General Health and Mental Health and Wellbeing
School provides children with a routine, some certainty and stability. Even when it comes to the summer holiday we all know how long that holiday will be and when we will be returning to school. But at the moment that routine has been disrupted and we do not know how long it will be for. Some children may be asking questions of parents which are difficult to answer.
We are also in a position where there is 'something dangerous' lurking out there. Children will have questions which need answering.
There are several sources of support to parents about children's general health as well as mental health and wellbeing.
Emotional Literacy Support. We have three ELSAs in school (Emotional Literacy Support Assistants). These are staff members who have undergone training to provide emotional support to children. Parents can access a huge number of free resources which you might find useful to introduce to your child.
The Educational Psychology Service is still available to parents throughout the school closure. There is a helpline to ring for advice for such things as supporting children to maintain positive mental well-being, talking with your child about COVID-19, developing healthy routines or any on-going concerns you may have about your child's development.
The Public Health (School) Nurse may not be able to meet you face-to-face about your child but you can access a dedicated, confidential and secure text messaging service called ChatHealth for parents and carers of children aged 0-19, which enables you to get professional health advice and support.
Leicestershire NHS has developed a self-care kit for primary school aged children, available on the Health for Kids website, which is aimed at looking after their emotional health and wellbeing during this time. The kit covers lots of topics, including staying healthy, handling emotions, letting go of worries and staying connected, plus some fun things to do whilst at home. There are breathing exercises, advice on conversation starters, a postcard that can be filled in with a message to family member or friend they are missing and much more.
Liverpool CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) have put together a number of resources for parents to help you support your children through this time. They can be found here: https://wakelet.com/wake/564d7bc8-4bc9-462f-a9e1-2deb03150c3
Newsround have put together a programme which explains coronavirus, what it is and what it is really all about. It provides a realistic view as well as gives clear messages about what we should all be doing to reduce its spread. https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/51861089
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has produced a range of resources to use at home.
The government has produced some guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing, including an 'easy read guide to looking after your feelings and your body'.