel harder to keep them safe, and the truth is that you can’t watch over them all the time.
You are doing great.
One of the most important things you can do with your teenager is to keep conversations open. Talk to them openly risk both physical and virtual and explain some of the best practices that they can use to help keep themselves safe.
You can contact the 0-19 admin hub by live chat or give the team a call on: 0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm).
It is really important your teenager knows how to call for help if they need it, and that they should feel empowered to do this if they feel they are in danger. Northamptonshire Police are local police force and they can be reached by dialling 999 in emergency situations or 101 in non-emergency situations. They can also be contacted onine through the live chat function.
This is the time where your teenager can legally join social media. Social media and the Internet can feel like an unstoppable force but by keeping conversations open with your teenager and listening to them can mean they are more likely to come to you if something seems questionable.
Going out on their own, drugs and alcohol
With more independence comes the time when your teenager starts to go out on their own or with friends. By helping them be independent young adults it is important that you teach them how they can keep themselves safe:
- Teach them how to look and listen before and while crossing the road.
- Point out that phones and friends are distracting so to take extra care to not use their phone and remove headphones when crossing the road.
- Ask your young person to plan their route choosing the safest way to go.
- Talk to them about not accepting lifts from people they don’t know very well.
- Have conversations about staying safe when they or their peers are using alcohol or drugs. Drugs and alcohol can impair judgment and your young person should understand that it is never safe to accept a lift from someone that is under the influence
- Talk about avoiding situations where others may be using drugs or alcohol, it is important that young people think about how they can refuse and what the options available to them are.
Some families use a “Text an X” arrangement with their young people – if they text an X to a parent or responsible adult they will call them and state that they need them to come home, arranging to pick them up if needed to enable them to get away from the situation they are in.
Your teenager's brain undergoes lots of changes and rewiring during puberty which may mean their feelings and emotions can feel, and can be, a bit out of control.
It’s important to allow them time to express their feelings and emotions, whilst also keeping boundaries in place.
During puberty, your teen is more likely to be dominated by their feelings rather than logical thinking so trying to encourage mindfulness and resilience is important. We know that this can feel hard, keep trying and keep communicating with them.
There are lots of resources to help parents and young people talk through these changes. It is important to stress the changes are “normal” and happen to everyone, just that we cannot predict when these will occur.
Parenting teenagers can be a challenging time for parents and carers.
Young people want more freedom to explore their environment and friendships but as parents we want to keep our children safe.
The Relate website has some useful information and tips on talking to your children around a full range of issues from relationships to drugs and alcohol and managing behaviours.
The BBC created the Operation puberty video which helps to answer some questions around puberty.
We would also recommend the Health for Teens website for your to explore with your young adults.
Being able to share time with your teenager will help to continue to develop a positive relationship based on trust.
Parenting can be a challenge, and you won’t always get it right, but by being open and listening you help to build a trusting relationship with your child.
As your teenager becomes more independent you will need to reflect on decisions and changes around boundaries. By promoting independence and cooperation you will be more likely to work together.
If you are worried you can contact the 0-19 admin hub by live chat or by giving the team a call on: 0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm).
Immunisations in secondary school
The school nursing team offer the following vaccinations in secondary school.
We also like to record vaccine refusals from both young people and parents to ensure their health records are update and to identify any concerns that are highlighted. If you are unsure about having the vaccinations or if you would like to discuss anything further call our admin hub 0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm).
HPV vaccinations in Year 8 (2 doses, 6 months apart)
HPV vaccine All 12 and 13-year-olds in school Year 8 will be offered on the NHS the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
It helps protect against cancers caused by HPV, including:
- Cervical cancer
- Some mouth and throat (head and neck) cancers
- Some cancers of the anal and genital areas
As well as protecting against 90% of genital warts. In England, girls and boys aged 12 to 13 years will be routinely offered their HPV vaccinations when they're in school Year 8. It's important to have both doses to be protected.
Men ACWY and DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio) vaccinations in Year 9
Men ACWY vaccine This is given as a single vaccine and protects against four different strains of meningococcal bacteria that cause meningitis and blood poisoning (septicaemia): A, C, W, and Y.
3-in-1 teenage booster (DTP) The teenage booster, also known as the three-in-one or the Td/IPV vaccine. It is a single vaccine given to boost protection against 3 separate diseases: tetanus, diphtheria, and polio.
This Immunisations for Young People Guide outlines and explains these vaccinations and why they are needed.
The children's flu vaccine is offered as a yearly nasal spray to young children to help protect them against flu. Flu can be a very unpleasant illness for children, with potentially serious complications, including bronchitis and pneumonia. Vaccinating your child will not only protect them against flu but will also help protect more vulnerable friends and family by preventing the spread of flu.
The vaccination will be given by a quick and simple spray up the nose. This is offered at your GP surgery.
You can find more information here Children's nasal flu vaccine (yearly)
When will the vaccinations take place?
- HPV Vaccinations April to May ( dose 2 -year 9 ) June – July ( dose 1 – year 8 )
- Flu vaccinations: October - December
- Teenage booster vaccinations: Feb- March.
The school nursing team will visit your child’s school once to offer the vaccinations. A consent form (paper or e-consent) will be sent home approximately two to four weeks prior to the planned immunisation session. (For exact dates of Immunisation sessions please check with your child’s school calendar.)
Who delivers the vaccines to my child?
School Aged Immunisation Service deliver the routine national immunisation programme to school aged children. This includes children who may be home schooled, and others not in school.
What consent is needed for my child to have a vaccine?
Consent for vaccinations is initially required from parents. The decision to have the vaccination is legally the young persons. However, the Immunisation Practitioner would much rather have the parents’ permission as well. If we do not receive a completed consent form before the vaccination session, we will look to offer the young person the opportunity to self-consent on the day (secondary school vaccinations only). This is in line with the Gillick Competency Framework.
I do not consent for my child to receive the vaccine
Please be assured if we receive a written refusal of consent, we will not vaccinate your child. However, we do have a duty of care to advise your child where they may be able to access the vaccine if they choose to have it later.
What happens if my child has missed the vaccination?
School Aged Immunisation Team can also provide catch up clinics for any child or young person who missed the above vaccination in school.
If your child has missed their immunisation in school or is home educated, you can bring them to one of our community immunisation clinics. We have clinics across county, and you can book into any clinic that is convenient to you. Please contact us on 0800 170 7055 (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)
Emotional coaching for parents
The emotion coaching sessions are split into four different sections:
- Why emotion coaching matters and what parents can do
- The 4 Steps
- Connect before you correct
- Problem solving
Other organisation videos:
Find out more about Action for Happiness:
Thoughts, feelings and behaviours
- Thoughts, feeling and behaviours video
- Early warning signs and our fight / flight / free response video
- STOP Method video
- Problem solve and set goals
Other organisation videos:
- Understanding the Hand Brain Model for parents and professionals
- Self esteem for parents and professionals
- Self esteem – an introduction for children and young people
- Introduction to making a soothe box for children and young people
Why is sleep important?
Find out more about sleep with the following organisations: