Most families have experienced upheaval in their daily lives during the pandemic. Public Health England (PHE)’s Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to look after children and young people’s mental wellbeing.
Research reveals that the coronavirus outbreak has caused an increase in anxiety in young people, and over a third of children report being more worried, sad and stressed than before lockdown. PHE survey data found that over half (52%) of parents said the mental wellbeing of their children topped the list of their biggest worries.
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 show the actions they can take to 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.
The 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.
Parenting can be tough, and it's important to make sure you look after your own mental wellbeing as well as your family's. Along with the benefits for you, doing so can also help you support others when they need it.