A NEW service has been launched in York to help children and young people suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental health issues during the lockdown.

A new self-referral initiative to support children struggling from problems such as missed school time and new social distancing rules has been set up by the Children’s and Young People’s Service at The Retreat.

A spokesperson said the service would provide a range of support to anyone who has experienced difficulties such as anxiety, depression or low mood, traumatic experiences, relationship difficulties, bereavement, eating difficulties, confidence issues, stress, panic attacks and sleeping problems.

"It will use play therapy, art therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy techniques, parent and child therapy as well as talking therapies – all delivered remotely via secure video link whilst social distancing is in place,"they said.

Clinical lead Jennifer Bailey said she was delighted to be driving forward the service at such a critical time in any child's life. "The pandemic has affected every one of us but for young people in particular it can be difficult to understand how you’re feeling and to articulate any difficulties you might be having,"she said.

“I’m passionate about working in therapeutic relationships with children and young people and think it's also vital to empower parents and carers to meet their child's needs.

“Here at The Retreat we believe every child and young person has the capacity to recover from the impact of challenging or negative life experiences, to grow, develop and achieve their full potential."

The spokesperson said Jennifer had previously worked at the NSPCC, providing therapeutic support for children and young people and their families in the York area, and in child psychotherapy.

*For more, go to www.theretreatyork.org.uk/our-services/childrens-services/