Mental health and wellbeing: 10 challenges post-lockdown

02 June 2020
11 min read
Volume 1 · Issue 3

Abstract

As schools reopen further post-lockdown, the key question is what kind of wellbeing and mental health issues will students be presenting with and what signs should we be on alert for? Dr Pooky Knightsmith considers 10 challenges we are likely to see in September – and what we can do to help

There are a whole series of issues that we can expect to see in our pupils in the coming months. To help you spot the signs and take appropriate action, I have outlined below a range of potential concerns and for each I advise at which point we should worry and the suggested next steps.

This article is designed to arm rather than alarm, and I hope it provides some useful pointers. You do not need to know all the answers to be able to significantly help a child who is struggling.

Everyone is going through a tough time and even the most resilient pupils are likely to find that their wellbeing takes a hit. Pupils might seem more anxious than usual; they may be more irritable, angry or upset than a few months ago and in some cases, they may seem a little listless, directionless and just generally ‘not quite themselves’.

It is important to remember that we are in the middle of a pandemic. Things are hard and we have been through a lot. While many children might exhibit some signs that would normally be a red flag for you, as we go through a community-wide process of healing from trauma, our expectations will need to shift a little. However, if there are individual children who stand out as struggling more than their peers, then it will be worth digging a little deeper and putting some additional supports in place.

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