This week, schools, charities, and mental health organisations are coming together to mark Children’s Mental Health Week (1-7 February 2021) and we are very happy to be taking part. We’ve put together a list of resources, websites, and organisations that we hope will be useful for children, young people, and their parents, carers, friends and teachers, living, learning and working during the coronavirus pandemic.
Resources and activities for young children (aged 4-10)
- This BBC Toolkit is full of creative projects, advice about creating positive learning environments, multi-sensory activities and more.
- Based at University of California, Berkeley, Good in Action collects the best research-based methods for a happier, more meaningful life – and puts them at your fingertips in a format that’s easy to navigate and digest, for free. Their Superhero Motivation for Kids takes 5-10 minutes, and uses pretend play to encourage children to persevere through difficulty.
- If you’re a child or young person in Oxfordshire and you’re struggling with your mental health or wellbeing, get in touch with Oxfordshire Mind by telephone (01865 247788) or email (email@example.com).
- Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families ran a campaign over the summer called #SelfCareSummer. Download the pack for brilliant creative challenges and activities to boost feelings of self-worth.
- Young Minds, the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health have produced a template ‘Letter about how I’m feeling‘, a useful resource to get children talking about their feelings.
- Check out Oxfordshire Kindness Wave’s Story Palace for a series of stories read aloud for children. This is a collaboration between writers, artists and performers.
Resources for older children and young people (aged 10-18)
- ThinkNinja is a mental health App designed for 10 to 18 year olds. Using a variety of content and tools, it allows young people to learn about mental health and emotional wellbeing, and develop skills they can use to build resilience and stay well.
- Run by young people, website Rise Above, has a list of resources and videos for young people for feeling good in lockdown, including an animation about a mental health technique called Worry Tree.
- The Mental Health Foundation has a list of resources for young people coping during the lockdown, including a section aimed at higher education students and school leavers.
- Run by Public Health England, Every Mind Matters has a series of self-care videos aimed at young people related to the pandemic about dealing with change, getting active, and healthy sleep routines.
- Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families ran a campaign over the summer called #SelfCareSummer. Download the pack for creative activities and resources for secondary school children.
- If you’re a child or young person in Oxfordshire and you’re struggling with your mental health or wellbeing, get in touch with Oxfordshire Mind by telephone (01865 247788) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Or check out the Youth in Mind Map, an interactive map listing a range of organisations that provide activities or support for young people across Oxfordshire.
Resources for parents and carers
- Run by Public Health England, Every Mind Matters offers useful and practical advice for parents and carers during the pandemic, including spotting signs that something is wrong, and taking care of yourself too.
- Barnardo’s has specific online hubs to support parents homeschooling, as well as specific resources for parents and carers of children with complex and special educational needs.
- For Young Carers: Barnardo’s also has a section with specific tips and advice for young carers including information about accessing financial relief.
- Cruse Bereavement Care offer advice about talking to your child about bereavement.
- This BBC toolkit includes helpful tips about parents and carers with older children learning from home, e.g. this List of Five Ways to Motivate Your Teen to Study at Home.
- Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families have produced downloadable Emotional Check-in Worksheets, to help you talk to your child about their feelings.
- The Early Intervention Foundation have a guide on preparing for returning to school, with a focus on social and emotional learning.
- Oxfordshire Mind offers a range of telephone and email support, peer support groups, and online resources.
- Children Heard and Seen are an Oxfordshire-based charity that supports children and families affected by parental imprisonment. Due to the pandemic, they are now offering tailored 1:1 online support sessions for children and parents.
Resources for teachers and other frontline workers
- Young Minds, the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health, have put together 10 Wellbeing Tips for School Staff including advice on coping with self-isolation, and what to do if you are worried about a young person.
- Young Minds have also produced a Guide to Supporting Your Pupils Through the Pandemic.
- Twinkl Publishing have teamed up with Mind to support teachers and help them cope with their new ways of working during the pandemic.
- The Childhood Bereavement Network offer resources and advice about talking to pupils about bereavement.
- MindEd have a series of online resources for helping frontline staff manage mental health and wellbeing. There is a specific section on frontline staff with young children.
- Headspace are giving free access to their resources to all K-12 teachers, school administrators, and supporting staff in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. These include guided meditations, sleep music, inspiring videos, quick workouts and more.
Children and young people can access free confidential support anytime from voluntary and community sector organisations by:
- texting SHOUT to 85258
- calling Childline on 0800 1111
- calling the Mix on 0808 808 4994
Children and young people or their parents or carers can also contact their GP or refer to NHS 111 online.
Visit Oxford Health to find out about local children and young people’s mental health services in Oxfordshire.