Six mental health indicators parents should watch out for when kids go back to school


An NHS doctor has issued a warning to parents whose children are returning to school as the coronavirus lock is lifted from Monday.

Dr Prathiba Chitsabesan urged families to monitor the students for any signs of anxiety, distress or moodiness.

She said that the locking of Covid-19 put increased pressure on many families because they were told to keep their children away from their friends to stop the spread of the virus.

But going back to school can cause anxiety for some students after months of absence, warned Dr. Chitsabesan, NHS England’s best doctor for child and youth mental health.

Those who would like to return but get stuck at home may feel excluded or isolated, she added.

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Children are seen in a classroom at Watlington Primary School in Oxfordshire

Dr. Chitsabesan said, “Children and youth may experience a variety of feelings in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including anxiety, distress, and bad mood, and it is important to understand that this is normal responses to an abnormal situation.

“The NHS offers a large amount of mental health support for children and youth, and if a child needs urgent mental health support or counseling, check out for services in your area, including 24/7 crisis support. “

NHS England said parents can take simple steps to help their sons or daughters who may be having trouble coping with loneliness and uncertainty, or fears of going back to school.

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He told parents what to watch out for and what they can do to take care of their child’s mental health.

Advice is provided by clinicians and is also based on the direct experience of patients and parents.

Signs that parents should watch for include:

– You may find they are more upset or have trouble managing their emotions

– They may appear anxious or distressed

– Increased sleep and eating problems

– Appearing in a bad mood, withdrawn or in tears

– Report worried or negative thoughts about themselves or their future

– For the youngest, there may be more bedwetting

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If a parent is concerned about their child’s mental health, they can help by:

– Take the time to talk to your child

– Allow your child to talk about his feelings

– Try to understand their problems and make sure that you have heard them and that you are there to help you

– Help your child to do positive activities

– Try to keep a routine for the next few weeks

– Take care of your own mental health

Parents should contact NHS 111 online or an attending physician immediately if they notice physical injuries to a child, such as deep cuts or burns, said NHS England.

Parents drop off kids at Queen’s Hill Elementary School, Costessey, Norfolk

Students arrive at Beeston Elementary School in Leeds, West Yorkshire

They can also turn to Rise Above, a website created with young people, and MindEd, a free educational resource for parents and professionals working with children, for help.

Claire Murdoch, National Director of Mental Health for NHS England, said, “We know that the lives of children and young people have been disrupted in these uncertain times, and some may suffer from anxiety when schools reopen.

“The NHS is open to business as usual and has adapted to the coronavirus crisis by offering flexible options, including telephone and video consultations and online support. “

Tom Madders, campaign manager at YoungMinds, added: “School can provide routine, structure and a chance for children to connect and learn, all of which can be good for mental health – but for some returning home will be a confusing and overwhelming experience, especially if the environment seems different from what it was before.

“Some children who are not yet returning to school may also experience social isolation or uncertainty about the future.”

Mental Health Minister Nadine Dorries said, “As many children begin to return to school, it is vital that we continue to provide them with the support they need to maintain their mental health and well-being. -be and deal with any feeling of uncertainty or worry that they may feel.

“The NHS stays there for those in need and our mental health services are adapting to better support families and children as we all get used to these routine changes.

“We have also recently provided more than £ 9 million to leading mental health charities to help them grow and reach those most in need.

“I urge all families and children who need crisis counseling, advice or support to contact their GP or visit the NHS website.”


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