Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and young people now back at school or college, PHE’s new mental health campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and equip parents and carers with the knowledge to support them.
Research reveals that the coronavirus outbreak has caused an increase in anxiety in young people. What’s more, over two-fifths (41%) of children and young people said they were more lonely than before lockdown and more than a third said they were more worried (38%). New PHE survey data found that when asked about their top three worries around coronavirus, over half (52%) said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list.
It’s a relief for most parents and carers that their children are now back at school, but, as we adapt to a new normal many anticipate their children will experience new stresses. This includes facing the challenges of catching up with missed education, getting used to new schools or colleges and re-building relationships with friends.
The new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them. In addition to the advice for parents and carers the site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their own mental wellbeing.
NHS’s Top 5 Tips for supporting children and young people’s mental wellbeing as they go back out into the world
- 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.
Singer, DJ and television presenter Marvin Humes said:
“Many families have experienced an upheaval in their daily lives in some form over the last few months and, like many parents, we know this will have impacted our kids in some way. I’m backing this campaign because it’s so important that parents have the support they need to look after their children and their mental wellbeing as we navigate the months to come.”
Vanessa Boachie, Psychological Therapist, Founder and Creative Director of Inside Out, a not-for-profit social enterprise committed to helping young peole improve their mental health and wellbeing said:
‘Through my work with Inside Out, I’ve seen firsthand how young people have been challenged and affected in recent months. For many black people, this has been more pronounced due to the fact that these communities have been disproportionately affected by negative health outcomes when it comes to COVID-19.”
“It’s not always clear for parents how they can address these concerns, a factor which can be more apparent for some black communities for reasons such as cultural barriers. I would urge all parents who are concerned for their children to access the new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website.”
Search Every Mind Matters for expert tips and advice to support children and young people with their mental wellbeing, or for more information, visit https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/