Mental and Physical Health Support
To access our school nursing team during school closure please refer to the information below.
Looking after our children and young people’s mental health and well being during the Coronavirus outbreak.
It’s understandable that some of us may be feeling a bit overwhelmed and scared by everything that we are hearing about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) right now.
Children and young people react, in part, on what they see from the adults around them. When parents and caregivers deal with the COVID-19 calmly and confidently, they can provide the best assurance possible for their loved one. In order to reassure other’s, it is helpful if we, ourselves, understand what is happening.
Not all children and young people respond to stress in the same way.
Some common changes to watch for include;
- Excessive crying or irritation in younger children
- Returning to behaviours they have outgrown (for example, requiring more reassurance than normal)
- Excessive worry or sadness
- Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
- Irritability and “acting out” behaviours in teens
- Poor school performance or avoiding school
- Difficulty with attention and concentration
- Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
- Unexplained headaches or body pain
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
There are many things you can do to support your child.
- Don’t avoid the ‘scary topic’ but engage in a way that is appropriate for them. Take time to talk with your child or teen about the COVID-19 outbreak. Click on the link for more advice on talking with your children about world news.
- Reassure your child or teen that they are safe. Let them know it is ok if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you. Here is a good link for advice on Ways to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About the Coronavirus
- Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand. We need to minimise this negative impact it has on our children and explain the facts to them. Discuss the news with them but try and avoid over-exposure to coverage of the virus. Be as truthful as possible.
- Try to keep up with regular routines. If schools are closed, create a schedule for learning activities and relaxing or fun activities.
- Be a role model. Take breaks, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat well. Connect with your friends and family members.
- Involving our family and children in our plans for good health is essential. We need be alert to and ask children what they have heard about the outbreak and support them, without causing them alarm.
- Unlimited free online safety guides for your teachers and parents via our website: www.nationalonlinesafety.com/guides
For more information about what’s happening and the simple steps you can take to help prevent catching COVID-19 and spreading to others, along with helpful hints and tips about what you can do if you are feeling anxious and worried click on this helpful link Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and guidance for young people
Remember that Kooth is always available if young people are feeling overwhelmed and needs counselling support during this time.
These resources are also very useful for parents.
Washington MIND – Click here – Washington Mind | Seeing people not problems
Anna Freud – Click here – Parents and carers (annafreud.org)
If you are concerned about your son’s mental health. If you feel like your son needs further support please contact your sons Head of House by email, they will call to discuss the most appropriate help for him. We have access to a emotional health and resilience nurse and 1:1 counselling through Washington MIND all which can be accessed virtually.