You are not alone
In this current situation, looking after our wellbeing and mental health is vital. It’s good to know that there are charities and organisations who can help.
Whether you’re concerned about the wellbeing of yourself or a loved one, these helplines and websites can offer expert advice – Mental Wellbeing Support Leaflet (PDF).
Mental health support for young people
Young people will be feeling the effects of this uncertain time too, and as a parent, you might have concerns about your child’s mental health.
YoungMinds has a dedicated parent helpline which is available to offer advice to parents and carers worried about a child or young person under 25.
Call the parents helpline for free on 0808 802 5544 from Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4pm. There is also an email service that is available at any time.
If you are a young person looking for help and support, text the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free 24/7support. You can do this by texting YM to 85258.
The following other charities can help:
Childline – call 0800 1111 (from 9am to midnight)
Mind – visit www.mind.org.uk/information-support/for-children-and-young-people/
Samaritans – call 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org
Talking to your child about coronavirus
It’s really important we talk to our children about how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking about at this difficult time.
Let them know it’s okay to feel scared or unsure and try to answer their questions and reassure them. Of course, the information they are told about the situation should be age appropriate.
Remember, you do not need to know all the answers, but talking things through can help them feel calmer.
Help your child to reflect on how they’re feeling and encourage them to think about the things they can do to make them feel safer and less worried.
The following useful resources for children might help to explain the situation:
- Children’s guide to coronavirus – www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cco-childrens-guide-to-coronavirus.pdf
- Children’s animation to explain coronavirus – www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGYD1A5Vn4I
- Well-known children’s book illustrator Axel Scheffler has illustrated a book for children to understand coronavirus – Coronavirus – A Book for Children
Connecting with people
Many of us with experience loneliness as a result of isolation during this difficult period. Perhaps the best thing you can do to combat loneliness at this time it to connect with others. If you are comfortable using technology, there are many ways you can stay in touch with your loved ones. You can even make connections with people across the world whom you share something in common with. For example, joining and participating in a Facebook group about topics you are in interested or finding online forums about your hobbies and interests.
If you are more comfortable with traditional ways of communicating, keep sending letters or postcards – this could be particularly nice if you have grandchildren, or stay in touch on the telephone or by texting, and use video chat services like Whatsapp, Facetime and Zoom.
Steve Dixon from our Community Engagement Team is on hand to help with any digital queries – perhaps you may want help getting set up on a video chat application or would simply benefit from some advice about what tools to use. Contact Steve on 07989431800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org between 2pm and 5pm Monday to Friday. No question is too silly!
At Linc, we have a Community Empowerment Team called STRIVE. STRIVE and our Community Engagement Team are working together to ensure we can provide you with the support you need through this difficult period. So, if you are feeling lonely, or you feel you cannot cope or are struggling with anything, we are here for you. If you feel you would benefit from a regular call from us, please get in touch on 0800 072 0966 or email email@example.com.