Coronavirus (COVID-19): Useful information

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Useful information 2020-08-14T07:29:31+01:00

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Useful information

With restrictions on social distancing beginning to ease it is important to remember this affects people in different ways, it is important to remember to be kind and to respect peoples feelings around this. There are lots of services and resources on this page, which we are adding to on a regular basis, to help you navigate through these ever-changing times.

The Government has released guidance around the mental health and wellbeing aspect of coronavirus as well as stay at home guidance.

Parents and carers – take a look at our One You South Gloucestershire website for tips around your mental wellbeing, being active at home, eating well and much more.

The return to school is fast approaching and for some you won’t have been at school since March. You may have very mixed emotions about returning to school and this can be confusing. Use this ‘Coming back to School’ resource to help make sense of your thoughts and feelings – it can also be used to help open up a conversation around this subject with your parents, carers, older sibling or trusted adult.

Resource of the Week

It is important that we are regularly checking in with our emotional wellbeing. This is especially true at the moment as for months now our normal way of life has been impacted and even though some things are beginning to return to normal there are still a number of restrictions in place that could be having an impact on our mental wellbeing. Use this ‘Checking in with my Stuff’ resource  to help check where you are emotionally.

Here are some resources to help with the return to school – this can be an anxious time with having not been to school for a prolonged time and things being different on return (social distancing, not being able to see all your friends and adopting new routines)

Starting Secondary School

Are you starting Secondary School in September? Are you worried about the transition? – you are not the only one. Here is a video from Pippa at Off the Record talking through her worries and fears and what she found helped.

Starting School For the First Time

Is your child starting school for the first time? Heading into Reception is a big step for your child and also for you, this has been made harder with the pandemic and the lack of transition you would normally have with your chosen school.

Help give your child the best start at school with our ‘Am I ready for school’ resource. Do it as a game and tick of the different elements when they are able to do them.

For more information and guidance around preparing your child for Reception have a look at our Starting School page.

10 Ways to be Kind

With the lockdown restrictions beginning to ease it is still an uncertain time for many people – there are many ways to show acts of kindness to our family, friends, community and ourselves. Use our 10 ways to be kind resource to see the small things you can do to be kind to all.

30 Day challenge resources

Keeping mentally healthy during a time of such confusion and uncertainty can be hard. Use our 30 day challenge for some easy and fun ways to maintain your mental health through this time. You can do these challenges individually or as a family. We would love to hear how you get on with them so please contact us on: mentalhealth@southglos.gov.uk 

Services  

  • CAMHS – currently offering telephone assessments only unless it is an emergency
  • Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership have a 24-hour helpline for anyone who needs help or is worried about someone they know,  please call 0300 3031320.
  • OTR (Off the Record) – in compliance with Government advice, all group sessions have ceased and unfortunately no new registrations for OTR are being taken. One to one support and telephone counselling is available. Also available are online Resilience Lab sessions, to be added to the Google Hangout; please email: resiliencelab@otrbristol.org.uk.
  • OTR also have lots of wellbeing tips and a weekly activity schedule on their Instagram page.
  • Jigsaw Thornbury – in compliance with Government advice, Jigsaw is adapting services for families wishing to access their services. They have started to offer online and LIVE content through their online channels and are hosting virtual support groups.
  • Self Injury Support are still offering all of their services except their phone line. Services are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7-9.30pm, text message number 07537 432444.
  • Young People’s Drug & Alcohol Service – are offering text & telephone support to young people and their families. Email ypservice@southglos.gov.uk and one of the team will contact you.
  • Kooth – offers free, safe and anonymous online support for young people. They have launched a series of mini activities for you to have a go at, for example making a coping box – there are 18 activities to choose from.
  • The Mix is a support service for young people, they are available to help you take on any challenge you are facing – from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs. You can talk to them via the online community, on social, through their free confidential helpline (0808 808 4994) or their counselling service.
  • Young Minds have a helpline and email service for parents worried about their children (aged 0-25yrs)
  • Next Link are continuing to accept referrals and provide telephone support. Their domestic abuse telephone lines are open 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday 0800 4700280
  • Creative Youth Network – are offering online support through virtual youth clubs and short courses. Their detached teams are out on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7-9pm checking in with young people’s safety and wellbeing
  • Email mentalhealth@southglos.gov.uk if you would like any further signposting to services

Anxiety

It is normal to feel anxious and worried sometimes, especially at the moment with everything that is going on with COVID and the ever changing restrictions. But if your anxiety and worry continues to build up and it begins to feel overwhelming it is time to get some help.

Here are some ways to help you recognise and manage your anxiety:

  • Anxiety can have a number of different effects on your body – if you are not sure whether you or someone you know are experiencing anxiety have a look at this guide to Recognising Anxiety.
  • Take a look at our Anxiety Toolkit for help around understanding anxiety, how to manage it and when to ask for help.
  • With such a long period of social isolation caused by lockdown it may have been many months since you went to school or saw your friends face to face. This could lead to social anxiety, which can make everyday activities like going to school or seeing friends difficult. Young Minds have some tips to help you cope with social anxiety.
  • For more information on anxiety and where to go for help check out our anxiety page.

5 Ways to Wellbeing

1. Connect – It is important to stay connected with your friends and family during this time of uncertainty. Now that restrictions are being to ease, you can enjoy more face to face connections but remember to still follow the social distancing guidelines and where possible meet up outside. We are lucky that social media and our phones allow us to keep in contact with the people we care about. There are different ways you can communicate online, for example there are many games you can play against your friends.

2. Be Active – There are now more opportunities to exercise with other people outside and indoor venues will be reopening within the next few weeks. Your sports sessions may not be quite the same as before but it will still be a great way to benefit your mental health. If you are not quite ready to return to sport or the gym, you can still go for a walk, run or cycle once a day on your own or with people you live with. There are lots of free apps, YouTube videos and online resources to help you exercise at home. Sport England has produced this guide: How to stay active while you are at home.

3. Take Notice – Remember the things that make you HAPPY! Some ways of doing that could be:

  • Make a thankful jar – even in these difficult times, there are plenty of things to be grateful for
  • Create a time capsule of things that bring you joy
  • Plant some seeds and watch them grow
  • Write a mindfulness journal or spend some time completing mindfulness art
  • Visit Calm and take a deep breath
  • Make a scrap book of things you have done during lockdown that have made you smile

4. Keep Learning – Now is the time to develop a new skill and learn more about the world in which we live. Maybe you have an instrument that you have never mastered or a desire to learn how to crochet, origami, a new language or to cook – now is the time! There are plenty of free tutorials online to help you learn new skills.

5. Give – There are still people that will need some help even though restrictions are easing. The elderly and vulnerable have not been able to leave their homes since March and even though they can from the end of July they may be feeling anxious about this. Why not offer to help an elderly or vulnerable relative by going for a walk with them or go with them to the shops? You can also help out at home with the cleaning, cooking and washing!  You could help younger brothers or sisters to have fun, even if only for five minutes!

Sleep

Is the current situation having an impact on your normal sleeping patterns? Here are some age specific guides to help you develop positive sleeping patterns.

Sleep Toolkit – Early Years

Sleep Toolkit – Childhood (5-13yrs)

Sleep Toolkit – Adolescence (13-18yrs)

Sleep Toolkit – Special Educational Needs & Disability

The Sleep Council have lots of advice and guidance around what to do, what not to do and where to get more help, including 10 tips for sleeping better so you can get a good night’s sleep. Also meet their sleep characters and see if you or your parents/carers can relate to any of them.

Information for Parents

  • Anna Freud has put together a useful video for parents around anxiety in children under these circumstances and a toolkit to use with vulnerable children or children with SEND, a resource from Stonewall for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as practical activities for adults and children to help stay mentally well.
  • Place2Be guide containing helpful information to answer questions from children.
  • Jigsaw is a programme used with schools around PSHE; resources available include ‘The Big Sing’.
  • YoungMinds have put together some activity ideas  that you can do with your child while isolating at home and conversation starters to check in with them and see how they are feeling
  • Every Mind Matters have published some advice on looking after children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak
  • NSPCC website have lots of tips for working from home, separated parents and talking to children about their worries around the pandemic. They also have a section on supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities
  • Child Trends have put together a fact sheet on ways to promote children’s resilience during the pandemic
  • Council for Disabled Children’s website have lots of links and resources
  • GOV.UK have support around keeping children safe online
  • British Psychological Society have put together a handy guide to talking to your children about COVID-19
  • World Health Organisation have a guide for helping children cope with stress during the current situation
  • Butterfly & Oyster Book – This resource can be used to talk to children about COVID-19 and the effects it is having on us. There are activities around; feelings, thoughts, how feelings effect our body and your happy place.
  • Mentally Health Schools Anne Freud is producing fortnightly toolkits of quality assured, free resources to support school staff, parents and carers during this period of uncertainty and disruption.

Dealing with Grief and Bereavement

During the global coronavirus pandemic, we are facing a tragic loss of life, often under very difficult circumstances making it even more difficult to process. Please see our death and loss page for more information and support.

Youth Centres during Coronavirus

Each youth provision website has dedicated pages about coronavirus and information on staying safe, what to do with your time and the support they are offering, check them out below.

Mental health information in different languages

Find guidance and advice on coping strategies during anxious times.