Mental health and COVID-19: Advice for teachers

02 April 2020
4 min read
Volume 1 · Issue 2

Abstract

Our young people's mental health is on the line during the coronavirus lockdown. Dr Pooky Knightsmith discusses four things pupils need to feel right now—and some simple ideas that can be passed on to teachers for making that happen

At a time when everything feels uncertain, children of all ages are looking to the adults in their lives for guidance and reassurance. This can be difficult when we are also struggling to come to terms with a new normal and have no idea quite what the future holds.

However, there are simple steps we can take to support the children in our care and protect their wellbeing.

More than anything right now, children need to feel comforted. That can be difficult especially when working remotely, but there are simple things that can be done.

Children find a sense of comfort in familiarity, so it is important consider how you can build what the children already know into their new school day. Routine, consistency and predictability matter too, so consider what each day looks like so children know what to expect and when.

Finally, returning to stories and activities they have previously enjoyed or may have enjoyed at a younger age can be a real source of comfort to worried children. Teachers could try:

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