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Launch of 30 Days of Sefton in Mind

sefton in mindOn World Suicide Prevention Day Sefton Council is launching this year’s 30 Days of Sefton in Mind campaign.

Now in its fourth year, 30 Days of Sefton in Mind happens during the 30 days that fall between World Suicide Prevention Day and World Mental Health Day (10 October).

During this time, we will be promoting positive mental health across the borough and highlighting the many services available on our My Sefton website and across social media using the hashtag #SeftonInMind.

With the added impact of COVID19, our campaign this year asks, ‘Are you okay?’, with the hope that this question starts a conversation about stress or anxiety linked to various issues.  For example, residents might be worried about loneliness, financial difficulties, employment, social isolation or a lack of support. The campaign will provide information about local solutions to problems, such as financial support, friendship groups, or ideas for physical activities which can reduce feelings of isolation.

The campaign is led by Sefton Council and supported by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Southport and Formby CCG and Sefton Council for Voluntary Service.

Cllr Paul Cummins, Mental Health Champion for Sefton Council said:

“With the unprecedented impact of COVID19 we need to promote positive mental health in Sefton now more than ever.”

“As we adapt to a world altered by the pandemic, levels of isolation, distress and anxiety increase. It is vital that we continue work together with our partners to provide services for people struggling with mental health and make sure that people know there is lots of support for them.”

Merseyside Police re-visit Skin Kerr Aesthetics

Officers from Sefton Council’s Environmental Health team and Merseyside Police, revisited Skin Kerr Aesthetics, Hair and Beauty, in Bootle today after the poster saying the businesses would not be following COVID-19 requirements was put back on display.

The poster had been removed on Tuesday 8th September, and after a meeting with the owner yesterday Sefton Council understood this was a permanent move. During the meeting, Environmental Health officers were also satisfied that all the measures currently required for the safe operation of the premises were in place.

However, after reports that the poster was back on display this morning (Thursday 10th September), they returned. The posters in question have been seized and discussions will now take place with Sefton’s Director of Public Health to instigate closure proceedings on the premises.

Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “It is so disappointing that at a time when we are all focused on trying to limit the spread of coronavirus in the face of rising figures across the region, the owner of this business is taking this irresponsible action that could put their customers, their colleagues and the wider community at risk.

“We are all working hard to prevent more stringent restrictions that would have a negative effect on all local businesses and Seton’s local economy but selfish actions like this could contribute to jeopardising those efforts.”

Environmental Health officers were first made aware on Monday that Skin Kerr Aesthetics, Hair and Beauty was displaying the poster. It states that masks are not being worn at the salon despite rules requiring staff to wear surgical face masks and visors to limit the spread of the disease. The poster also denies the existence of COVID-19, which has been the cause of death for over 1,000 people in Merseyside hospitals, and bans mention of the pandemic.

Sefton Council and Merseyside Police have visited the salon more than once and it was understood the problem had been resolved.

Sefton Council is reminding local businesses and their customers of the importance of following the Government’s COVID-19 guidance, which includes the distancing, cleaning and face-covering measures required to help keep clients and staff safe.

For customers, this means following any of the measures in place for their protection and making sure they provide any Test and Trace information requested on arrival.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said recently: “As well as protecting individual businesses and their customers, these measures are there to support the whole economy by helping to reduce the possibility of a wider COVID-19 outbreak and the potential need to introduce local restrictions, which would have a negative effect on everyone.”

The Government’s guidance for working safely, including at close contact businesses including barbers, beauticians, hairdressers and tattooists.

Sefton’s Early Help Team helping to make a young girl’s voice heard

Sefton’s Early Help team are delighted to help an inspirational young person, who struggles with a communication disorder, to make her voice heard and support others through her own website.

Sixteen year-old Ellen from Crosby has been diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) which is a type of speech, language and communication need that affects the way children understand and use language. It is more common than autism with up to two children in every classroom having the disorder.

Living with DLD has meant through her life, Ellen has struggled to express herself and process complex sentences and to feel heard preferring to communicate by writing words down or making videos.

Hannah Howard from Sefton’s Early Help team said: “Like many other young people with a similar condition, Ellen feels that she is not heard because she can’t communicate easily, and people’s patience, belief in her and understanding is varied and often limited. This has had an effect on her education as well as her social and emotional wellbeing however, Ellen has said that having the support from people who have really listened has made a massive difference.”

“I have been absolutely inspired by Ellen. As a professional I have always strived to listen and put every child at the centre of what I do. Ellen has reminded me of the importance of us all taking the time to increase our understanding and knowledge around individual needs and that taking extra time to ensure a child has a voice is paramount.”

Ellen’s mum Roisin said: “Ellen has received support from Sefton’s Early Help team who have been there to help stop us getting to crisis point and their support has been immeasurable. The way they put Ellen first shines through, and they always come back to, ‘what does Ellen want’. They have been ‘Ellen’s voice’ and she really feels they have enabled her to be heard.”

“We have also received amazing support from the Venus Centre in Sefton which provides counselling, her head teacher at Holy Family Catholic High School, and Speech and language therapists at Alder Hey.

“They are helping to empower Ellen so she can achieve her full potential by continuing to promote communication, give practical advice and encouragement, whilst putting Ellen’s voice at the centre of everything they do.”

With her support network on board, Ellen has used her own experiences to help others by developing a website. ‘This is DLD’, not only gives a personal insight into Ellen’s experience of living with the disorder but also gives help and advice to people who have difficulties expressing themselves. The websites which contains videos and pictures also gives advice to practitioners and  teachers on how they can help a child with DLD, such as giving enough time to respond and using pictures sometimes instead of words.

Ellen said; “When you struggle with communication, life can be hard for you and your family as you need words for everything. Often I have felt invisible. However, over the last year I have had Alison from Sefton Speech and Language therapy, Paula from Venus and Hannah from Early Help supporting me and my family. They listened and followed things through. They believed in me and helped me find my voice and speak out about the things that mattered to me.

“I wanted to help give a voice to all those children and families in the same situation as us. It is important that they too are seen and heard, so with my Uncle’s help, I have created a website to try and get the message out to the right people so things can change. I want people to understand what it is like growing up in a place without a voice and how they can help make life easier. None of this costs money, only time. Everyone deserves a fair chance.”

Ellen’s ‘This is DLD’ website can be found at https://sites.google.com/view/thisisdld/home.

Back to school blues? Mental health support is available

As children and young people are preparing to go back to school health organisations across Sefton are reminding residents that mental health support is available. Parents, carers, and guardians are being urged to be alert to signs that children could be experiencing anxiety, distress, or low mood as pupils head back to the classroom after months away.

 Dr Susan Gough, mental health lead for NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “It is more important than ever to look out for our children and young people and to help them access the support they need. We know it is not easy to talk about mental health, we would really like to encourage young people to have open conversations about their wellbeing, and to reach out for help if they need it.”

Signs that parents should look out for include:

  • You might find they are more upset or find it hard to manage their emotions
  • They may appear anxious or distressed
  • Increasing trouble with sleeping and eating
  • Appearing low in mood, withdrawn or tearful
  • Reporting worried or negative thoughts about themselves or their future
  • For younger children, there may be more bedwetting.

“If you’re worried about how your child is coping, trust your instinct and reach out for help you can talk to your GP, your child’s school or NHS mental health services.”

This week, The Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust has launched a mental health campaign. Using the hashtag #WellnessWednesday, the trust will share and promote information about local services and resources for children and young people on social media. The trust also has a webpage which hosts useful videos, including hints and tips to help children and parents dealing with anxiety about going back to school.

 Margaret Jones, director of public health for Sefton Council, said: “We’d like to reassure parents and pupils that they can get back to school safely and protective measures are in place. Your child’s school or college will be able to give you more information about the specific measures they have put in place, but the government has also released information and practical guidance to support parents, carers and students returning to school or college.”

 Dr Hilal Mulla, mental health lead for NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

“As many children start to return to school, it’s vital we continue to give them the support they need to maintain their mental health and wellbeing and deal with any feelings of uncertainty or worry they may be experiencing.

“The NHS offers a large amount of mental health support for children and young people, and if a child needs urgent mental health support or advice, check the NHS website for services in your area, including 24/7 crisis support.

“Parents should contact NHS 111 online or a GP immediately if they notice any physical injuries on a child, such as deep cuts or burns.”

Local mental health and wellbeing support and helplines available:

·       Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) – there are a number of local mental health support and advice services available to young people and their families at this time. For more information and to find your local service visit: South Sefton CCG CAMHS or Southport and Formby CCG CAMHS

·       Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust 24/7 CAMHS Crisis Care Team – if a child or young person requires urgent mental health support the team can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0151 293 3577 or free phone on 0808 196 3550.

  • Kooth – This free online service for young people aged 11 to 18 years offers self-help materials and a safe online community 365 days a year.

National helplines and support available:

  • Childlinecall 0800 1111
  • The Samaritanscall 116 123
  • YoungMindsCrisis Messenger: text YM to 85258
  • Papyrus Hopeline UKsuicide prevention helpline: call 0800 068 4141 or text 07860 039967
  • The Mix a support service for young people. You can talk to with the online community, on social, or through the confidential helpline or our counselling service. Call 0808 808 4994 (Sunday to Friday, 2pm to 11pm)
  • If you identify as male, you can call the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight, every day).

Useful links for children and young people’s mental health:

·       For information about the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Back to School Resources, visit: https://covid19.alderhey.nhs.uk/back-to-school-resources-for-parents-and-children/

·       To view the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Mental Health Help video series, visit: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4zniovSeRnCh_aHl7C7U_8lc7vjphc

Let’s Get Back to School Safely

Since the lockdown began, students across the country have been prevented from going to school to help control the virus and save lives. The Government is committed to ensuring that all students can safely return to school and we are working to make sure transport is not a barrier to people accessing the education they deserve.

There are many ways students can travel to school. In the first instance, we encourage all students to walk, cycle or scoot to school if they can and if they live a short distance (2 miles or less) from their school or further education college. This will help to reduce pressure on the public transport network for those who need it most.

If students aren’t able to walk, cycle or scoot, they can use public transport or drive to get to their school or college. If parents or students are car-sharing with someone outside of their support bubble or family, they should share with the same people each time, open the windows for ventilation and wear a face covering if they are over 11 years old and are not exempt.

If students are using public transport, they should continue to follow government guidelines to ensure they can travel safely on the network. They should plan their journey in advance and allow more time to get to their school or college. They should wear a face covering for the entirety of their journey if they are over 11 years old and are not exempt, wash or sanitise their hands regularly and social distance where possible.

Merseytravel has been working with transport operators and partners to put plans in place to provide the best level of transport services possible in what remain very challenging times.

Key information and advice are being promoted through the ReThink Travel campaign to make sure that parents and children are aware of new measures put in place to help keep everyone safe as a result of the Coronavirus.

Read more on returning to school here;

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

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