The Forgotten Generation

This week marks Children Mental Health Awareness Week, 1st Feb – 7th Feb.

Mental Health is something that you would not normally associate with children but is becoming more apparent in the current climate we are living in.  The pandemic has brought this to the forefront of our minds. 

In previous years we’ve been told to limit children’s screen time and the impact it could be having. But now we have little choice but to sit them in front of a computer for homeschooling. This has led to confusion, what is best for our children, what impact is this having?

The pandemic has meant children have limited interaction with the outside world, unable to see and socialise with friends, and has led to an increase in fear, anxiety, isolation, feeling lonely, scared, unable to express themselves, and depressed.

The NSPCC Child Welfare hotline has seen an increase of 50 % over the pandemic. Receiving more than 30 calls a day from adults worried that a child living with domestic abuse, 53% from pre-pandemic.

Our Child Support Office, who supports children living with domestic abuse, has seen a change in children’s mental wellbeing.

During one of his 1-1 session with Poppy (name changed), he asked her how she was. She responded “Anxious, I am not coping well with my homeschooling.  It is a lot to take in and to do.  I miss socialising with my friends, I used to enjoy writing, I was writing a story but now I don’t even have the time for it”.

He asked when the last time was when she sat and had the time to write her novel, and how she would normally go about doing it.  She expressed, she would sit in silence and write.  He said, “OK why don’t we do that now, let’s do that, we can use this session to sit in silence and you can have your time just to write”.

Being given this space, she managed to write a new chapter, this made her feel so happy and uplifted her spirit.  All she needed was time.

Here are 5 simple ways you can help your children with mental health.

  1.  Create a happiness Jar
    • Get your children to write on pieces of paper about what one thing made them happy that day.  This is beginning to create positive thinking and something nice to look back at.
  2. I see me! 
    • When your child is feeling negative about themself, you can change this not so good feelings but getting them to look in the mirror and think about how amazing they are.  Get them to write something wonderful about themselves.  Allow them to see themselves.
  3. Get out and have some fresh air
  4. Create a Coping Strategy Wheel
    • We all feel overwhelmed sometimes a coping wheel can help you feel better 
  5. Be creative
    • Get them to tap back into their inner child, draw, make something fun.