‘I had a bad dream mummy’
Thank you to Toni Bentley, Operations Manager at our Point 1 service, for sending in a blog about resilience and how this global situation is affecting children throughout the country. Point 1 is a mental health support service we provide for children and young people up to the age of 17.
‘I had a bad dream, mummy’ my daughter said as she stumbled, sobbing, into my bedroom in the small hours of the morning. ‘I was dreaming it was my birthday and it was a bad birthday because no one came’. It was then that I realised just how much this little 4, soon to be 5, year old brain was taking in and how much everything that was happening in the world was affecting her little bubble of existence. It was a stark reality check that the mental health of a generation could be affected by this experience, and how we support them at this time is absolutely vital.
That is why it is so important that the Point 1 service is still running and offering advice and support to so many children, young people and their families. This article published in The Guardian recently illustrates some of the early findings about the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children and young people, with 17% of 4-10 year olds afraid to leave the house, and 41% of 11-16 year olds worried that their friends or relatives will catch the virus.
Our dedicated team are taking calls and email requests for support and spending time offering self-help ideas where appropriate to support families through these tough times. Today we noted that calls were taking longer than normal as parents find comfort in a friendly voice in this period of isolation. The article states that anxiety amongst parents is notable, with 32% afraid to leave home. Again, this hit a chord – as I contemplated going to work in the office this week I was overcome by crippling fear. After 3 weeks of working in the safety of my home, the idea of being around others was terrifying, and it took all of my resilience to drag myself in. Children will undoubtedly pick up these fears and anxieties from their parents, and the Point 1 team is preparing for an increase in referrals as we come out of the other side of this period.
What I do know is that we have a fantastic team who have worked tirelessly to adapt the service to be fit for this purpose, and that are proactively providing early support now and I want to thank each and every one of them for this. If you know a child who is struggling, support is available by calling 0800 977 4077 or emailing email@example.com