Supporting children's mental health
Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Everyone will have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic in different ways. Some children may have found it difficult to spend more time at home, some children may have experienced a bereavement and some parents may have lost their jobs. Children may also have been unable to access support they usually receive from professionals such as mental health services or counsellors.
> Find out what children have been talking to Childline about during the pandemic
Feelings about going back to school
Children might have different feelings about returning to school. Some might be anxious for a range of reasons, while others may be excited.
Children who have previously experienced bullying at school may be worried about seeing their peers again. Some children may have experienced online bullying or problems with peer relationships while they were learning at home.
Some children may be feeling anxious about catching up on school work or worried that they’ve fallen behind during the pandemic.
Make time to talk to children about all the changes that are happening at the moment. Ask them how they feel and if there is anything in particular that’s making them uncomfortable about being in school. It might be possible to make small changes to make things easier.
Consider how your school can provide support to children with mental health issues or those who may be struggling at this time. Think about how you will identify children who may need extra support as they return to school.
Make sure children know who in school they can talk to if they are worried about anything. Remind them that they can talk to Childline about any worries or problems they might be having.
Make sure that you have up-to-date contact information for local child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and check whether referral processes have changed.
> Read more about recognising and responding to children’s mental health issues
> Learn more about promoting wellbeing
> Find out more about supporting children’s mental health during coronavirus
> See Childline’s page for children worried about coronavirus
> See our resources for promoting healthy relationships
Outside of school
Make sure you continue to keep in touch with children who are not attending school, for example if their family has to self-isolate. Think about ways you can support their mental health and wellbeing.
These children might be worried because they don’t know what to expect when they get back to school. Think about ways you can help them prepare to return. For example, you might be able to keep in touch with them, send them pictures of how school looks different, share reassuring messages from staff and peers, or give them information on who will be working with them.
> Take a look at our resources for supporting children during the pandemic