Mental health campaign launches as figures show young people have worried during coronavirus pandemic
PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 September 2020
Public Health England
A campaign called Better Health - Every Mind Matters aimed at young people has been launched.
It hopes to help young people who may be struggling with mental wellbeing through the coronavirus pandemic, and feeling worried or anxious about a return to schools, universities and work.
Over half of parents in the East of England say their children’s mental wellbeing has been one of their biggest worries during Covid-19, and a third of children report being more worried, sad and stressed than before lockdown.
The advice available on the Every Mind Matters website has been developed by Public Health England in partnership with mental health charities including Young Minds, The Mix, Place2Be and The Anna Freud Centre.
The website also provides tools to help young people build resilience and equips them to look after their mental wellbeing.
A short film features a range of celebrity parents including Davina McCall, Marvin Humes, Sean Fletcher, Katie Piper and Edith Bowman, reading extracts from best-selling author Charlie Mackesy’s book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse.
Eddie Liddiard, 21, from Essex has been sharing how he has felt.
“When Lockdown started back in March I was working in a care home. Watching the news every day made me so anxious that I would bring the coronavirus home to my family that I had to leave.
“I received a lot of support from my mum and other friends and family who told me to look online for ways to help with my worries.
“I found some good support online especially with advice on how to calm my breathing when I am feeling anxious and I still use these techniques when I am worried today.
“I like to be kept busy with work and I now work with my mum who runs a mental health charitable organisiation called Motivated Minds in Essex.
“My feelings are improving every day and whenever I have troublesome thoughts I turn to my mum or my friends for support. I do still struggle when I see people not following guidelines like wearing mask in shops which makes me worry.
“If people struggle like I do with their anxiety, my advice would be not to bottle it up and talk to someone right away, that way they can get some support and things won’t get worse.”
Neil Wood, Health and Wellbeing Programme Manager at PHE East of England, said: “Helping them to take care of their mental health should be just as important as taking care of their physical health.
“Feeling stressed, anxious, low or having trouble sleeping can be a natural response to the challenges they are facing during this pandemic, but if we can all look out for the signs of young people and children struggling we can guide them to strategies to cope.
“This campaign helps children and young people take simple steps to look after their mental health and better prepare them for life’s ups and downs.
“It provides practical self-help tips that can be built into everyday life and can provide a personal action plan to help improve their mental wellbeing.”
Minister for Mental Health, Nadine Dorries, said: “The effects of the pandemic on children and young people’s mental health have been challenging and it is vital we continue to do all we can to protect them and prevent long-term effects.
“Young people should feel encouraged to speak up, look out for each other, and ask for help.
“This campaign and these resources are a great way to access support and help parents to understand steps they can take to care even more for their children’s mental health and wellbeing.”
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