- Emerging evidence
- Coronavirus research bite #1
- Coronavirus research bite #2
- Coronavirus research bite #3
- Coronavirus research bite #4
- Coronavirus research bite #5
- Additional support
Coronavirus and children and young people’s mental health
In our new Emerging Evidence series, we searched for evidence published during the pandemic from around the world, to help us begin to answer three questions:
- What are the key mental health challenges for children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic?
- What are the key mental health challenges for
disproportionately affected groups?
- What might help children and young people to manage these challenges?
Issue 3 is now available. We will provide regular updates to ensure we share the evidence with a wide audience in a timely fashion.
Download & share Coronavirus Emerging Evidence 1
Issue 1, 22nd May 2020
Download & share Emerging Evidence 2
Issue 2, 17th June 2020
Coronavirus research bite #1
Self-management strategies for young people experiencing anxiety
Many strategies have been suggested for helping with anxiety, including social support, apps, exercise, the arts, relaxation and mindfulness.
Evidence suggests that online courses (e.g. computerised CBT) and various kinds of physical exercise could help young people who are feeling anxious. However, many of the self-management strategies available to young people haven’t been evaluated, or where they have, often there isn’t strong enough evidence to help us understand their effectiveness. This doesn’t mean that these strategies aren’t useful for young people who are struggling with anxiety, it mostly means they haven’t been explored enough through research. Motivation is quite important in the success of interventions so young people being able to choose strategies they enjoy might help.
Download & share Research Bite #1
Click to view the Centre's previous research What Works for Me: The self-care approaches used by children and young people or to view our self-care resource for young people which was written by young people.
Coronavirus research bite #2
Supporting children and young people with unplanned endings
While schools are closed to most people and social distancing measures are in place, young people are experiencing a variety of endings that they may not have been prepared for. Endings under these circumstances can understandably be difficult for children and young people to navigate.
Our rapid review of the research literature suggests that there are several ways in which adults can support children and young people to experience more positive endings. These strategies include preparation – while it may not always be possible under current circumstances, preparation gives young people time to come to terms with change and for networks and support to be established. It can be helpful too to focus on accomplishments rather than losses, and to be honest but hopeful about the future.
Research also suggests that regular conversations to check in with young people about their worries and hopes may be helpful in managing expectations, and normalising worries and anxieties. In addition, where possible, sustaining support networks (for instance through digital channels) may help young people to feel connected and supported.
Coronavirus research bite #3
Talking to children and young people about the pandemic
During this challenging time, adults may understandably want to protect children from distress, and might avoid talking about the implications of the coronavirus pandemic or the difficult feelings that some people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus.
This research bite looks at how we can have conversations with children and young people about the coronavirus and the impact it is having on our lives. Although the current context is unprecedented, past research can help us to understand how providing information and communicating with children and young people during difficult situations could be an important aspect of community-led responses to the pandemic.
Coronavirus research bite #4
Sleep hygiene during the pandemic
During the pandemic children and young people will have experienced huge changes to their everyday routines, and evidence suggests that some are experiencing worries and anxiety as a result of the pandemic. These factors can all impact on sleep.
This research bite looks at the importance of sleep hygiene for children, young people and families. By sleep hygiene, we mean changes we can make to our habits and environments to promote good sleep. The research bite considers how sleep might have been affected during the coronavirus pandemic, and suggests some simple strategies to help children, young people and families to look after and improve their sleep hygiene at this time.
Coronavirus research bite #5
Supporting pupil mental health and wellbeing during the return to school
Parents, carers, pupils and teachers may have understandable worries about returning to school after the summer break. Recent results from school staff surveys highlight concerns regarding the mental wellbeing of pupils and the importance of prioritising mental health support in the return to school process.
In this research bite, we draw on emerging literature from countries and contexts where schools have reopened after the coronavirus pandemic lockdown to identify the key factors that should be considered for reopening schools in relation to pupils’ mental health.
To keep informed of the latest coronavirus research, resources and learning opportunities from the Centre, please join the free Anna Freud Learning Network.