Some children and young people may be experiencing feelings such as anxiety, stress or low mood as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the recent change in circumstances.
Public Health England's advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing includes key actions you can take to support your child’s mental health and wellbeing, such as supporting safe ways to connect with friends. It also emphasises the importance of children continuing to remain fit and active and, wherever possible, having the 60 minutes of daily physical activity, recommended by the Chief Medical Officers.
There are also online resources available to help you and your child with mental health and wellbeing, including:
• MindEd, a free educational resource from Health Education England on children and young people’s mental health
• Rise Above, which aims to build resilience and support good mental health in young people aged 10 to 16
• Every Mind Matters, which includes an online tool and email journey to support everyone to feel more confident in taking action to look after their mental health and wellbeing
• Bereavement UK and the Childhood Bereavement Network, provide information and resources to support bereaved pupils, schools and staff
Where further support is required, NHS mental health services remain open, and they have digital tools to enable them to connect with people and provide ongoing support, so you should continue referring to your local children and young people’s mental health service when needed. There is also a range of support directed at children and young people, including:
• free confidential support can be accessed anytime from government-backed voluntary and community sector organisations by:
o texting SHOUT to 85258
o calling Childline on 0800 1111
o calling the Mix on 0808 808 4994
• online information on COVID-19 and mental health is available on the Young Minds website
• the Think Ninja (freely available and adapted for COVID-19) app educates 10-18 year olds about mental health, emotional wellbeing and provide skills young people can use to build resilience and stay well
*Rise Above (adapted for COVID-19) website aims to build resilience and support good mental health in young people aged 10 to 16
Barnardo’s See, Hear, Respond service, provides support to children, young people and their families who aren’t currently seeing a social worker or other agency, and who are struggling to cope with the emotional impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). You can access via the ‘See, Hear, Respond’ service self-referral webpage or Freephone 0800 151 7015. It is also vital to report any safeguarding concerns you have about any child. Contact the NSPCC helpline.