Parents and carers are being given top tips to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people during the coronavirus emergency.

Public Health England has put together a guide – available at GOV.UK - which includes advice about helping children and young people to cope with stress and how children of different ages might react to the crisis, as well as information specific to young carers, children and young people in receipt of mental health services, and children with disabilities, autism or physical health issues.

It also includes details of organisations which can support children and young people such as Shout, Childline and The Mix, and Young Minds for Parents and Carers.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The coronavirus emergency is affecting everyone’s daily lives, and regardless of their age, this may be a difficult time for children and young people, particularly those who are having to take an extended break from school.

"How a child or young person reacts to this will vary according to their age, how they understand information and communicate, their previous experiences, and how they typically cope with stress. They might have worrying thoughts about their health or that of family and friends, might have problems sleeping, or they may show physical symptoms such as stomach ache.

"Some may react right away, while others may show signs of difficulty later on – or not at all. Whatever happens during this time, it’s important that parents and carers do all they can to take care of their family’s mental health, as well as their own, and there are lots of things you can do and support is available if you need it."

Please visit GOV.UK for further details. There is also an easy read guide for children, and for young people with learning disabilities, around looking after their feelings and body during the coronavirus emergency. 

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information.  There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Advice for everyone

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind.