Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing
The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has brought many new and unexpected challenges to children’s mental health and wellbeing.
In the current climate, it is more important than ever that we support children’s mental health.
Please remember school is always there to support your child and family. You can contact your child’s class teacher, Mrs Hill (Inclusion Manager) or Miss Phillips (Head Teacher) via email or through the school office if you have any concerns or worries about your child’s mental health or wellbeing.
Children’s Mental Health Week was 1st – 7th February 2021 but the mental health and wellbeing of all our Pilling St John’s family is always a priority.
5 top tips for parents
Allow children to ask questions. It is natural that children will have questions and worries about Coronavirus. Giving them the space to ask these questions and have answers is a good way to ease anxiety. It is also okay to say you don’t know – at the moment, there are questions that we don’t have the answers to about Coronavirus
Younger children might understand a cartoon or a picture better than an explanation. Maybe your child has an idea too – let them tell you or draw them
Give practical guidance: remind your child of the most important things that they can do to stay healthy and encourage them to engage with these through making them interesting, eg. Singing songs while washing your hands. Base your information on facts and not scaremongering. Try restricting yourself to key sources of information eg. NHS advice and the UK government response
Keep as much routine and structure to your child’s day as possible. This will help your child gain a sense of safety and certainty. Try to keep daily routines as stable as possible during this break. As much as possible, try to stick to daily routines, with wake up times, meals, naps and bedtimes as usual. Children thrive on predictability and it’s good for their caregivers, too
Try to manage your own worries and engage in self-care. Uncertainty can make all of us feel anxious and worried and your children will be receptive to how you are responding. Identify other adults you can talk to about your own worries. Use techniques that help you feel a bit calmer – if you are at home, music, breathing and relaxation techniques, distraction (such as watching something funny) and chatting to friends and family on the phone
Click the link below for this free digital picture book for primary school aged children.
Key Questions and Possible Answers
Why am I not in school?
The virus spreads when lots of people are close together. In school, lots of children are close together. We are staying at home to stop the virus passing from person to person and to keep everyone safe.
Where are my friends?
They are at home with their families and they are stopping the virus from being spread. By not being with other people we can stop the virus from being spread.
What are the teachers doing?
Some teachers are in school looking after children whose parents can’t be at home right now. Other teachers will be at home with their families. They are trying to keep safe just like you and stop the virus from being spread.
Will I get Coronavirus?
Anyone can get Coronavirus, but more adults get the virus than children. We don’t know whether we might get the virus, but we can make sure you are safe if you do.
When can I go back to school?
We do not know right now when you will go back to school, but the government will tell schools when they can reopen, and schools will tell families.
What can I do to help?
You can keep washing your hands. Make sure if you cough or sneeze, you cover it up and put any tissues in the bin.
Are people dying?
Some people are dying but this is more very old people or people that have other health issues.
What about my learning/maths/English etc?
When you go back to school, you will be able to learn but you can also learn at home too. What would you like to learn about?
Resources for children in Primary School
- The Children’s Commissioner has produced a great workbook to help children understand the Coronavirus and the changes because of it.
- The BBC Newsround site covers a range of issues related to Coronavirus including a child-friendly explanation of what the virus is and further information about issues such as school closure, the NHS and what terms like ‘social distancing’ mean.
Resources for Children or Young People with Additional Needs
- Mencap have produced an excellent easy read information sheet about coronavirus. This is particularly useful for children, young people or adults whose understanding is improved with visuals and when information is given in bitesize chunks. It covers what coronavirus is, what to do if you think you have it, and how to help stop the spread.
- There are a range of social stories available about Coronavirus, such as this one by The Autism Educator or the one produced by Carol Gray, the creator of social stories.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT
24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
0800 0288 840
0808 808 1677
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Parent helpline: 0808 802 5544
0300 123 3393
Please use the links below to access activities resources and websites to support mental health and wellbeing.