A mental health pilot service has been launched to support armed forces children, young people and families in Scotland.

Forces Children Scotland (previously the Royal Caledonian Education Trust) has launched Listening Spaces to encourage children, young people and parents from serving, reservist and veteran families to talk about the unique challenges they face with mental health and wellbeing.

It has set up a free helpline and weekly virtual discussion groups for the next three months which will provide a safe space to talk in confidence to qualified staff from the charity, either one-to-one or in a group.

Families will be able to chat about deployments, caring responsibilities or the challenges of regular moves and disrupted friendships.

Chris Paul, Children and Family Services Manager, said: “My hope is that Listening Spaces is the first step in delivering an effective range of mental health and wellbeing services for children, young people and their families.”

For more information, go to forceschildrenscotland.org.uk/help/mental-health/

The helpline is 0131 322 7358 and is open Mondays (12pm-2pm) and Fridays (3pm-5pm).

The virtual sessions on Zoom will begin on 4 October 2021 at 7pm. Contact chris.paul@forceschildrenscotland.org.uk for further information.

The charity will develop its mental health service provision further through the launch of the Your Mind Matters Project early next year, which has received funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for digital resources and face-to-face support.

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