The Mental Health Family Hour, originally launched in April 2020 to support families in the first lockdown, kicked off again today (21 January) with an episode focusing on young people’s mental health.

With another spell of home learning for young people, poor mental health due to lack of social contact and routine is a problem that many are facing.

The episode is part of a new series that will be streamed live on Twitch. Young people, parents and carers can also catch the episodes afterwards on the Mental Health Hour YouTube playlist (opens in a new window). The first hour-long broadcast addresses concerns such as lack of motivation to do work, anxiety and the fear of losing someone to Covid-19.

Sam Tyrer, Prevention and Engagement lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT), said:

"It’s so important for young people to feel comfortable enough to open up and have beneficial conversations around mental health with their parents and teachers.

The Mental Health Family Hour is designed to help with just that – through listening to people who have lived experience of struggling with their mental health, parents and carers gain an insight into how their children may be feeling and how they can help to support them.”

The Mental Health Family Hour was an initiative started during the first lockdown by Sam, who also founded the Mental Health for Schools Education Programme ‘Change Talks’ and presenter Dave Cottrell, who operates online under the name Mindset By Dave.

Before lockdown, Change Talks would go into five schools across Lancashire every half-term and deliver a six-week Mental Health Education Programme. Both Sam and Dave wanted to ensure that during lockdown children were still getting access to PHSE style mental health education, so they launched a weekly show.

The show has become very popular, with over 1,000 people having watched each of the 12 episodes of the first series. The pair even received a ‘Points of Light’ award from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in December, recognising them as outstanding individual volunteers and people who are making a change in their community.

Sam added: 

“The episodes cover more than young people’s mental health; over the next few months we will be covering further topics and themes such as suicide, yoga and meditation and becoming a new parent.”

If you would like to sign up to the mailing list to be notified about the upcoming episodes, please email Sam.

Episodes will be streamed live on Thursdays at 10am on Twitch (opens in a new window).

For those who are unable to tune in on the day, the sessions are uploaded to a YouTube playlist, which hosts all the previous episodes, including ‘Caring for family members with mental health’, ‘mental health questions answered’, ‘domestic abuse’ and ‘resilience, peer pressure and bullying’. The Mental Health Hour YouTube playlist can be accessed here (opens in a new window).

Paul Hopley, Deputy Director for Mental Health for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, added:

“It’s really important that we look after our mental health as much as possible during this latest lockdown. Make sure you ask for help if you need it. The NHS is still here for you and there are many services, both NHS and others, that can help to support your mental health during this time.

There is support available to help you with your mental health and wellbeing, including free access to online counselling and support services, support specifically for children and young people, information about mental health support and crisis lines and details of local and national mental health services. Visit our Mental Health support page for more information.”