A NEW hotline has been launched to help young people in Inverclyde deal with mental health problems in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Mind Mosaic Child & Family Therapies' new service is open to youngsters, their parents and carers.

The freephone service was established after the charity received funding from the CORRA Foundation Wellbeing Fund.

It aims to benefit those affected by social isolation, anxiety and stress as a result of COVID-19.

Mind Mosaic's director of children's services, Sandra Boyle, is delighted that the freephone lifeline is being added to the wide array of therapies and services the organisation offers locally.

Sandra told the Tele: "Inverclyde's young people and their families are going through very difficult times at the moment, with a lot of changes being made to their lives.

"Young people may have worries about exams or missing out on important milestones, while some parents are juggling being frontline staff and also home-schooling.

"Within the first hour of the service being launched, there were five calls, proving how support like this is more important than ever."

The service is being offered as a pilot, but Sandra believes the early uptake will ensure it is funded beyond the planned initial July 31 date.

Sandra told the Tele: "Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has sadly been a rise in domestic violence and so many families will be newly and unexpectedly bereaved as a result of coronavirus.

"With Inverclyde being the Scottish COVID-19 'capital', we have not only had an increase in referrals to our services, but we also want to ensure that families are receiving as much support as possible to assist them.

"We will be on hand to help in any way we can."

A dedicated team of therapists, counsellors and family workers is available Monday to Wednesday from 9am until noon, Thursday and Friday from 5-9pm and Saturday from 9am until noon in a bid to ensure everyone who needs support can reach out at a time best suited to them.

The freephone number is 0800 193 4019 and for other queries, visit www.mindmosaicchildren.co.uk