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Child mental health and wellbeing
Taking care of physical and mental health is crucial at this time: read our practical tips.
- Be available, as much as possible, to listen to your child and find out what will help them to cope. If your child is feeling particularly anxious and worried about coronavirus, take time to comfort them and reassure them that they’re safe. For further information on how to support your child if they are feeling worried check out Young Minds and the Anna Freud Foundation.
- Create opportunities for your child to relax and spend time doing things they enjoy. Remember, for young children, play and learning are not mutually exclusive! Children and young people say that watching TV/ films, learning new skills and reading books are all helpful for mental health and are also educational. Keeping a daily routine can be helpful to ensure learning is balanced with other activities. Having structure can also help you manage things like screen time as well as bringing some order to the day.
- Do physical activity with your child every day, where possible. The Government’s guidance is that you can leave your home to do exercise once a day: make sure you follow the advice to stay safe, and to keep others safe. For help on how to keep your child active for an hour a day at home, check out these free resources by Sports England and Youth Sports Trust.
- Help your child and family stay connected with others online or by phone. If you are worried about online safety, check out Childnet for tips on how to keep your child safe online and how to make the most of the internet as a family.
- Make sure that you know who to contact in the school if you/your child need more support, including if you need support with getting food. If your child has existing arrangements for additional support in school, get in touch with the appropriate member of staff to work out how best to continue this arrangement online.
- Understanding what self-care techniques that work/are appropriate for your child may be particularly important to further support their mental health and wellbeing during this time. Find out more about self-care here.
There are lots of organisations which can help support your mental health and your child’s. Useful websites for parents, carers, children and young people include:
If your child has a specific diagnosed mental health condition or has a special educational need or learning disability, you may find the following websites useful:
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