Project Description

Are you a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic child, young person, parent or carer, affected by Covid-19? Click on the image or here for more information.

This video provides guidance to parents and carers about how they can help children and young people manage their mental health and well-being during any disruption caused by the Coronavirus

Living with worry or anxiety in uncertain times

It is normal to have worries or to feel anxious from time to time, especially now when so many aspects of normal life are being impacted by Coronavirus. It is also normal for children to feel worried or anxious from time to time, although it is important that this is not how they feel all the time. 

Talking to your children may help them feel less worried about Coronavirus, sometimes not talking about something can make children worry more. We are aware that sometimes it can be difficult to know what to say to your children so, below is more advice about how to talk to your children about Coronavirus.

Look after yourself 

If you are feeling worried or anxious at this time it is important that you do what you can to help improve your own well-being as if you feel calmer it will help your children feel calmer too. It is important to be mindful of the information you are consuming at the moment. It is good to stay informed but upsetting or sensational social media coverage can be detrimental for your own mental health. For this reason it is important that you stick to reputable sources for your information such as, the NHS or Public Health England rather than sourcing your information from social media. 

  • This article from BACP counsellors shares advice on how to cope if you are feeling anxious about Coronavirus yourself.  
  • There is also more advice on the Mind website, including some more practical advice about staying at home and dealing with possible financial difficulties. 
  • The World Health Organisation have produced this poster, which gives some clear pieces of advice about how to cope with stress during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

The Wiltshire Council website has lots of advice about local support available for you and you families, particularly via the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub. It also has some downloadable colouring pages which your children can colour and display in the window to let others in your neighbourhood know about the local support available.

Talking to your child about the Coronavirus

Talking to your child about the Coronavirus may help your children feel less worried or anxious, although it can feel daunting to have conversations with your children about such big topics. It is important to remember that you don’t need to have all the facts and answers, there are lots of resources which you could read together or could share with your child. 

The following links relate to supporting children and young people of all ages.

  • This website links to a useful document which outlines how to talk to and support children of different ages around the subject of Coronavirus. This could be particularly helpful if your children are younger and you are unsure about their levels of understanding or what information to share. It also highlights some of the ways in which children of different ages may react to this situation and ways you can help them. 
  • Young Minds have collated their top 10 tips for talking to your children about Coronavirus. 
  • Barnardo’s have also put together some useful articles around supporting your children’s mental health and well-being as well as family activities which you could try during lockdown.
  • Emerging minds have created some helpful and simple tips to help you support your children. There is also an attached PDF on this page which goes into more detail about supporting your children and provides a number of places where you can find more information. 
  • This may be a particularly difficult time for vulnerable children, this article details additional ways in which they could be further supported.

Although the following information is organised into different age categories, we would recommend exploring all of the different resources available and deciding which you think would be most suitable to your own child’s worries, interests or levels of understanding. 

Information for talking to KS1 aged children

  • Mindheart has created a child friendly and illustrated explanation of the Coronavirus which may help to answer some of your children’s questions. It is also available in a number of different languages. 
  • Nanogirl has also created some videos explaining the Coronavirus for children, along with an experiment to demonstrate the importance of hand washing.
  • Nosy Crow publishers, along with Gruffalo illustrator, Axel Scheffler, have recently released a free information book explaining the Coronavirus for primary school aged children.

Information for talking to KS2 aged children

  • One place to find child-friendly information is Newsround. This article in particular explains what is being done to tackle Coronavirus as well as more details about the virus itself. 
  • Children’s Commissioner have created a guide to Coronavirus for primary school aged children.The guide aims to answer children’s questions about Coronavirus, tell children how to stay safe and protect other people and how to help them make the best of their time at home.
  • The Calm Zone on Childline has lots of resources which children can access if they need help feeling calmer or expressing their feelings. 

Information for talking to older young people

  • Young Minds has lots of information about talking to young people about both the Coronavirus as well as supporting them with mental health concerns. 

For more resources for young people in KS3 and older please see our page for Young People. 

Routines

A lot of organisations, including the NHS, are suggesting that keeping to a routine during self-isolation is really important for maintaining good mental health and well-being. This advice is just as important for children as it is for adults, so where possible, try to stick to a daily routine.

Place2Be have given this advice on why routines are helpful and some advice to help you implement them as a family as well as other ways to look after you and your family’s mental health during this time.

Finally this article explores some of the ways that children and young people may surprise us with their seemingly positive responses to the situation we currently find ourselves in. https://www.place2be.org.uk/about-us/news-and-blogs/2020/april/coronavirus-learning-from-teenagers-on-how-to-deal-with-change/

New

FutureLearn provide youth mental health courses to explore and understand the mental health issues that affect young people.

With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the University of Reading developed the COVID-19: Helping Young People Manage Low Mood and Depression course for young people with low mood and depression and their parents and carers, or anyone who has contact with young people during the coronavirus pandemic. You can access this course at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/low-mood-during-covid-19