Advice and resources for parents and carers
1. Supporting children and young people’s mental health
- Supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing Guidance published by Public Health England for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Translations available in French, Arabic, Bengali, Gujrati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Chinese and Urdu.
- Supporting children as lockdown eases BBC Bitesize article by Dr Cyra Neave (Senior Clinician in the Schools Outreach team at the Anna Freud Cenre) about six ways in which to support your children as lockdown eases.
- Supporting children and young people with eating disorders Advice published on Good Thinking (Digital Mental Health platform) for parents and carers about 10 ways in supporting children and young people with eating disorders.
- Changes in routine: Advice for families with children with autistic spectrum disorder and learning disabilities Advice published on Good Thinking (Digital Mental Health platform) for parents and carers of children with autism spectrum disorder and learning disabilities on how to support and manage changes in routine.
- Advice for parents and carers of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Good Thinking (digital mental health platform) provides advice for parents and carers of children with ADHD. In this article you can find 10 useful tips on how to manage this, and how you can calmly explain to your child what the current situation is in relation to coronavirus.
- Supporting with worries about COVID-19 Advice published on Emerging Minds (research network for children and young people) about how to support children with worries about Covid-19 which includes key resources and general tips on how to manage this.
- Helping to cope with stress during the pandemic Infographic published by the World Health Organisation on how parents and carers can support children and young people coping with stress due to the pandemic.
- Supporting anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic BBC Bitesize article for parents and carers, by Vicki Curri (Director of Training Programmes for child mental health professionals at the Anna Freud Centre). This is about 8 ways in which to support your child during this time based on research into childhood anxiety.
- Recovery is possible for everyone Advice published by South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust around recovery after being diagnosed with a mental health condition and classes available at their recovery college.
- FREE BOOK: Everybody worries Online access to a free book called ‘Everybody Worries’ by Jon Burgerman for children who may be feeling worried or anxious about anything at all.
- Book: My Hero is You Free online access to a book published by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Reference Group, for on how kids can fight COVID-19. It is called ‘My Hero is You’ and was developed for and by children around the world.
- Advice for parenting teens during COVID-19 Advice published by Home-Start for parenting teens during Covid-19. Home-Start is a local community network of volunteers and expert support helping families with young children through challenging times.
- Creating a Quiet Space for Kids Advice from Bright Horizons Blog about how parents can create a quiet ‘time out’ place for children who may need some time alone when they are feeling sad or down.
- Mindfulness A booklet on mindfulness techniques for children and young people published by Healthy London Partnership. This includes graphics that can be printed as reminders such as STAR breathing, 5 ways to manage big emotions, breathing techniques and more.
- Child in Mind Podcasts Anna Freud (National Centre for Children and Families) have created a series of podcasts called ‘Child in Mind’ for parents to help them understand and manage child and family mental health problems. It is presented by Claudia Hammond (BBC Radio 4).
- Getting support: Youth Wellbeing Directory- Service Near You Anna Freud (National Centre for Children and Families) have created a directory in which you can find the closest mental health services near you. You can search by postcode or area, by name of service or by issue or topic.
2. Looking after your mental health and wellbeing
Good Thinking is a digital mental health platform which provides resources for when people need urgent support. Good Thinking homepage features a grid of tiles which has been designed to help people navigate the areas they may want help with such as anxiety, sleep, low mood & stress.
- Resources on Good Thinking There are resources available on Good Thinking for parents and carers such as NHS-approved wellbeing apps, as well as workbooks, guides, podcasts, and blogs to help you and your family.
- Be Mindful is a free NHS approved online mindfulness course. It helps people to reduce stress levels, anxiety, and depression through mindfulness techniques.
- Meditainment is a free app which provides lifetime access to an online library of 20 guided meditations. It allows the user to explore and reflect on a range of wellbeing topics.
- MyCognitionPro is a free NHS approved cognitive fitness and mental resilience programme to be used 15 minutes per day. It optimises your general mental wellbeing and supports you to manage your life. The app can be used on both iOS and Android devices.
- My Positive Self is a free app that has been clinically proven to improve the mental health and wellbeing for people. You take a questionnaire to identify areas you may need help with, eg. stress/anxiety and the app will suggest modules and apps which help you tackle these issues. You can also track how you feel everyday with the app’s mood tracker!
- Tomo is a free app to support with anxiety, poor sleep and keeping on top of everyday tasks. Tomo’s personalised suggestions, prompts and feedback help you to identify positive habits and build achievable change over time.
BBC Bitesize article about 5 ways to manage your wellbeing during lockdown.
South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust provide information on why physical health is important.
South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust provide information on how mental health can be affected by your physical health and how exercise can help in the treatment and prevention of many illnesses.
Article by Nicola Labuschagne, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Anna Freud Centre on how to manage your time and what you can do if you need support.
Dr Abigail Wright, a member of the DECP Committee, has produced some helpful advice for parents and carers dealing with new babies and young children during this pandemic. She also provides Top tips for protecting parent/carer wellbeing.
Article on BBC Bitesize By Dr Laura Talbot, Clinical Psychologist at the Anna Freud Centre on understanding the positive changes of lockdown and how to plan for the future.
A BBC Podcast where Dr Sheila Redfern (a child and adolescent psychologist treating young people affected by lockdown) answers questions from worried parents and provides advice on how to talk to young people in this uncertain period.
This Home-Start webpage provides information on the ‘curves’ of early infant crying and how to look after your mental health when you are struggling to cope with a crying baby.
This Home-Start Web page provides advice on how to deal with loss and what the grief process can be like. There are useful contact numbers for parents, grandparents, and bereavement support.
This Home-Start webpage provides information for parents on how to help children manage their emotions and outlines useful contact numbers that parents can call for help.
This Home-Start webpage provides advice on 7 ways in which you can look after yourself after having a baby. It also outlines available services where you can find support.
3. Coping with Loneliness
- What you can do if you feel lonely during the coronavirus outbreak Advice from the NHS about 7 ways in which you can help yourself if you are feeling lonely during the coronavirus outbreak.
- Loneliness during coronavirus Mental Health Foundation provides some advice on what to do if you are feeling lonely. This is translated into Arabic, French, Farsi, Somalian, Tigrinya, Urdu and Cymraeg.
- Tips to manage loneliness Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales. This page on loneliness, gives tips on how to manage it, what type of support is available and certain type of therapies that may benefit you.
- Get help with loneliness Advice from the NHS on what to do (and what not to do) if you are feeling lonely and where you can get help.
4. Return to School
- Preparing for the return to school An article by Mental Health Foundation with tips for parents and caregivers – on how to prepare for your child’s return to school.
- Helping children transition back to nursery Anna Freud National Health Centre for families has created a booklet for parents about 8 ways parents and carers can manage the transition back to nursery to make the process as stress free for children as possible.
- How teachers are tackling the return to school This is a podcast by BBC Bitesize about how teachers are tackling the return to school.
- What parents and carers need to know about educational settings This is guidance from the Department of Education. It is information for parents/carers about attending schools, nurseries, and colleges in the Spring term 2021.
5. Talking to young people about coronavirus
- An article about Talking to your child about coronavirus Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity for fighting for children and young people’s mental health. This article provides 10 tips from their parents helpline on how to talk to people about Coronavirus.
- A book for children: Coronavirus ‘Coronavirus’ a free book for children by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson and Nia Roberts.
- Talking to children about illness Advice for adults on how to talk to children 0-13+ about illness, published by the British Psychological Society.
- Eight tips to help comfort and young people This article by UNICEF explains how to talk to your child about coronavirus and outlines 8 tips to help comfort and protect children.
- Answering questions from young people Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity with over 25 years’ experience working with pupils, families and staff in UK schools. This page has helpful information for parents/educational professionals on how to answer questions from children relating to coronavirus.
- Supporting and reassuring children under 8 years old with their emotions during the pandemic The Covibook written by Manula Molina is a free printable book aimed at children under the age of 7. It encourages families to discuss the full range of emotions that may arise from the current situation.
- Supporting one another during the coronavirus outbreak This article written by the Anna Freud National Health Centre for families, provides information and tips to families about how they can work together and support one another during this pandemic.
6. What to do if your child is unwell
Advice for parents during the pandemic This is an infographic for parents created by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. It includes advice for what you should/ who to call if your child is displaying symptoms an illness.
7. Resources to support parents & carers during the pandemic
- COVID-19 Resource Pack This is a Covid-19 resource pack for parents by the Early Intervention team in CAMHS in Grampian. It explains what Covod-10 is and tips on managing anxiety/activities at home/having difficult conversations with children/routines and more.
- Book: Good days in unusual times This is a free book that can be downloaded for children and young people called ‘Good days in unusual times’ by Marie Geert Jensen. It gives children’s tips on how to take care of themselves and have good days.
- Information for families and children with disabilities Contact is a charity which works with families with disabled children and provides guidance and advice and holds family workshops/events.
8. Home Learning
- Online Safety and Remote Education The Society of Occupational Medicine is the UK organisation for all healthcare professionals working in or with an interest in occupational health. This is guidance aimed at supporting parents who are educating their children at home and gives advice on how to meet the impact of home learning.
- Supporting your children’s remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance published by the Department of Education about how to support children’s remote education during the pandemic. There are links to various organisations who offer information and support on mental health and wellbeing.
- Oak National Academy for Parents and Carers Oak National Academy is an online classroom made by teachers for teachers. There are about 10,000 lessons which cover a wide range of subjects from Early years to Year 11. Teachers can download/edit/adapt lesson slides and share with other teachers/pupils .
- Coronavirus and UK schools’ closures The British Psychological Society published a resource paper to support and provide advice for schools and parents/careers in relation to school closures due to Covid-19.
9. Fun activities
- Indoor activities Article about easy ways for kids to keep active if you cannot get outdoors. Change4Life (NHS) aims to ensure parents have the essential support and tools they need to make healthier choices for their families.
- Activity Village Activity Village is aimed at parents and provides activates to keep children busy in fun and productive ways. There are thousands of pages of crafts, pintables and educational activities, puzzles, and games.
- Yoga and Mindfulness Cosmic Kids, founded in 2012, is a website which provides yoga videos for children to encourage mindfulness. Included is content on breathing/relaxation and visualisation techniques.
- Obstacle Courses Created by Beacon House, this YouTube video provides information about how to get children to do obstacle courses as an activity and the benefits of keeping them active and entertained.
- Outside In activities Sustrans is a charity whose aim is to create healthier places and healthier people. Their ‘Outside In’ newsletter which parents can sign up to includes weekly inspiration for kids’ activities, games, and challenges.
- Fun and educational resources on nature and the environment Suntrap at Home, provide inspiration for things to do with children at home. There is a range of fun, educational ideas you can do with your children, safely at home or in your local green space.