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 returning. There may also have been bullying online or problems with peer relationships while children 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. Children might also be worried because they don’t know what to expect when they get back to school.
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.
Think about ways you can help children prepare to return to school. For example, sending them pictures of how school looks different, sharing reassuring messages from staff or giving children information on who will be working with them.
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 and think about ways you can support their mental health and wellbeing.
> Take a look at our resources for supporting children during the pandemic