Mental health campaign supports the wellbeing of children, young people and their parents.
Research reveals that the COVID-19 outbreak has caused an increase in anxiety in young people. More than two-fifths (41%) of children and young people said they were more lonely than before lockdown and more than a third said they were more worried (38%), more sad (37%) or more stressed (34%).
New PHE survey data found that two-thirds of parents say their children’s behaviour has changed since the start of the pandemic (69%) and when asked their top 3 worries around COVID-19, over half (52%) said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list of their biggest worries.
Nearly a quarter of parents surveyed say that not knowing what action to take has prevented them supporting their children’s mental wellbeing (22%), and more than a third (38%) want more advice on how to support their mental wellbeing when returning to school.
A spokesman for PHE said the new advice available on the Every Mind Matters website has been developed in partnership with leading children and young people’s mental health charities, including Young Minds, The Mix, Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre.
It is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them, and also provides advice that can help maintain good mental wellbeing.
The site also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.
The website also encourages parents to complete a personal ‘Mind Plan’, a quick and free interactive tool offering adults tailored mental wellbeing advice. More than 2.4 million ‘Mind Plans’ have been completed since launch in October 2019.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director and director of health protection at Public Health England, said: ‘Parents’ and carers’ relationships with their children are special and we want to give them the support they need.
‘Being there to listen and encouraging them to explain how they feel can make a real difference to how children and young people cope with life’s challenges. It can also help them develop effective skills to cope with their emotions.’
Emma Thomas, chief executive of YoungMinds, said: ‘The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact of the lives of children and young people across the country and many have struggled with social isolation, anxiety and fears about what the future holds.
‘We know how important it is for young people to get early support for their mental health when problems first start to emerge.
‘This is a welcome and much-needed campaign, and we hope that it will provide young people with the resources to support their mental health and to seek help if they need it.
‘We also hope that it will ensure parents and carers have the tools to support their children’s wellbeing and help them adjust in the coming months.’
Visit Every Mind Matters for expert tips and advice to support children and young people with their mental wellbeing.
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