The Coronavirus pandemic has caused significant and sudden change to our daily lives. Statistics show that this has caused a high number of us to experience negative effects on our mental health and well-being.
Research also shows that children who have genetic problems that affect their development are much more vulnerable to psychiatric problems. School closures in particular have resulted in a substantial change to children’s routines and could be a potential factor for declining mental health and well-being in young people. A recent report in the Guardian raised concerns over the number of deaths of special needs children possibly connected with school closures.
If you or your child are experiencing any type of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, loneliness, stress or suicidal feelings, there are a number of charities and organisations that can provide information and support:
- Mind UK have a number of helpful resources and services on their website including information pages and an emergency help tool if you are worried about yourself or somebody else.
- Young Minds have a Parents Helpline which you can call for free, confidential advice if you are worried about a child or young person: 0808 802 5544. There is also a web-chat or email service.
- The Young Minds website also has a range of useful information including tips and information specifically related to Coronavirus- related anxiety.
- Samaritans has a 24/7 free helpline you can call for help and support: 116 123.
- Anybody in a crisis can text 85258 for free to speak to one of the crisis volunteers at SHOUT.
- NHS England has advice for parents and carers on how to support children and young people with ill mental health.
- If your child needs urgent mental health support or advice, nhs.uk has information of services in your area including 24/7 crisis support.
- If your child has an eating problem or disorder, BEAT have useful information on their website. There is also an advice, support and telephone helpline: 0808 801 0677 or an online one-to-one web chat.
We have a number of resources that are free to download from our website that you may find useful:
- Our Anxiety Guide helps you to spot signs of anxiety in children with intellectual disability.
- Our Emotional Wellbeing Factsheet helps you to access information, support and resources that are available.