Parent/carer/Family support page
During this time of change and uncertainty, many families will be spending increasing time at home together. Whilst this can be a positive opportunity for families to spend quality time together we know that it may also increase tensions in families, lead to disagreements and in some cases exacerbate the breakdown of relationships. Research has demonstrated that when quarantine is enforced people can feel a sense of loss for the activities that they enjoy; can miss friends and other family members; can experience loneliness and can feel a sense of unease about impending financial insecurity. This same research also demonstrated some of the things that can help such as having access to helpful information, staying busy, maintaining some kind of healthy lifestyle and staying in contact with others.
The importance of connections has been highlighted by many as being an important aspect of supporting wellbeing during this period. Humans are by nature social animals and it is therefore vital that we try and maintain those connections were possible – through social media, phone calls and letters with those outside the family home but also through strengthening existing connections with the family in our own household. Our ‘Supporting your Family’s Wellbeing’ guide highlights how you can support your child to cope with this stressful time and provides some helpful ideas on how to strengthen and maintain these important connections. (link the ‘Supporting your family’s wellbeing’ attachment – not online, created by us so not sure how we can do link .) Dan Hughes has worked with many fostered and adoptive families over the years and provides an extremely useful framework for building connections called PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Acceptance). Whilst it has been developed to support those families where there has been early adversity and trauma – many of the principles are extremely helpful for all families. Find more information here.
It is normal to feel anxious during this unsettling time and it is important to acknowledge how you are feeling so that you can help your child. Peter Fogle, the Clinical Director at The Anna Freud charity which supports positive Mental Health shares some information and advice. This website has a section focussing on supporting children and families through this period of disruption.
A key piece of advice for professionals is also to create some kind of structure and routine to help create safety for children and young people at this difficult time but this needs to be done within reason as it can be difficult to manage this whilst you are working from home or trying to maintain other household activities. Children1st provide some useful tips to help families to think about what might be reasonable during this period.
Below we provide some further information and links to other useful websites for families.
The NHS website Every Mind Matters provides great advice for keeping yourself well while staying at home. It also provides 10 Top Tips and strategies to support concerns around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This is suitable for adults, children and young people.
Stem 4 is a charity that promotes positive mental health and wellbeing in teenagers as well as encouraging them to build resilience and manage difficult emotions. Resources are downloadable and include advice on how parents can support their teenagers.
The World Health Organisation have produced an excellent information sheet with helpful tips to manage children’s anxiety. They also have some great myth buster graphics which should help answer any worrying questions children and young people may have. CBBC Newsround have also created a section to help answer difficult questions.
The Scottish Association for Mental Health have created an online hub for mental health and Covid19, which collates useful information from across the internet for those seeking to gain information to help protect their mental health and wellbeing during these ongoing difficult times. The information is suitable for children and adults alike.
The Anxiety UK website has also dedicated a section which provides some great advice about how to talk to your children and young people if they are worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19). The link can be found here.
Samaritans are there for you and provide some excellent advice Click on the picture below for a short YouTube video, reminding us about things you can do to stay well.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran have compiled a selection of verified apps and websites to support general Mental Health and Wellbeing in Young people. They have also prepared a leaflet specifically for Parents and Carers. This can be found here:
National Parent Forum of Scotland have updated their website with Activities and Well-Being Resources https://www.npfs.org.uk/2020/03/19/activities-and-well-being-resources/