Talking to Children about Coronavirus
The Children’s Commissioner has created a children’s guide to coronavirus which aims to answer children’s questions about coronavirus, tell children how to stay safe and protect other people and how to help them make the best of their time at home.
‘Coronavirus: A Book for Children’ has also been published by Noisy Crow books, containing child friendly information about the virus. It has been illustrated by Axel Scheffler and presents the information in a warm, familiar and accessible format.
For very young children, both the resources above will provide a useful reference for appropriate messages that adults can share when talking to children about the coronavirus.
Supporting Children’s Mental Health
The government has published additional mental health guidance: Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This advice is to help adults with caring responsibilities look after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people, including those with additional needs and disabilities, during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Negative experiences and distressing life events, such as the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of children and their parents. Practitioners should be aware of this in supporting parents and their children, whether they are in a setting or at home.
Where practitioners are providing for children of critical workers and vulnerable children, they should ensure appropriate support is in place.
Digital support from the DfE
- Minded educational resources for adults about children and young people’s mental health, which is relevant for professionals working with children, volunteers, parents and carers
- The Every Mind Matters platform, from Public Health England, about looking after your mental health
Useful online resources and Apps
- Public Health England
- Every Mind Matters
- Carers Bucks
- Sleepio – free access to a six week online sleep improvement programme
- Action for Happiness
- Coronavirus and your money
More information from Buckinghamshire Council
- Buckinghamshire Family Information Service has a health and wellbeing advice and support page COVID-19 Health and Wellbeing Advice and Support - Bucks Family Information Service which has a list of Health and Wellbeing services and organisations that are available to support families through this period, including a Family Well-Being information pack, which is useful for both professional and families
Supporting families who have suffered a bereavement during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Educational Psychology team has curated some really helpful guidance for you on how best to manage bereavement and grief during the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers different situations and the difficult emotions bereaved people may have to deal with.
Cruse, a national bereavement charity, has a dedicated helpline manned by experienced volunteers. Call 0808 808 1677 Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when they’re open until 8pm.
Cruse also has a number of easy read fact sheets on:
Resources to help with anxiety for pupils and families
Worry and anxiety are common problems at the best of times, and when it takes over it can become all-encompassing. Psychology Tools have put together this free guide to help you to manage your worry and anxiety in these uncertain times.
This situation is one of extreme uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen, how long it will last or what things will be like when it’s over. One thing we do know, however, is that worrying about it won’t change the outcome. Learning how to tolerate the uncertainty is a huge part of building healthy coping skills for ourselves, which we then want to model for our children. Practicing mindfulness helps bring us back to the present.
The following websites and apps may be helpful: