It’s been a very challenging few months for our children. A recent survey by YoungMinds found that, among young people with a history of mental health needs, 80% agreed that the coronavirus pandemic had made their mental health worse, with increased feelings of anxiety, isolation, and loss of their usual coping mechanisms.
Other studies like this one have found parents of primary age children reporting increases in their child’s emotional difficulties during the lockdown, like feeling unhappy, worried, being clingy or showing physical symptoms of anxiety.
As a strange summer holiday approaches, with potentially more isolation from their friends and even less routine, it’s really important that we prioritise children and young people’s mental health, and help them to look after their own wellbeing too – even those who have coped well so far.
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has produced a couple of great self-care activity books for primary and secondary age young people to use over the summer. We’d encourage parents to have a look and download these for their kids – you can also print them out if you have a printer.
Here’s to a strange but positive summer!