When you or a family member is diagnosed with a serious illness it is important to look after yours and members of your family’s mental health. It is a very stressful and emotional time, so please seek help.
Your GP can refer you to your local Mental Health team for individual counselling and support. It is important to get help if you feel you need it.
Find out more about NHS mental health services.
Alex TLC can help you individually or put you in contact with others for peer support. If you need help coping with a leukodystrophy diagnosis, get in touch now.
Play Therapy helps children understand muddled feelings and upsetting events that they haven’t had the chance to sort out properly. Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, as adult therapy usually expects, children use play to communicate at their own level and at their own pace, without feeling interrogated or threatened, tis can be especially helpful when the child has a deteriorating condition and communication may have become difficult.
Play is vital to every child’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and language development. It helps make learning concrete for all children and young people including those for whom verbal communication may be difficult.
Play Therapy helps children in a variety of ways. Children receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact or play out traumatic or difficult life experiences in order to make sense of their past and cope better with their future. Children may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways.
The outcomes of Play Therapy may be general e.g. a reduction in anxiety and raised self-esteem, or more specific such as a change in behaviour and improved relations with family and friends.
Find out more from the British Association of Play Therapists.
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
CAMHS is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing.
Local areas have a number of different support services available. These might be from the statutory, voluntary or school-based sector, such as an NHS trust, local authority, school or charitable organisation.
Children and young people may need help with a wide range of issues at different points in their lives.
Parents, carers and young people can receive direct support through CAMHS.
Specialist CAMHS teams are NHS mental health services that focus on the needs of children and young people. They are multidisciplinary teams that often consist of:
- social workers
- support workers
- occupational therapists
- psychological therapists – this may include child psychotherapists, family psychotherapists, play therapists and creative art therapists
- primary mental health link workers