If you need to speak to someone right now, here are some confidential options which provide 24/7 support. If you're worried you might hurt yourself or someone else, please call 999, or go to your nearest A and E.
For people who are experiencing distress or despair.0808 808 8000
Helps anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night.0800 1111
This can be a very difficult time for young people who are worried about what they are seeing online and hearing from friends regarding coronavirus (Covid-19). With the recent closure of schools, they may also be feeling a loss of connection with friends and classmates. During this time young people will be looking to the trusted adults in their life for information and support.
It’s good to be open and honest about what is going on in the world. You don’t have all the answers but sharing what you do know and engaging in conversation around that will help reduce fear and prevent young people from feeling alone and isolated.
A good way to start these conversations is to ask them what they know about the situation, what they are hearing online, through social media and from their friends. Then ask what questions they may have; you can then respond based on that.
It is also a good idea to sense check where they are getting the information from, are they from reputable sources such as Government websites? There are some useful news and information available for a younger audience on BBC Newsround and Unicef.
Social media is an important outlet for young people and will be the source of most of their information and where they can connect with other young people. It is important however to remind them that they should limit the amount of information they are accessing as it can be overwhelming. Explain that due to people’s worries they might quickly share information that isn’t accurate or helpful and that they can choose to limit what information they see and how often they see it.
Opening up these conversations can be challenging, particularly during these times of uncertainty. Please remember that you do not need to know all the answers and it’s important to be looking after yourself also during this time. Now, more than ever, young people will be modelling you and looking to you for support.
You can download activities to support you from the Mental Health UK Bloom Resource Library.