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Support for Families

The situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has placed a strain on all of us.  We hope that the following links may be of some help to families during this difficult time.

NHS Mental Health Support Team Newsletter - Jan 2021

Mental Health and Wellbeing (Government Guidance)

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Some children and young people may be experiencing feelings of anxiety, stress or low mood as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Schools and colleges will continue to offer pastoral support to any pupils who need to work remotely.

Support for children and parents

There are a range of online resources to help you support your child with mental health and wellbeing, including:

  • MindEd - a free educational resource on children and young people’s mental health
  • Every Mind Matters - an online tool and email journey to support everyone in taking action to look after their mental health and wellbeing
  • Bereavement UK and the Childhood Bereavement Network - information and resources to support bereaved pupils, schools and staff

PHE’s advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing includes key actions you can take to support your child. It also emphasises the importance of children continuing to remain fit and active and, wherever possible, having the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Youth Sport Trust and Sport England have advice and support on helping children and young people stay physically active.

Use the DfE blog to find mental health resources for children, parents, carers and school staff.

NHS mental health services remain open, and have digital tools to connect with people and provide ongoing support. Please use your local children and young people’s mental health service when needed.

Support for children and young people

Get free, confidential support at any time by:

  • texting SHOUT to 85258
  • calling Childline on 0800 1111
  • calling the Mix on 0808 808 4994

Find help online through:

  • Young Minds - information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and mental health
  • Think Ninja - a free app for 10 to 18 year olds to help build resilience and stay well
  • Every Mind Matters - building resilience and supporting good mental health in young people aged 10 to 16

PHE has also launched new e-learning which can help parents and carers to support their children and young people in emergency or crisis situations.

Barnardo’s See, Hear, Respond service, provides support to children, young people and their families who are not currently seeing a social worker or other agency, and who are struggling to cope with the emotional impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). Use the See, Hear, Respond self-referral webpage or Freephone 0800 151 7015.

It is also vital to report any safeguarding concerns you have about any child. Contact the NSPCC helpline.

Helping your Child - Emotional Wellbeing

Read this excellent Advice from the British Psychological Society.

Be open and honest, in an age appropriate way, when speaking with your child.

If you don't know an answer, it is okay so say so. If possible, suggest finding an answer together.

Set aside time to talk about the day and how your child is feeling.  The Young Minds charity has advice about Conversation Starters.

Role-model talking about your own feelings and show how you manage them; this will help your child to learn their own strategies. Explain that all feelings are ok.  We just need to learn how to share them and cope appropriately.

If your child's behaviour is out of control, step back and wait for a situation to calm down before speaking with them.

If your child does not want to share their thoughts or feelings, you could suggest writing them down, if they would like to that instead.

You may find this Flyer about Anxiety from our Parent Support Worker helpful.

The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Educational Psychology run a telephone support line - 02392 441497 during the current COVID-19 pandemic, which is open to parents/carers on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9:30am - 11:00am

You may find the following information on anxiety useful:  What is Anxiety? and Tips for helping your child manage worries and anxiety.

Please also see this Family Wellbeing Pack during COVID1 from the Havant School Nursing Team.

Useful Links:

www.youngminds.org.uk/

www.familylives.org.uk/

www.solentmind.org.uk/

www.worrywisekids.org/

Crisis Line for Children and Young People (Hants and IOW Leaflet)

 

Helping your Child - Sleep

The environment your child sleeps in is important. 

TRY TO AVOID
  • Decorate in neutral, calming colours.
  • Keep the bedroom a positive space.
  • Keep the room as dark as you can. Blackout blinds can be helpful, particularly during the summer months. (If your child is afraid of the dark, you could try a night light with a soft glow.)
  • Make the bedroom a screen free zone (this includes computers and mobile phones). Technology can stimulate rather than help relax.
  • For some children who are sensitive to outside noises, white noise can help to mask out background noise.
  • Using the bedroom as a place where your child is sent as a sanction.
  • Having the bedroom too warm. Ideally the temperature should be around 16 to 18 degrees Celsius.
  • Installing distracting props such as mobiles and light shows.
  • Leaving toys in view, as  they can be tempting for little ones to get out of bed and play with.

Also, have a routine and keep it consistent:

  • Allow time for relaxing together, including bath time and reading a story.
  • There should be no technology during the bedtime routine - ideally not for an hour before bed.
  • Plan in time for talking 1-1. Speak about the day and offer encouragement. Each day starts afresh so do not continue talk about anything negative from today, rather focus on moving forward.
  • Check if your child needs the toilet or drink at a suitable time before bed so they are not asking for these things after saying goodnight.

The Children's Sleep Charity offers tips on Bedtime Routines and Relaxation Tips for Bedtime.

Helping your Child - Behaviour

Read our advice to Managing Behaviour

Useful Links:

www.empoweringparents.com/

Helping your Child - Motivation for Learning