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Psychological Medicine Service for Children, Young People, and their Families

Children's services (Paediatrics)

The Paediatric Psychological Medicine team provide psychological, counselling, family therapy, psychiatric, and nursing input for children, young people and their families alongside various medical specialties and teams. We aim to help children, young people, and their families live well with physical health conditions and differences. We work with the rest of your team at the hospital, such as the doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and play specialists.

About the Service

Currently, our team offers input to the following specialties/services:

Audiology

Brainbow

Cardiology

Cleft lip and palate

Cystic fibrosis

Diabetes

Differences in sex development

DiGeorge syndrome (22q11 deletion)

Endocrinology

Emmeline Centre for hearing implants

Gastroenterology

General paediatrics - inpatient

Haematology

Major trauma

Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

Neurology

Neurofibromatosis type 2

Oncology

Ophthalmology

Paediatric intensive care unit (PICU)

Persistent physical symptoms

Respiratory

Rheumatology

Information for patients

Why might psychological therapies be helpful if I have a physical health difficulty?

Living with a physical health difficulty can have a range of impacts on emotional health, and the thoughts and feelings of other people such as family and friends. Physical and mental health are closely connected to each other, so when one is affected then there may be difficulties with the other.

Is it normal to feel how I feel?

It is very normal to feel a range of emotions (e.g. upset, angry, scared, and anxious) about physical health conditions, and other things too!

How can psychological therapies help?

We know that children, young people and their families can have many different feelings about their health. Sometimes these feelings get in the way of looking after physical health, family relationships, friendships, school and everyday life. Our team are here to help you manage the emotional effects of living with a physical health condition when things feel overwhelming, or if understandable thoughts and feelings are getting in the way. We can help when a physical condition may be impacting on the way your brain works. We can also support during the difficult times so that all involved can find ways to manage the day to day and plan for the longer term.

What can I expect from a psychology or counselling appointment?

We are not medical doctors, so we don’t do physical examinations, medical procedures, or prescribe medication. Sometimes we see young people and their parents or guardians together, we might just meet with parents/guardians, and sometimes we meet just with young people.

At the first appointment we will begin to get to know each other and talk together about what you would like help with. We will talk about any concerns or worries you may have. Together we can decide what the next best step is. We may decide to meet for further appointments or it could be that we will not need to meet again. We may also decide that a different service would be more helpful.

Referral

Please speak to your existing care team about a referral to our service.

Patient support websites

Chat Health: Text service run by the NHS to speak to professionals about mental health or other concerns.

Kooth: A website designed to improve access to mental health support for young people. Free, confidential service providing support online for people aged 11–19.

Give us a shout: Mental health resources and a text service. Struggling to cope? Text SHOUT to 85258

Young Minds: Resources, information and events for young people about how to keep well.

The Mix: Articles for young people (<25 years) on the topics of mental health, self-harm, drugs and alcohol, sex and relationships, housing, etc. Crisis messenger service available, alongside 1:1 chat.

Relate: (Phone: 01302 347866) Family and couple counselling, counselling for young people, relate for parents. There is a fee involved – limited subsidised spaces.

Keep Your Head: A website that brings together good reliable up to date information on mental health and well-being for children and young people, parents/carers and professionals. This includes information on self-help as well as local and national services.