We are receiving regular updates from Public Health England regarding the Coronavirus and any related advice. Please check this page for up-to-date information.
Key Sources of Information
- Public Health England South London HPT on 0344 326 2052
The Department of Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Please use the links below to see examples of personal hygiene teaching that the school is implementing at this time.
KS1: Horrid Hands and Super Sneezes
KS2: Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Hygiene
Advice from the YoungMinds Website about anxiety in the Time of Coronavirus
Feeling concerned or overwhelmed by the news is understandable, especially if you are struggling with your mental health or you have a physical illness. It might be that you’re anxious about your own health, or someone in your family, or what impact the virus will have on your life. Here are some steps you can take if you are feeling anxious: Talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Whilst it is normal to feel worried, if you are starting to feel overwhelmed, it’s important to acknowledge your feelings and speak to someone you trust, whether that’s a friend, a family member, a teacher or a helpline.
Arm Yourself with the Facts
There is a lot of information about the virus out there and false reports can fuel anxiety. Stay on top of what’s happening by using the Government website, it is the most up-to-date and reliable source of information. The NHS common questions about the virus can also be useful if you are worried about symptoms or family members. You might see stories or posts on social media that makes you feel anxious. It can be very hard to know whether or not social media posts are true, so try not to rely on updates from there.
Know what you can do If you are feeling scared or panicked by coronavirus, remind yourself that there are practical things you can do. There is lots of advice on the NHS website. You might feel anxious about this advice because it might trigger compulsive thoughts and unhelpful behaviours to do with washing and hygiene. If this happens to you, please talk to someone you trust about it. You could ask them to help you, and let people around you know what you find helpful and what you don't. It can also help to have a few gentle and regular reminders up your sleeve if you start to feel anxious about washing or hygiene. Remember this advice is about caring for yourself and others, but there is a limit to what you can do – so whatever happens, try to be kind to yourself.
Don’t Overexpose Yourself to the News
Staying informed can make you feel in control but the constant news reports could also become overwhelming. Try to get your information from reputable websites (like those we’ve mentioned above). If you do want to read or watch the news, try to limit the amount of time you spend and stick to regular intervals in the days. If you are finding it hard not to think about the news, try to plan some activities that you enjoy and which will take your mind off things, whether that’s going for a walk, chatting to a friend, watching a film or reading a book. Do take a break from social media if you feel like the updates are getting too much. Remember you are in control of what you see on your feed, take breaks when you do feel like things are getting too much or mute and unfollow accounts that make you feel more worried. For more advice and tips on looking after your mental health on social media, check out our #OwnYourFeed campaign.
Stick to Your Normal Routine
With so much uncertainty in the news, sticking to your routine can really help maintain a sense of normality. You might want to add extra activities into your day that make you feel calm, but try to keep to your daily schedule as much as possible.
Find Things That Help you Feel Calm
Like at any other time, it’s important that you are not only looking after your physical health, but your mental health too. Think about some activities that can help when you are feeling overwhelmed, like breathing techniques, writing down how you feel, playing music or talking to a friend. For some ideas, have a look at ideas to make a self soothing box on the YoungMinds website , or some new coping techniques on the YoungMinds website. Often things that distract you will help ease feelings of anxiety.
Dealing with Self-Isolation
If you’re not well, or have been in contact with people who are not well, you may be asked to ‘self-isolate’. Self-isolation means staying away from other people to prevent the potential spread of illness. If you find you have been advised to self-isolate, the government have guidelines on their website on how to do this. Wherever you might be when you self-isolate, think about who you can keep in contact with and how you can use apps such as WhatsApp and Zoom to talk to someone face to face. It’s important that you talk to people you trust during this time and continue to stay connected. They might be in the same situation and can help you navigate anything you are going through.
If you are on any medication, please do continue taking it, unless advised otherwise by your doctor. If you are worried about getting your prescription, call the pharmacy where you collect your medication, or your GP. They can arrange getting your prescription delivered or picked up by someone else. Maintain your routine as much as possible by getting up in the morning and going to bed at the same time. Eating regular meals and staying hydrated will help also, as well as taking breaks throughout the day to talk to someone or do something that you enjoy. If it’s possible, try activities in your home that get you moving, like yoga or dancing. It’s important during this time that you keep acknowledging how you are feeling and do this regularly. We know that things might continue to feel overwhelming or scary. It’s good for you to talk about this where possible – know that you can say ‘I feel anxious about…’ whenever you need to, and as regularly as you need to. You may find that you need extra support, so think about who you can turn to. It could be someone you know, or a helpline that can talk to you about how you might be feeling.