Latest data from a Public Health England (PHE) survey in the South West has found over half the parents who took part said their children’s mental wellbeing has been one of their biggest worries during COVID. It has also been reported that children and young people are among the population groups expressing higher levels of stress and anxiety since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic.
To address these latest findings, Public Health England (PHE) has launched a new campaign to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Better Health – Every Mind Matters offers NHS-approved tips and advice to enable parents and carers to look after their children’s mental wellbeing and spot any signs their children might be struggling with mental health.
Every Mind Matters is a website developed in partnership with children and young people’s metal health charities, including Young Minds, The Mix, Place2Be and the Anna Freud Centre.
Jan Bond Health and Wellbeing programme lead for Mental Health in children and young people at Public Health England South West said: “The coronavirus pandemic has been very hard on children and young people. Now children are returning to school, after the extended absence as a result of the national lockdown, this could be both exciting and extremely stressful for children and young people, resulting in raised anxiety.
“We are encouraging young people to speak up and ask for help if they are struggling with stress and anxiety. Parents and carers play a really important role when prepared to listen, be open and respond with understanding when any child or young person asks for help.
“The Every Mind Matters campaign should give both children and young people; and parents and carers the tools and confidence to respond about any worries they may have during this time of change and uncertainty.”
To engage parents and carers a powerful short film has been created featuring a range of celebrity parents including Davina McCall, Marvin Humes, Sean Fletcher, Katie Piper and Edith Bowman, reading extracts from best-selling author Charlie Mackesy’s well-known book, ‘The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse’. The emotive extracts all touch upon mental health and aim to encourage parents to visit the Every Mind Matters website.
TV presenter Davina McCall said: “Children have missed out on so much during lockdown and like lots of other parents, I’ve wanted to support mine as much as I possibly can. As we’re starting to go back to normality and there’s still a lot of uncertainty for our kids, it’s important we’re there for them through their ups and downs – communication is so important. For anyone that’s concerned or worried, or just want some tips on how to support them, please search Every Mind Matters.”
Top five tips
- Be there to listen
- Stay involved in their life
- Support positive routines
- Encourage their interests
- Take what they say seriously