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Mental health and well-being

Primary Child self-care plan for summer

Child & Family well-being service - What's On? Guide - Spring/Summer 2022

Loneliness: Finding our connections to feel less lonely

Supporting children to manage anxiety over war, conflict and crises


Professor Vivian Hill, of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology, says:

“Our children are constantly absorbing things they read, see and hear and it’s completely natural for them to be picking up on the situation in Ukraine and feeling anxious and also asking questions about what is going on.  

“Children and young people have experienced an incredibly difficult two years due to the pandemic, and now they are faced with an even more uncertain world with the threat of conflict and war. It is important that we don’t avoid talking to our children about what is going on, but you might want to try to moderate their exposure to constant rolling news and updates.” 

Professor Hill advises: 

  • Give them the basics and don’t avoid the conversation – Listen to their worries and provide honest answers to their questions about what is going on, don’t overcomplicate your responses and try to give details at an age-appropriate level.  Don’t avoid answering their questions about the situation as this could promote more anxiety, but keep to basic facts.  
  • Ensure they feel supported and safe – It’s important to help children understand the level of threat to them and their friends and family. Explain this is happening in Ukraine, a different country and show this if necessary using a globe or map. 
  • Manage your own feelings - Try to deal with your own feelings of stress and distress in a way that it is managed as your children will be sensitive to your reactions.
  • Explain to your children that bad things can happen in the world but there is always some way we can help - Plan together how you might deal with this situation through fundraising or other actions to support the Ukrainian community.
  • Avoid exposure to a constant stream of news – Be mindful of whether you have the radio or TV on all day, as children will be absorbing news without us realising it. Try to build in ‘breaks’ from the news, for example, if you are picking up your children from school, turn off the radio or make sure it isn’t on a news station to provide a break from the constant exposure to worrying rolling news cycles.  
  • Watch where they are getting their news – We know that fake news is an issue, particularly on social media sites so be mindful of what your children are absorbing and where they are getting it. Ensure they understand that not everything they see on social media sites is true, and they know what reliable sources of news they can access.   
  • Seek advice and support if you are concerned about your child – School staff and educational psychologists can offer specific advice and support if you feel that your child is becoming overly anxious and distressed. Providing support and reassurance and diverting their thoughts through engagement in pleasurable activities can help. 

Step-by-Step BME Counselling Service

You are invited to register with Love to Ride for


Ride Anywhere Week


Join the fun 21st – 27th March 2022


All you need to do is register for FREE


It takes moments to register at:


Ride Anywhere Week is our spring campaign to encourage people to enjoy the many benefits of riding a bike. Riders can choose their own pledge to ride and have a week to complete it! No matter what their personal goals, Love to Ride will support and encourage riders to complete their pledge.


Riders can choose one of the following four pledges:


  • Ride for health and fitness - there are a LOT of reasons to enjoy a bike ride, find out more about the most tangible ones that will help you feel happier and stronger and live longer! 
  • Ride for transportation - to work, to school, to the shops. We’ll help you start making any journey from A to B by bike.
  • Ride for adventure - whether it’s to ride somewhere new or bikepack for the first time, enjoy a pedal-powered adventure!
  • Ride with the kids - saddle up and enjoy a bike ride with your kids this week. It might seem complicated, but we can help you roll out together.


Before the campaign begins, riders will receive emails containing helpful information and resources specific to their pledges. From quick courses to tips articles and videos, we’ll provide what riders need to feel confident, enthused, and ready to ride. There are also amazing prizes to be won!


With the support of Love to Ride resources and enticing prize incentives, riders will put the wheels in motion to drive real and long-lasting behaviour change that will benefit their health, happiness, and the planet.

Child & Family well-being service - What's On? Guide - Autumn/Winter 2021

Some recent Kooth podcasts:


How To Build Self-Confidence

Join Ben, Dan and Aisha, as they talk about self-confidence, what it means, how it differs for each of us, and what tips there are for building on it.

Available on Spotify and Apple Music 


Tackling our SAD

Join Beth, Ben, and Katja Anja as they discuss the challenges of the winter season, and the positive changes we can make to tackle seasonal sadness.

Available on Spotify and Apple Music 


Busting Myths For Movember

Join Dan, Dez and Tom as they chat about some of the myths that young boys will hear growing up, from 'boys don't cry' to 'boys don't wear pink'.

Available on Spotify

Childhood trauma resource for parents - What Survival looks like at home!

Crisis Messenger free text service

The AFC (Anna Freud Centre) Crisis Messenger text service is a free, confidential, 24/7 text message support service for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed or is struggling to cope. The service is staffed by trained volunteers who will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better. They can help with issues such as anxiety, worry, panic attacks, bullying and depression and are here to talk at any time of day or night. 

If you need support, you can text AFC to 85258.

School Nurse - Top tips for returning to school (anxiety, health, sleep, behaviour)

'Express Yourself' Children's Mental Health Week

All about Flu and how to stop getting it!

Information for Parents During the Covid-19 Lockdown – January 2021


We know that the situation around the outbreak is constantly changing and that our everyday lives have changed dramatically. It is normal to feel anxious, worried and scared and we need make sure we are taking care of our mental health. This page is designed to give you some information to support this and help you to support your children in doing this too.

The following organisations are offering support and advice:            

This link is to a wonderful e-book written by Dr Emma Hepburn about coping in the current situation, it includes lots of helpful advice : How to Stay Calm in a Global Pandemic

Helping your children with their anxiety/worry around the situation:

It is important at this time to help our children recognise and talk about the ongoing situation, this will hopefully help to reduce any feelings of anxiety they may be having. Supporting them may involve things like, allowing them to talk about any worries or concerns, supporting communication with family and friends and setting up routines, including time for play and exercise. The following websites have advice and support:              


Talking to Children about Coronavirus:

We need to continue to talk to our children about what is happening, answer any questions they have and address any worries they have. The pandemic has been part of our lives for a lengthy period of time and our children will continue to have questions, worries and concerns. The links below will help you to do this in a child friendly way:

0-3 years:     


Primary School Age:   


All Ages:       

Some Tips for Home-Schooling:

  • You can’t pour from an empty cup – please make sure you are looking after yourself as parents first and foremost. Make time for yourself, have a bath, take a walk, go to bed early with a book etc.
  • Set up a routine that works for you and your family is important. You know your children best and know what will work for them. Don’t worry if you can’t keep the routine up and please don’t keep trying to put a routine in place if it is stressful. Remember to keep a balance between active, nice family activities such as games and learning activities. Structure and routine are important in terms of maintaining our mental health.
  • If your children (or you) are feeling stressed with school work have a break. It is ok to take a break, not all work must be completed and work certainly does not need to be completed in one go. If you are worried about not all work being completed speak to your child’s teacher and ask them to prioritise learning tasks so you know which pieces of work are most important.
  • Break learning up into small chunks and if you can use visual cue or a now and next board that shows your child what they need to do and in what order.


  • If it helps use a timer so your child has a clear start and finish time for each activity. You can find timers online at
  • Make sure your children get some downtime to relax and some exercise every day.
  • If your child is struggling with their emotions support them to talk about what is bothering them, there are some ideas below of ways you can do this.
  • Sensory or calming resources may be useful, this could include simple things like blowing bubbles or playing with playdough or water or more expensive things like sensory cubes or tangle toys.

Ideas to Support Children and Young People During the Coronavirus Pandemic:


Managing Feelings and Emotions

  • Person activity – Fill your outline with your current emotions. How do they feel? Where are they?


  • Create a worry or question box where children can post things that they would like to talk about. Or create a worry monster – link here
  • Positivity journal/diary – Make a diary of some of the things you are enjoying each day e.g. today I enjoyed going for a walk in the woods, playing a game with my family etc.
  • Make a ‘Things to look forward to’ jar or box – Post things in the jar that you miss and are going to do when you can as something to look forward to.


Managing Big Emotions


Allow them to feel

  •  hold space for their feeling
  • move their body if they aren’t safe
  • hold their hands if they are hurting themselves or someone else
  • don’t rush them to calm


Connect with them

  • Empathise with their feeling ‘you worked so hard on that and it got broken, that’s really upsetting
  • Validate their emotion ‘I can understand why you felt like that, I would feel like that too’


Offer Coping Strategies

  • Offer two choices e.g. would you like a hug or to stomp your feet to help you feel calm
  • If they aren’t ready for this return to allowing them to feel


Problem solve

  • Don’t attempt this until the child is calm
  • Support them to problem solve with you e.g. ‘You want to play with the scooter and Jack is using it. What could we do?


Mindfulness (for children and adults)

Mindfulness involves maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts and feelings, body sensations and external environment. It helps us to tune in to what we are sensing at that moment rather than reliving the past or worrying about the future. Research has found mindfulness to be effective in reducing anxiety and depression. Below are some links to mindfulness type activities that can be found online:


Mindfulness support from Mind

Smiling Mind Mindfulness Resources

Kids relaxation techniques – Guided Imagery

Positive Psychology – Mindfulness for Children

Puppy Mind by Andrew Jordan Nance

Mindfulness Colouring

Mindfulness Rainbow Walk

Star Breathing

Headspace app

Calm App

Ten Percent Happier Meditation App


Coronavirus and Wellbeing

Responding to Coronavirus, Resources for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Pupils and Students During Periods of Disruption

Young Minds What to do if you are Anxious about Coronavirus

Newsround Advice if you are Upset by the News

World Health Organisation – Helping Children Cope with Stress During the Outbreak


Planning for the Future

It can be helpful to remind children and young people that this is temporary, and we can still plan for the future. This may help them see beyond the situation and begin to consider setting goals for their future. Some families have enjoyed creating a jar of activities which they wish to do after the pandemic is over including people they want to see, things to do and places they would like to go.

Helpful Books

  • Something Bad Happened: A Kid’s Guide to Coping with Events in the News by Dawn Huebner
  • The Day the Sea Went out and Never Came Back by Margot Sunderland
  • Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley
  • Always and Forever by Debi Gliori and Alan Durant
  • The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
  • Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud
  • Sad Isn’t Bad : A Good-grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss by Michealene Mundy
  • Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine: Your Activity Book to Help When Someone Has Died by Diana Crossley
  • No Matter What by Debi Gliori


Grief and Bereavement

Winston’s Wish (supporting children through bereavement)

Child Bereavement UK

Rainbow Trust Supporting UK Families with Bereavement

Hope Again

Cruse Bereavement Care