Mental Health and Wellbeing
Advice for Parents
The coronavirus outbreak may cause you to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, helpless, overwhelmed, confused or angry. It's important to remember it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently to different events.
There are some simple things you can do to help you take care of your mental health and wellbeing during times of uncertainty – and doing so will help you think clearly and make sure you are able to look after yourself and those you care about.
Here are 10 ways you can help improve your mental health and wellbeing if you are worried or anxious about the coronavirus outbreak. For specific tips and advice if you are staying at home, read our advice on maintaining your mental wellbeing while staying at home.
Action plan with simple steps to help you look after your mental health:
Cosmic Kids Yoga - YouTube
5 Minute Move | Kids Workout 1 | The Body Coach TV - YouTube
NHS Home workout videos
Getting exercise doesn't need to be difficult – you don't even need to leave the house! Clear some space in the living room and give these easy 10-minute workouts a go:
YOUNG MINDS Parents’ Guide To Support A-Z
Our A-Z gives you advice on how to help your child with specific mental health conditions and life events which might be negatively affecting their wellbeing. We'll also show you where you can get help:
YOUNG MINDS Talking to your child about coronavirus
If your child is worried or anxious about coronavirus, here’s our Parents Helpline experts’ advice on what you can do.
Ten tips from our Parents Helpline:
- Try not to shield your child from the news, as it’s likely they will find out somehow from school, being online or from friends.
- Talk to your child about what is going on - you could start by asking them what they have heard.
- Try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age-appropriate manner. Remember, you do not need to know all the answers, but talking can help them feel calm.
- Reassure your child that it is unlikely they will get seriously ill, and if they do you feel ill you will look after them. Your child might be concerned about who will look after you if you catch the virus. Let them know the kind of support you have as an adult so that they don’t feel they need to worry about you.
- Give some practical tips to your child about how they can look after themselves. For example, show them how to wash their hands properly, and remind them when they should be doing it.
- Keep as many regular routines as possible, so that your child feels safe and that things are stable.
- Spend time doing a positive activity with your child (e.g. reading, playing, painting, cooking) to help reassure them and reduce their anxiety. This is also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’. For activities ideas, visit our starting a conversation with your child guide.
- Encourage your child to think about the things they can do to make them feel safer and less worried.
- Be aware that your child may want more close contact with you at this time and feel anxious about separation. Try to provide this support whenever possible.
- Remember to look after yourself too. If you yourself are feeling worried, or anxious about coronavirus, talk to someone you trust who can listen and support you.
Headspace – Underlying calm
Headspace- A mini meditation for self-care
Headspace – Training the mind, changing perspective
A public health England and NHS site to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others.
Quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Coronavirus mental health support
Everyday mindfulness and meditation for stress, anxiety, sleep, focus and fitnesshttps://www.actionforhappiness.org/
Times are tough for many people right now. Parents find themselves pulled in many different direction and children may be struggling being in the house for so much longer than usual.
A mixture of concern about covid, work from home and children at home, along with a possible financial impact make for a stressful household.
Young Minds have created a useful 'Supporting Parents Helpfinder'. By answering six questions, parents can find out how to support their child's mental health during the pandemic (and beyond).
Find the help finder here: https://youngminds.org.uk/supporting-parents-helpfinder/
Fegans Counselling Service
Fegans Counselling Service have now launched an online referral form for their parent support work. This can be found at www.fegans.org.uk/referrals and follows the same easy to use format as their counselling referral form.
If you think you or your family would benefit from working 1:1 with one of the experienced and trained team for support via zoom with family communication, establishing routines, managing behaviour and more then please do refer in.
If families are able to contribute to this that would be great, however Fegans fundraise to provide bursaries for this, so that money is not a barrier to support for anyone.