Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. With children and young people now back at school or college, Public Health England’s new 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, and more than a third of children report being more worried, sad and stressed than before lockdown. New PHE survey data found that two thirds of parents surveyed say their children’s behaviour has changed since the start of the pandemic (69%) and, when asked their top three worries around coronavirus, over half (52%) said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list of their biggest worries.
two thirds of parents surveyed say their children’s behaviour has changed since the start of the pandemic
over half of parents said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list of their biggest worries
Advice available on the Better Health - Every Mind Matters website
The advice available on the Better Health - 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. 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 mental wellbeing.
To engage parents and carers a powerful short film has been created featuring a range of celebrity parents including Davina McCall, Marvin Humes, Sean Fletcher, Katie Piper and Edith Bowman, reading extracts from best-selling author Charlie Mackesy’s well-known book, ‘The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse’. The emotive extracts all touch upon mental health and aim to encourage parents to visit the Better Health - Every Mind Matters website.
The NHS-approved advice includes:
o 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
o Stay involved in their life: Show interest in their life and the things that are important to them
o Support positive routines: Be a positive role model and support positive behaviours including regular bed routines, healthy eating and getting active
o 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
o 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.
Helping children and young people get active
Our Children and Young People pages has ideas and advice on how to get active at home, with suggestions and links to inspiration for all age groups.
For more information search Every Mind Matters.