I am sure we all feel that our mental health has been adversely affected by the pandemic and by extended periods of ‘lockdown’ where we have been advised to remain in our homes other than to collect necessary supplies, to care for others, or to exercise.
But this has been particularly difficult on our children. How has it really been for them to be isolated from their friends, wider family, school and so many of the activities they love for months on end?
If the stats are to be believed, behind the locked doors of the nation lurks an invisible menace, one where there is no test like there is for COVID-19. Many children are suffering in silence. There are increasing calls to understand the overall impact of this last lockdown, and of subsequent school closures, on the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. However, as lockdown measures now begin to ease, parents will be trying to understand for themselves what effect the pandemic has had on their children and how they can be best supported to resume a normal life, or the ‘new normal’, over the coming months and years.
With that in mind, you might want to take a listen to Buttle UK’s new podcast series ‘ALL IN THE SAME BOAT?”.
This insightful and rewarding podcast series is aimed at anyone interested in issues relating to child welfare and wellbeing. It explores current issues around the inequalities in society and the impact they have on children in their everyday lives. It considers some solutions and hopefully adds to the wider debate on these issues.
The latest episode is all about the impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health and it is packed with useful insights and some tips for helping our children adjust to the ‘new normal’ now that they are back at school.
You can listen to Buttle UK’s Podcast ‘ALL IN THE SAME BOAT?’ on Spotify: spoti.fi/30LUaZ7 or Apple: apple.co/3qE9tx8. Join celebrity host and Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford exploring this important subject with Joanna Holmes, from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and Joseph Howes, CEO of children’s grant giving charity Buttle UK.
Greg, Joanna and Joe consider a wide range of issues including the link between children’s mental health problems and poverty; how the pandemic and lockdowns have exacerbated issues and the role schools and parents can play in supporting children.
One of the key points made in this fascinating episode is that we need to listen and hear what our children and young people are saying to us and say to them, it's “OK to not be OK”. As Joanna says in the episode, “Yes, help them find solutions, help them regulate their emotions and help them help themselves – but we always try and rescue our children, and of course we do because we're their parents. But get them to own those emotions and say it's all right to feel like that. And, you know, sometimes I feel like that, too”.
Buttle UK is a fantastic children's charity that do a wonderful job by supporting children and young people in poverty and crisis with direct financial support through their Chances for Children grants. They really do help and transform these young people's lives.
On the podcast, Joanna asks for help to support the latest BACP campaign - to get universal funding of counselling in schools and colleges. To help all you have to do is write to the new Mental Health
Ambassador for England, Dr Alex George, to ask for him to support the campaign. You can find out more about the BACP Campaign and get template letters for this at: https://www.bacp.co.uk/news/campaigns/school-counselling
To find out more about helping Buttle UK and be notified about future episodes of All in the Same Boat? please sign up to Buttle UK’s newsletter at www.buttleuk.org/newsletter.