Public Health England has launched a new mental health campaign aimed at supporting the wellbeing of children, young people and their parents.
The Coronavirus pandemic, lockdown measures and different restrictions that have been in place over recent times have had a negative impact on the mental health of many young people, as well as much of the rest of the population. According to research, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in anxiety in young people, while 41% of children and young people have said they feel more lonely than before lockdown.
In a Public Health England (PHE) survey, 52% of parents said that the mental health of their children was top of their list of worries.
PHE’s new Every Mind Matters campaign provides NHS-endorsed tips and advice to help young people’s wellbeing and to help parents and carers have the knowledge to support them. New advice has been published online and a short film has been produced to encourage parents to visit the Every Mind Matters website.
Among the advice, tips for parents supporting children’s mental wellbeing include;
- Be there to listen
- Stay involved in their life
- Support positive routines
- Encourage their interests
- Take what they say seriously
Talking about the new campaign, Nadine Dorries, Minister for Mental Health 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.”
Emma Thomas, Chief Executive of YoungMinds has said the new campaign is “welcome and much-needed”, adding “we hope that it will provide young people with the resources to support their mental health and to seek help if they need it.”
Mental Health campaigner Ben West welcomed the new campaign as “a good step in the right direction” but said that more work was needed to support young people’s mental health;
“I think this is a good step in the right direction and gives very good advice that if followed would certainly help many young people, however, we don’t need advice, we need action. We need systemic change, we need proper mental health support funding, we need education. I am not trying to belittle this campaign by any means as I believe it truly is great, I just think that we need to break through government smoke and mirrors and make them start to recognise that there is an exceptional problem in this country, and that demands an exceptional response, not just advice to parents and teachers.”
The new Every Mind Matters campaign is to be shared and displayed across multiple media platforms including social media and radio. It is hoped that the advice included in the campaign will help parents support children and young people, with the campaign’s website being developed in partnership with some leading youth and mental health charities.
Tips and information from the campaign can be found at nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/