Supporting Emotional Wellbeing
Looking after your emotional well-being and that of your children and young people is important at this time.
As well as implications for physical health, the unprecedented outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is very likely to have a significant impact upon the emotional well-being of people around the world. It is a distressing, confusing and worrying time for adults for multiple reasons and it is likely that many children are experiencing high levels of anxiety. This may be worsened by finding it hard to fully comprehend what is happening, or difficulties expressing their emotions verbally, for example.
The Government have published information and advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Wellbeing support guide
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, some of the services provided by Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust are working in different ways, and some have ceased for the time being. They have produced the following leaflet with information to help direct families, children and young people to services available to support them during this time.
Young people across Worcestershire can access support, advice and information on a range of health and wellbeing issues via text using the ChatHealth service. ChatHealth is a confidential text messaging service that enables children and young people aged 11-19 years to contact their local public health nursing (school nursing) team. The service is currently available between 9:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Friday and can be accessed by texting 07507331750.
Mental health support
You can find more information and links to services which may help you with dealing with mental health issues during Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Supporting a child or young person with SEND
Hygiene and safety
Here are some links and resources to help children and young people understand how to keep themselves safe in the current situation.
Contact are a charity for families with disabled children, also have a dedicated section on their website which has lots of useful information, including coping at Home.
NHS Worcestershire Healthy Minds
You may also find information on this NHS website helpful too.
Speech and Language Therapy
The Speech and Language Therapy service of Worcestershire’s Health and Care NHS Trust have dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) pages on their website.
They ask: ‘Are you a parent or a carer with children with additional needs or communication difficulties?
It is a difficult time for everyone. As adults it is difficult for us to take in all the information and change that Coronavirus (COVID-19). has caused in our lives. It is even harder to help children and young people cope with all the uncertainties and disruption. Children who are feeling anxious and unsettled often show this in different ways, including through their behaviour or communication.
We are here to help you.’
Go onto their website to find details on how you can email them for support or browse the Coronavirus (COVID-19). related resources.
Many of the disability organisations are offering specific Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and information for parents of children and young people with SEND. You can use our database of useful websites to search for disability specific organisations and charities to get more information and resources to help.
In addition you can find information, advice and support on the following websites
Information and advice for parents to help a child with Autism
Reading list of books for children who are worried or anxious,
Parent’s and carer’s emotional wellbeing
Although you can’t meet up with your friends and family in person you can still stay in touch on the telephone, video calls and through social media.
Many support groups have an online presence and they may be a good way of sharing ideas and stories. You can search for ones in your area here:
Worcestershire Association of Carers
Worcestershire Association of Carers have a helpline if you would like to speak to someone:
Telephone: 0300 012 4272
Opening times: Monday to Sunday from 8:00am to 8:00pm.
They also have a website, which tells you more about what they do.
Some children will be confused about the school closures. Here are some links and resources to help them understand, there are a variety of resources for all children.
Activities outside can help – making the most of your exercise time by going for a walk (making sure you keep 2 metres apart from others who are not members of your household group) or gardening.
There is also a section on Worcestershire County Council’s main Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpages with lots of ideas for keeping children entertained, though not specifically for children with SEND.