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Being Young in Lockdown

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COVID19 has had a huge impact on nearly everyone. 

Restrictions on movement, closure of workplaces, places of leisure, worry about pre-existing health conditions, limiting options further, especially if shielded. 

Worry about money, upset to routine, missing out on anything from a weekend away, to the funeral of a loved one and trying to manage your grief and all the other challenges COVID19 bring, including: 

  1. anxiety www.anxietyuk.org.uk
  2. maybe even insomnia www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia
  3. or, when you do sleep, nightmares. Mental Wellbeing and COVID-19 www.samh.org.uk

BUT for us to find a way as a community, a country, a world, that COVID19 doesn't take more and more lives, we need to follow the rules.

For young people, the challenges of lockdown maybe even more intense:

  • Missing seeing friends, maybe even new relationships which were just becoming established and all the feelings and sometimes insecurities that go along with that.
  • Worrying about the future as the schools are closed, the exams are now not being held and what that may mean
  • Relationships at home may already have been strained, everyone spending so much time together makes it more so, maybe even issues of domestic violence 
  • Not having a space to go as bedrooms are shared with younger siblings, the house has one television and everyone wants to watch something different, there isn't money on the phone to stay in touch with friends. Everything feels overwhelming and maybe before this, there were issues with mental wellbeing and supports have been interrupted
    All of this can impact significantly on how a young person feels, their relationships with others and their mental and emotional health. We all need to recognise the additional challenges young people have and what we can do to be of support.
  • Sometimes the feelings a young person has become so overwhelming they think of suicide. It's important to know who to speak to if anyone is having thoughts of suicide. 
  • Papyrus is a specific young people's suicide prevention charity. 
    • papyrus-uk.org T; 0800 068 41 41 Text: 07860 039 967, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
    • There is also ChildLine T: 0800 1111.
  • It may be the young person has their own underlying health conditions, or maybe have autism which makes understanding the lockdown a challenge

These are challenging times, where many of us feel overwhelmed. 

Sometimes we also need help to help others, even when we ourselves are struggling, which is why we need to also care for our own mental health. 

These links may be helpful, things can change due to COVID19, however, services are doing their best to try and still be there for people:

  • Young Scot has advice and information for children and young people on COVID-19. young.scot/campaigns/national/coronavirus.
  • Young Minds' Parents Helpline is available to offer advice to parents and carers worried about a child or young person under 25's behaviour, emotional wellbeing, or mental health condition.  Parent helpline; 0808 802 5544.
  • Thinkuknow is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline. They have created a package to help support children and young people at a time when they are likely to be spending more time online. Families can download a pack according to their child's age, each pack will contain simple 15-minute activities parents can do at home with their child using Thinkuknow resources. The packs will be renewed fortnightly. The site also has advice for parents and carers www.thinkuknow.co.uk.
  • This is a list of useful sites and resources for young people around COVID 19.
  • This may be a useful resource if a child or young person is also living with a disability
  • Parenting across Scotland have also put together some useful advice. 
  • One parent Families Scotland Helpline: 0808 801 0323.
  • Parent line T: 08000 28 22 33.

These are strange times we are living in, which bring each of us our own set of challenges. 

Being there for each other and recognising the additional challenges children and young people may experience at this time, may help us all come through this with reduced suffering. Sometimes when life is challenging, its about small things we can do now, which help us suffer less.

The following affirmation cards were co-designed with young people from a local youth project www.facebook.com/g15youth/ , young people we knew, a Sunday school class and with the help of a student we had on placement from university. 

Please, take the time to have a look at these. 

They were co-designed with young people, offering what they felt was good for looking after your mental health. 

This isn't about older people and younger people, its 'we', all of us across the generations who are being affected by COVID19. 

We can help each other get through this. There is a lot of wisdom in these cards helpful to us all, pick one at random whenever you feel the need for inspiration.

Be kind to yourself and each other, stay safe, this will pass and for now, its how we look after each other that can help the time till it passes be less challenging. 

We all have it in us, to build a kinder world, sometimes, one conversation at a time.

Wee tips to cope when life feels strange
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Useful/Emergency Contacts

  • Silverline 0800 4 70 80 90
  • Childeline 0800 1111
  • ParentLine 08000 28 22 33
  • Samaritans 116 123
  • Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87
  • NHS 111
  • Gamblers anonymous 0370 050 8881
  • Narcotics anonymous 0300 999 1212
  • Alcoholics anonymous 0800 9177 6506
  • CALM 0800 58 58 58
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