Six months of uncertainty and upheaval has affected their mental health and wellbeing.
Recent survey data from Public Health England (PHE) shows that one of the biggest Covid worrries for parents is the mental wellbeing of their children.
After an abrupt end to school and college in March, summer exams cancelled and the GCSE and A Level results controversy in August, many are wanting to start afresh this academic year. Others are struggling with the return.
All education settings have had to make big changes. Coupled with uncertainty over what the next few months will bring, children and young people have had mixed feelings about going back.
This includes facing the challenges of catching up with missed education, starting new schools or colleges and building relationships with friends again.
Tips and advice for parents
New advice on the Public Health England/NHS Every Mind Matters Website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities.
It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them.
Top 5 Tips
- Be there to listen - Ask the children and young people you look after how they are doing regularly so they get used to speaking about their feelings.
- Stay involved in their life - Show interest in their life and the things that are important to them.
- Support positive routines - Be a positive role model and support positive behaviours including regular bedtime routines, healthy eating and getting active.
- Encourage their interests - Being active, creative, learning things and being a part of a team are all good for mental health. Support children and young people to explore their interests.
- Take what they say seriously - Help the children and young people you look after feel valued in what they say and help them work through difficult emotions
Counselling and support
Free, anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform. Open12pm-10pm Monday to Friday and 6pm-10pm Saturday and Sunday.
Weekends, 9am-midnight. You can’t join the queue for a 1-2-1 chat after 10pm and you won’t be able to call or send a message to Childline after 11.30pm.
Call free on 0800 1111
Young person in a crisis?
YoungMinds Crisis Messenger
Provides free, 24/7 crisis support across the UK if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.
text YM to 85258
The UK’s first 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
Call 116 123