A charity helping young people battle mental health problems has backed an Aberdeen family’s call asking teenagers in need to seek assistance.
As reported earlier this week, the family of missing Liam Smith spoke on the three-month anniversary of his disappearance.
In a family statement they said the 16-year-old “wasn’t feeling himself” when he went missing and urged other teenagers to seek help.
Tom Madders, director of campaigns at YoungMinds, which helps children and young people deal with mental health problems, said: “We urge any young person who is struggling with their mental health to talk to someone about what they’re going through.
“No matter how bad you’re feeling, it’s important to remember help is out there.
“Talk to someone about how you’re feeling – whether that’s a family member, a friend, a teacher, a doctor or a helpline like Childline.
“It can make a huge difference, and there’s lots more advice at youngminds.org.uk/find-help.”
The charity operates a text-message service which allows young people in crisis to get in touch around the clock. All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.
Police said they are to scale down the search for Liam in the next few days and his family thanked officers and volunteers from Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams.
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Chief Inspector Martin Mackay said: “The response from the public to our appeals has been overwhelming and the communities of Crathes and Banchory have been particularly supportive.
“We would like to thank all those who have continued to support us.
“Extensive inquiries and intelligence-led searches have been carried out which has been challenging due to the difficult terrain.
“At this stage we continue to search but that will be scaled back over the next few days as we conclude the activity at Crathes.
“More than 200 sightings of Liam have been reported to us and every bit of information we have received we have followed up.
“However, our inquiries still suggest Liam would have travelled to the Crathes area and we urge anyone, particularly residents or those who work in this area to remain vigilant and report anything unusual to us.”