Childrens mental health and wellbeing – how has the lockdowns affected mental health?
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- Childrens mental health and wellbeing – how has the lockdowns affected mental health?
Mental health issues are quite a common disorder that affects the way an individual’s way of how they think, the way they feel or the way they behave. If this illness goes untreated, it can cause severe, emotional and physical health problems.
The two recent lockdowns we have had have not been easy for anyone. They have meant that looking after our well-being has become more important than ever. Mental health has started deteriorated since the start of the pandemic as people staying at home were not allowed to step out of their home unless they were key workers, to exercise or shop for essentials.
One study from Young Minds shows that since July 2020 – three months after the beginning of the first of the UK’s three lockdowns - mental health disorders had increased in young children.
Many parents may not have known what to look out for in their child to see if they were developing problems. Warning signs vary from sadness for a prolonged period with no reason to weight loss. Other signs include two or more weeks of avoiding social interactions.
Looking after our wellbeing means that our body and mind is kept happy, healthy and fresh and most importantly positive. There are many ways to look after ourselves. Talking to people and staying in contact with them is one. For children, they should know that there are adults that they can talk to.
Many have also turned to staying busy to keep their mind occupied. Advice from the Reading Borough Council Mental Health Social Care Team recommends reading books to help relax. For some, this could mean gaining extra knowledge whilst also getting lost in a world of fantasy.
Another thing young people could try is joining a new club now that schools are open again.
Many people find it a struggle to manage their stress levels, but with the correct guidance they can control it in a way which they are most comfortable with. There are ways to reduce it like having regular exercise, recommended by Public Health England. Exercising aids sleep, leaves you more energetic and helps maintain heart health.
In an NHS report published by BBC news they had said that ‘Lockdown made life worse for two in five people.’ The rise in young people developing mental health had risen a lot since 2017 and it now affects over 16% of children. The children's commissioner for England said the increase was "extremely alarming". A campaigner for children called Anne Longfield believes that ‘every school should now have its own NHS-funded counsellor to help children’. This would be an innovative idea because one main reason as to why children have struggled during the pandemic is because they had to see their councillor / counsellors online which they were less comfortable with when they were having a conversation.