29 January 2021
To support Children's Mental Health Week staff working in the NHS and health and social care can speak to our Keeping Well Service if you need to talk through any worries you are having with a professional.
Start a conversation on the live chat here www.keepingwellnwl.nhs.uk or www.keepingwellblmk.nhs.uk (click on the one closest to where you live or work). You can also talk to CNWL Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service www.cnwl.nhs.uk/camhs
Tips for parents and those looking after children
- Try to be open: Have regular conversations with your child about Covid-19 and how you're helping in the fight against it. You know your child best so consider any concerns they might have and questions they might ask. Stick to the facts, acknowledge their fears and reassure them that you’re there for them. Younger children might find this guide to coronavirus useful and you might like to listen to Good Thinking's podcast about supporting the whole family through the pandemic.
- Try to keep calm: Your child will take cues from you so try to stay calm when you’re around them, even if you’re feeling stressed. Coronavirus is unsettling for all of us and, for children and young people, it might result in changes in behaviour. You might like to direct your child to Good Thinking's advice about dealing with uncertainty and anger. CNWL’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service is a place that children and young people can come to talk about problems they are having. Visit www.cnwl.nhs.uk/camhs CAMHS have worked with children and young people, their families and other professionals to develop this useful library of information, tools and information about children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health www.cnwl.nhs.uk/camhs/your-resources
- Try to stick to a routine: Children are used to having a routine so it’s useful to agree as a family what it will look like right now – you might even like to draw up a schedule and put it on the wall. It could include time for schoolwork, exercise, screen time, chores, fresh air breaks and bedtime. Listen to Good Thinking's podcast about the importance of sleep and read this article about developing healthy habits. CNWL has a sleep webinar for staff too under the heading ‘wellbeing webinars’
- Try to keep fit and healthy: Encourage your child to stay active and eat healthily. If they can't do their usual sports and hobbies during lockdown, could they do #PEwithJoe, take part in a TikTok dance challenge or go for a bike ride? The NHS Change4Life website contains lots of top tips for eating well and moving more.
- Ask for help: If your child has any specific concerns, such as bereavement, bullying or eating disorders, there is lots of help available. CNWL’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service is a place that children and young people can come to talk about problems they are having. Visit www.cnwl.nhs.uk/camhs You can also check out the articles in the Good Thinking Young People section where you'll find links to websites and helplines, such as Beat, Childline and The Mix
If you're concerned about how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting your child, you might find these tips helpful. Good Thinking, London's online mental wellbeing service, provides support for families across the capital is offering wellbeing advice for parents and those looking after children. For free workbooks and apps visit the Good Thinking website.