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Gloucestershire Business News

Council announces new drop-in service for young people who need someone to talk to

Together with its health partners, Gloucestershire County Council is launching a new anonymous, one-to-one telephone/online chat drop-in service for children and young people struggling with their mental health.

Tic+ Chat (pronounced tic chat) is for young people aged between nine and 21 years old who need someone to talk to and it goes live today at 5pm. It is funded by the county council and is commissioned jointly with Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group for the next 12 months.

This is a challenging time for everyone. We've all experienced sudden changes in our routines and are living with uncertainty. For some young people, the pandemic may also worsen or trigger anxieties they were already struggling with.

We want to let them know they are not alone and make sure they can access the support they need. They can speak to the friendly Tic+ Chat team about anything which is troubling them. No problem is too big or too small - the team won't judge.

No appointment is necessary and the service can be accessed by calling 0300 303 8080, or via online text chat at the Tic+ website: https://ticplus.org.uk/ between the hours of 5pm-9pm Sunday to Thursday.

The launch of Tic+ Chat is part of a package of mental health support the county council is delivering to help people during the pandemic and beyond. In May, it launched Kooth an online mental wellbeing platform designed for young people experiencing issues with their emotional wellbeing, such as anxiety, low mood or stress.

Cllr Tim Harman, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: "It's really important that young people are able to receive mental health support, especially during COVID-19 when they aren't able to see friends, or go about their normal routine.

"Talking to someone else about worries before they get bigger can make a huge difference, so I'm pleased that we are able to offer this one-to-one help for them online and by phone."

Dr Lawrence Fielder, GP and clinical lead for Mental Health at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Making things better for children and young people with mental health problems is one of our top priorities, and with the coronavirus pandemic changing so much for us all, it has never been more important for young people to be able to find the support they need to help them cope when things are tough. We are delighted to be partnering with our county council colleagues and tic+ to provide this service."

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