Mental health advice for young people during COVID-19

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As well as posing a threat to our physical health, the coronavirus outbreak can also have a detrimental effect on our mental health. With schools closed and the country now in a period of lockdown, the coronavirus has had a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of young people in particular.

Here at Youth Fed, we are continuing to support all of our young people through online courses and mentoring services. Our New Futures and Talent Match programmes allow the young people experiencing mental ill health to meet via Zoom, with the additional opportunity to have fun online through various quizzes and competitions.

Our Mental Health First Aid and Youth Group Support Officer, Emma Ward, comments:

“Supporting young people and their mental health is indeed a priority in such unprecedented times, and we have experienced a 100% increased demand for support here at Youth Fed.

“Some of our young people have reported poor motivation levels to get up in the morning which is disrupting their sleep routine, which in turn can affect mood and behaviour. The restrictions around social distancing and seeing family and friends has had a significant impact on them, with many not having access to video chat technology to stay connected.

However, the consistent support and continued communication we have been able to offer here at Youth Fed, both with young people and their parents, has been of huge benefit. It’s been a very rewarding experience being able to offer such an invaluable resource during this time.”

One of the parents of our young people shared some feedback on how Youth Fed’s online support has benefitted them by giving them guidance on how to support their child during this time:

“We have never been able to share our concerns about or son before and have very little knowledge of mental health. We have felt at a loss as to what to do especially during this lockdown. Youth Fed’s support was really helpful for both of us and we can now take the knowledge on board and be more supportive as parents. Thank you once again!”

There are a number of online resources that can be used to provide support during this time. One such resource is the interactive quiz Your Mind Plan from Every Mind Matters, designed to offer specially tailored advice and top tips surrounding mental health based on your results.

You can complete the quiz for yourself here: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/your-mind-plan-quiz/

Public Health England have put together some comprehensive advice and information on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak, such as maintaining contact with friends and family via telephone and video calls, keeping a regular routine and sleeping pattern or taking up a new hobby. This resource also offers tailored advice to parents and carers on how to support young people with stress during this time.

You can read it in full here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing

Mind has also put together some guidance specially aimed at young people who are dealing with worry or anxiety during self-isolation. This resource contains lots of advice and information on how young people can deal with these new changes to their lifestyle.

The guide in full can be found here: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

If you would like to find out more about how Youth Fed’s online mental health support services during this time, please get in touch with emma.ward@youthfed.org