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Coping with Covid course goes county wide

A virtual teaching session to help young people cope with the pressures of coronavirus is being offered by our Wiltshire business unit to all secondary schools in the county after a successful trial over the summer.

The session, called “Managing change, loss and building resilience” is designed to promote emotional wellbeing amongst young people, many of whom are beginning to feel anxious, or down as a result of the pandemic and the huge changes it has brought to everyone’s lives.

The course, planned for Thursday 17th Sept 4.30 -5.30pm via Microsoft teams, has been developed by our Specialist School Nurse Kirsty Dalton.

She said: “We have already had quite a lot of interest from parents and schools so are hoping that lots of young people log in and attend. The focus of the session is on managing change, particularly the transition back to school and building self-esteem and resilience.

“We ran some sessions as a trial during the summer and they were very well received so we are now offering the virtual sessions to schools throughout the county.”

She added “Emotional wellbeing is just as important as physical health. Good mental health allows us to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at us and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.

“However, young people are being hit hard by the current pandemic and they are reacting in a number of ways. Some are becoming very anxious or feeling low in mood. Some of them are lonely, bored or feeling a sense of loss which can feel like grief. Some are also very anxious about returning to school or starting a new school with the pandemic and all the restrictions it brings still very much with us.

“Many young people can’t express properly how they are feeling because they have never experienced anything like this before. The uncertainty is a big feature, the not knowing when it is going to end. Normally the adults in their lives, parents, teachers, carers and so on can give them answers but that is not the case with the pandemic.

“The result of all this is that young people are beginning to find it hard to engage in education, home life and relationships because of their change in emotional health. The worst case scenario is that some could become mentally unwell and we have seen cases of this amongst some young people.”

The online sessions will explain to young people what resilience is, the importance of good emotional health and will give young people tools and tips along with activities and advice to help them through the current situation. They will explain the importance of eating and sleeping properly, exercising and show how to handle the “big emotions” like anger and frustration. There is also encouragement for young people to continue to do things they enjoy like talking to friends, going out, walking etc.  It also includes information on where to get more help.

Kirsty added: ”We are unable to see all young people face to face at the moment but these virtual teaching sessions will hopefully reach young people who need advice and reassurance as they try to make sense of living through Covid-19. We will be telling them that it is perfectly normal to feel confused and anxious and as adults we are often feeling very similar things.

“The fact these sessions are virtual rather than in a school means that hopefully we will also reach some young people who would not normally engage with our service because they prefer the level of anonymity remote communications offer them.

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