Supporting Your Child During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Tips, advice and where to get support for your child's mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Supporting your child if they're feeling worried
It’s normal for children and young people to feel worried or anxious at the moment. We’ve all experienced sudden changes in our lives and routines – and we’re living with lots of uncertainty about the coming weeks and months. For some young people, the coronavirus pandemic may also worsen or trigger anxieties they were already struggling with.
Here are five things you can do to support your child:
- Talk to them about what’s going on. Find out how they’re feeling and what they’re thinking about, let them know it’s okay to feel scared or unsure, and try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age appropriate manner. Remember, you do not need to know all the answers, but talking things through can help them feel calmer.
- Help them 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.
- Reassure them that this will pass, you’re there for them, and you will get through this together.
- Spend time doing a positive activity with your child (such as reading, playing, painting or cooking) to help reassure them and reduce their anxiety. This is also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’.
- Keep as many regular routines as possible, so that your child feels safe and that things are stable.
More support and advice
For more advice around supporting your child with anxiety:
- Blog: Talking to your child about coronavirus
- Conversation Starters: Starting a conversation about isolation
- Activity ideas: Activities for starting a conversation during isolation
- Parents Helpline Guide to Supporting Your Child with Anxiety
- Blog: Coping with OCD during the coronavirus pandemic
- Blog: A young person's guide to creating a self-soothe box
Supporting your family’s wellbeing
This is a really challenging time for families. Parents have experienced a sudden change in their lives and routines. They are also balancing children being home more often or full time alongside their jobs, employment and health worries, financial concerns and care for vulnerable family members. This is inevitably going to feel stressful at times, particularly as the situation continues. Remember, it’s okay if things don’t always feel okay at the moment.
As parents, there are things you can do to help daily life feel as manageable as possible for you and your family. Have a look at our top tips and activity ideas to help you set up a routine that works for you.
More support and advice
For more advice around supporting your family's wellbeing during isolation:
- Blog: Supporting your family's wellbeing during isolation
- Blog: A parent's tips for managing family life in isolation
- Blog: Tips for parents in a difficult living situation during lockdown
- Blog: Parents' tips for looking after yourself in lockdown
- Activities and conversation starters: Activities and conversation starters during the coronavirus pandemic
- Parents Helpline Guide to Challenging Behaviour
Finding more information and support
Helplines and services available
- Our Parents Helpline is available to offer advice to parents and carers worried about a child or young person under 25.
- Our trained advisers are here to give you help and advice, whatever the question.
- Call for free on 0808 802 5544 from Mon-Fri, 9:30am - 4pm.
- You can also use our email service at any time.
- Practical advice and information for anybody affected by anxiety, stress and/or anxiety based depression – as well as for their parents, family and friends.
- In response to Coronavirus, they are extending their Infoline hours to support as many people as possible. Now open Monday-Friday 9.30am-5pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-8pm.
- Phone: 0344 477 5774
- Email: [email protected]
- Text: 07537 416 905
- Live Chat available during office hours via the website
- You can join #Coronanxiety webinars and support groups, including around topics such as OCD, uncertainty and claustrophobia, at www.anxietyuk.org.uk/coronanxiety-support-resources.
- You can find information about coronavirus on the website – and look out for more ideas and suggestions for supporting someone with autism around routine change, anxiety and sensory issues such as hand washing over the coming weeks.
- You can also contact their Helpline for information and advice. Open Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm and Fridays 9am-3pm.
- Phone: 0808 800 4104
- Resources to support people around bereavement as a result of Coronavirus, including grieving and isolation, talking about death and dying and other issues
Young people with disabilities
- Information on benefits and tax credits that parents and carers could be entitled to if caring for children during the Coronavirus pandemic
- Advice on what the Emergency Coronavirus Bill means for disabled children and their families
- You can also call their helpline for information and advice.
- Helpline open Monday-Friday 9.30am-5pm. Phone: 0808 808 3555
Domestic violence and abuse
- National charity supporting women and children experiencing, or at risk of, domestic violence
- Practical advice and support during the coronavirus pandemic: www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-resource-hub
- Live chat service open Monday to Friday 10am-2pm: https://chat.womensaid.org.uk
- Survivor’s Forum open 24/7: https://survivorsforum.womensaid.org.uk
- Information and advice for parents and carers around coronavirus, including keeping children safe from abuse
- Helpline open Monday to Friday 8am-10pm, and 9am-6pm at weekends: 0808 800 5000
- Online contact form
- Information on Coronavirus, your child’s treatment and changes to food routines: www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/coronavirus
- Helplines open 365 days a year from 12-8pm on weekdays, and from 4-8pm on weekends and bank holidays
- Adultline (for over 18s, including carers and professionals): 0808 801 0677
- Youthline (for under 18s): 0808 801 0711
- Studentline (for all students): 0808 801 0811
- 1:1 online chat open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12-8pm, and on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 4-8pm
- Email for adults: [email protected]
- Email for young people: [email protected]
- Email for students: [email protected]
Emotional support for young people
- You can find information on their website about coronavirus and ideas for things to do while staying home.
- Their emotional support services are open as normal – and if you’re under 25 you can talk to them about anything that’s troubling you over the phone, email or webchat. You can also use their phone or online counselling service.
- Helpline open daily 4-11pm: 0808 808 4994
- Email service
- Webchat open daily 4-11pm
- Counselling service
- Advice on coronavirus and housing, including evictions, mortgages, rent, benefits and landlords
Mental health and coronavirus
- Coronavirus information hub. Includes advice on coping with work, looking after your wellbeing, rights to social care, loneliness and changes to sectioning.
- Infoline open 9am-6pm Monday to Friday: 0300 123 3393
- Coronavirus information page including temporary changes to the Mental Health Act, advice for carers looking after those with severe mental health problems and information on self-care
- Guidance on what support is available to carers during the coronavirus pandemic, with lots of relevant links
- Provides support with parenting and family issues via phone, text and email.
- Open Monday to Friday, 9am-3pm and 6- 9pm.
- Phone: 0808 802 6666
- Text: 07537 404 282
- Email: [email protected]
- Support for single-parent families.
- Coronavirus information page providing advice on contact arrangements, employment issues, benefits and details of Gingerbread support groups
- Helpline open Mon: 10am-6pm, Tues, Thurs & Fri: 10am-
4pm, and Wed: 10am-1pm and 5-7pm.
- Phone: 0808 802 0925