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Mid-February Newsletter

Seasonal Affective Disorder

During these dark winter months we at Teenage Mental Health note a significant increase in patients and their parents reporting feeling quite emotionally low, or more depressed than usual.

So we thought it might be an idea to mention seasonal affective disorder and give our readers some more information on this seasonally negative problem on our general mental health and wellbeing.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during specific seasons, most commonly in the fall and winter. Children may experience symptoms such as sadness, hopelessness,loss of interest in activities, and difficulty sleeping.

They may also have physical symptoms such as fatigue, changes in appetite and weight. SAD in children can have a significant impact on their mental health, academic performance, and relationships with peers and family members. Parents should be mindful of the possible signs of SAD and seek professional help if they notice any symptoms. Light therapy, therapy, and medication may be used to treat SAD in children.

What Have We Been Up Too?

Last month we saw 707 patients, answered the phone to 130 parents seeking advice or care and carried out 50 assessments.

January is historically a very busy month for us here and this year has been no exception so as always we start the new year helping as many people as possible.

Tom Hunt, our local MP popped in to see us and we had a great chat about the local landscape for child and adolescent mental health provision. He has assured me that he will be pursuing the local NHS trust to improve services for those struggling with their emotional wellbeing in our area and has written to them on our behalf. Thank you Tom for giving us your support and taking on this challenge.

Our reception team has also been busy this month sending out free bookmarks to local schools and organisations. These bookmarks have been specially designed by us to give first rate mental health advice to young people in an easy-to-read format which supports and doesn’t scare the reader. If you would like some of our bookmarks please email us on and we will be delighted to send these straight out to you.

Did You Know?

Teenage Mental Health actively fights against period poverty and keeps supplies of sanitary products in their toilets for young people to help themselves to for free.

No young person should have to worry about being able to afford sanitary products and if you need supplies please feel free to pop into our centre and help yourself. We also have condoms freely available in the toilets on a help yourself basis should you need these as well.

Half term boredom buster

Most of the schools in our county are currently on half term break, and whilst it is only a short week long break, some of our local children and teenagers may well be getting a wee bit bored, so we thought you might like some ideas for things to do to keep the boredom bears at bay:-

1. Go for a bike ride - get out in the fresh air and get some sun on your face, vitamin D from the sun and the endorphins released when we exercise can really help our mental health.

2. Have a friend's film afternoon - choose any streamed film or DVD you can all enjoy, make some popcorn, maybe get everyone to bring a snack to share then snuggle up together to enjoy some time together.

3. Get baking - not only does it keep you busy but you also get to enjoy the fruits of your labour

4. Get crafty - Easter, Mother’s day and Father’s day aren't too far away, why leave things to the last minute, get ahead of the game and try making home--made cards and gifts for these occasions that you can share with your loved ones.

5. Revision - Ok we know this isn't a popular one, but if you are stuck for something to do and you have exams coming up in the future why not get started on a little bit of revision maybe even get around to making that revision timetable or some revision cards. Getting started on it now will give you a great sense of being in control and really boost your confidence.