As we enter the second year of the pandemic, one thing is clear; Covid-19 has put an enormous strain on the mental health and wellbeing of our young people.
Beyond the virus itself, high-level restrictions have led to the interruption of normal school routines, children spending most of their time indoors and a sudden stop to seeing family and friends.
For some, there’s also the loss of loved ones, illness and the fear of illness, and witnessing job loss or financial difficulties at home – all will take a toll on their psychological wellbeing.
As with so many aspects of the pandemic, the impacts have not yet been realised so we all need to remain alert and look at the best ways to respond to such a challenging period of our history.
Firstly, it’s really important we understand that every young person is an individual and every young person will respond to trauma and adversities in a completely different way.
Signs and symptoms to look for
A helpful place to start is to look out for some key warning signs, which could include:
- Low mood or sadness for two or more weeks
- Significant changes in appetite or weight
- Persistent tiredness, low energy or sleeping problems
- An increase in unexplained symptoms, such as stomach aches or headaches
- Struggling with concentration, memory or decision-making
- Not wanting to go to school and a decline in academic performance
- Withdrawing from social interactions and giving up hobbies
- Drastic changes in mood, behaviour or personality
- Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
- An increase in irritability, recklessness or aggression
- Poor self-care
- Looking sad or worried all the time, or showing a lack of expression
- Talking negatively about themselves
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness or pessimism about the future
- Hurting themselves or talking about hurting themselves
- Talking about death or suicide
How we can help to support you
At Bridgnorth Endowed, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our students and, as a starting point, we’ve rounded up the best online resources appropriate for 11 to 16-year-olds. This includes Covid-related content and more general mental health support.
Taking proactive steps to avoid more serious problems from arising is essential and we aim to ensure that pupils are able to access help whenever they need it. For example, we offer appointments with the School Nurse, who comes into school for half a day every month.
If you have concerns around your child, please do not hesitate in the first instance to contact their tutor. It may be that you simply wish the tutor to be aware of concerns, however, if more support is needed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Safeguarding and Inclusion Manager, Mrs Mitchell, will then contact you to discuss your concerns sensitively and confidentially to ensure your child’s needs are fully understood.