PHE’s new mental health campaign offers ‘practical tips’ to children, young people

​THE NEW mental health campaign by Public Health England (PHE) provides NHS-endorsed, practical tips and advice to help children and young people’s mental wellbeing.

Available on the Every Mind Matters website,the campaign is designed to help parents and carers spot the signs that children may be struggling with their mental health and support them.

Besides, it provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their own mental health.

Around 52 per cent parents of a new PHE survey revealed that mental wellbeing of their children topped the list when asked about their top three worries around coronavirus.

Over two-fifths (41 per cent) of children and young people responded to the survey said they were more lonely than before coronavirus lockdown and more than a third said they were more worried (38 per cent).

“It’s understandable that while many children and young people are excited to be back in class, some may also have concerns and anxieties about the new academic year, following the uncertainty and upheaval of Covid, which is why this important campaign is offering practical tips to help kids cope,” said professor Prathiba Chitsabesan, NHS England associate national clinical director for children and young people’s mental health.

“Parents, carers, teachers and students should also be reassured that the NHS has been and will continue to be there for everyone with concerns about their mental health, whether through 24/7 crisis
support lines, video and phone consultations, or face to face appointments.”

Faisal Tariq, a community development worker at Sharing Voices, a mental health organisation in Bradford said: “We know from our work within the community in Bradford that throughout the pandemic and as young people have gone back into school settings that many are struggling with anxiety for a whole host of reasons. For many black and South Asian people, this has been more pronounced due to the fact that these communities have been disproportionately affected by negative health outcomes when it comes to Covid-19.”

“It’s not always clear for parents how they can address these concerns, a factor which can be heightened in black and South Asian communities for reasons such as language or cultural barriers.”

NHS’s top 5 tips for mental wellbeing

  • 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
  • Stay involved in their life: Show interest in their life and the things that are important to them
  • Support positive routines: Be a positive role model and support positive behaviours including regular bedtime routines, healthy eating and getting active
  • 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
  • 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.

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