Wednesday 3th March
Everyone can suffer from mental health difficulties, regardless of their age. The pandemic has naturally been a difficult time for all children and young people with the ramifications of lockdowns potentially having a huge impact on their mental health.
How a child or young person responds can differ according to; their age, how they understand and communicate information, their previous experiences, whether they have any additional needs, and how they typically cope with stress. Reactions may include worrying about themselves or family and what that might mean if they were to become very poorly, fear of going out, problems sleeping, heightened anxiety, withdrawal or displaying feelings or frustration. Some children may react immediately whilst others show signs of difficulty later.
What can we do to support children and young people's well-being during this unprecedented time?
We like to know what is coming. Having a routine in place gives children and young people an increased feeling of safety and therefore they are better able to manage the uncertainty of the situation. Try to maintain their bedtime and waking routine, have a plan for the day/week which has a mix of activities for your child/young person to engage in, try to get them outside every day for exercise; this helps both their physical and mental health and also help you too.
Look out for any changes in your child's/young person's behaviour. Take time to ask how they are feeling, listen, and acknowledge their concerns about what is happening.
Keep the conversation about what is happening open and honest, adapting according to their age, and understanding. Remember, they will feed off your emotions too and how you are coping.
It is vitally important that children/young people continue to connect regularly with friends. Why not suggest they keep in touch with friends over video calls? They’re probably better at this than us anyway!
Be aware of the amount of information your child/young person is exposed to and the impact this may have on their anxiety levels. Keep the conversations open regarding what they are hearing from friends and on social media and the potential for exposure to fake news reports that may further exacerbate anxiety.
It may feel like you are spending much more time together than usual, but this is about ensuring quality time over quantity. Set aside time each week to spend some time together as a family with no other distractions.
Remember, to be there for others it is important your well-being is being looked after. Make sure when planning a routine, you have set time aside for 'you' time.« Back to News & Blog
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