Children’s Mental Health declined massively during lockdown, UK study shows

According to a new Oxford University Study, children’s mental health took a severe hit during lockdown.

Those aged between four and 10 were particularly affected, experiencing a much larger range of difficulties throughout the pandemic than older children did.

When restrictions were at their most stringent, the highest levels of mental health issues were indicated to be most severe. However, it has been reported that difficulties have decreased slightly in line with children returning to the real world, as oppose to the virtual Zoom classroom.

Emphasising the need to focus on mental health, as well as the educational learning lost, this study has indicated the significance of prioritising children’s mental wellbeing as well as their educational needs.

Looking on statistics throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the highest level of mental health symptoms was recorded in June 2020 and February 2021 whilst restrictions were at their height.

Studies also suggest that patterns were similar for both boys and girls, but they differed slightly between age groups. Younger children, aged between four and 10, experienced more changes in reported behavioural, emotional, and attentional aspects. Instead, older children, aged between 11 and 16, were more stable in these aspects.

Although it has been shown that such difficulties have decreased as restrictions have eased, children with special educational needs or those from more disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to have continued mental health difficulties to tackle.

Supporting your child after the Coronavirus pandemic

As a parent, it might be harder than ever to understand how best to look after and support your child’s mental health and wellbeing; as well as your own. Here are a few tips that could really help:

  • Talk with them: Let your child know that it is acceptable to feel however they feel, whether that’s worried, anxious, sad or scared.
  • Try to reassure your child in an age-appropriate manner: While you don’t need to know all of the answers, talking through things can help them feel calmer.
  • Keep as many regular routines as possible: The shift back to reality will be nerve-wracking for children, so try keep a sense of the familiarity in their day-to-day lifestyle.

For more help or advice on mental health matters, the Care at Home team are happy to answer your queries, please contact us today.

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