Coronavirus (COVID-19): Useful information
Social distancing and self-isolating can be a daunting time for all members of the family and it is important that we protect our mental health as well as our physical health. The Government has released guidance around the mental health and wellbeing aspect of coronavirus as well as stay at home guidance.
The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Kindness but it is important to remember kindness is key at all times but especially during the current pandemic.
To support school staff, parents and carers during this period of uncertainty and disruption, each fortnight Mentally Healthy Schools (Anne Freud National Centre for Children and Families) is producing a toolkit of quality-assured, free resources from across the sector.
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.
Despite the ongoing restrictions to our everyday lives, there are lots of ways you can show acts of kindness to mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. Use our 10 ways to be kind resource to see the small things you can do to show others and yourself kindness.
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: email@example.com
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- Young People’s Drug & Alcohol Service – are offering text & telephone support to young people and their families. Email email@example.com and one of the team will contact you.
- Kooth – offers free, safe and anonymous online support for young people.
- 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
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any further signposting to services
Things to Do While Self Isolating
(based on the 5 Ways to Wellbeing)
1. Connect – While you are social distancing or self-isolating it is important that you stay connected to your friends and family. 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 – You may not be able to play group games such as football. However, that does not mean you cannot exercise. 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
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.
You may not be able to visit a museum but you can take a virtual tour of one.
You could also take a virtual field trip to one of the following places:
5. Give – You may not be able to visit elderly or vulnerable relatives; this does not mean you can’t show them you care. You could write them a good old-fashioned letter and send a little care package to open with some photos and treats to make them smile. You could offer to collect food for them or items that they need. 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!
You can find information and advice about looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus pandemic:
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
- Community Learning have a number of free family learning courses to help parents and their children with Maths, Science, Pet Care and parenting/wellbeing
- 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
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.
- South Gloucestershire Council Youth Centre pages – https://www.southglos.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/care-and-support-children-families/young-people/young-peoples-drop-in-activities/youth-centres-south-gloucestershire/
- Youth Work through Southern Brooks – https://southernbrooks.org.uk/what-we-do/young-people/your-youth-club/
- Creative Youth Network – https://www.creativeyouthnetwork.org.uk/blog/covid19-update
- Learning Partnership West – https://www.lpw.org.uk/category/news/
- Diversity Trust – https://www.diversitytrust.org.uk/2020/03/mental-health-wellbeing-covid19/
- FACE – http://facefilton.org.uk/covid19/