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"REACH OUT TO YOUR KIDS" (ABC.NET.AU)

This will just be highlighting what was said. For more details, the full article & source can be found here: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-02/victoria-covid-lockdown-mental-health-children-psychiatrist/100428428


A message from the Victorian Chief Psychiatrist, Neil Coventry, urging parents/caregivers to reach out to their children and have frank conversations about anxiety and stress during lockdown.


This is a very uncertain situation that we find ourselves living within.


It is impacting our own sense of well-being, anxiety, and stress level.

We all feel, to some extent, confused and very uncertain about the future - and remember: these feelings are a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.


It is critical that we acknowledge, and identify, the particularly vulnerable subset of people in our community who will really struggle during this time and make sure we reach out to them.


Think about the people in your social network, family friends, children, colleagues at work, schoolmates who may need extra help.



For parents/caregivers...


Keep a positive mindset that people WILL be able to cope with this.

For the majority, children and families ARE resilient and have the capacity to use their strength to get through this challenging situation.


There are a few simple things people can try and help their children in recovery:

  • maintaining normal routines

having a balance between home-schooling/study, relaxation, chillout time, exercise, meal plans, and sleeping patterns (especially for teenagers).

  • Talk to children about how they are coping

Don't be anxious or afraid to have a conversation.

Try and have these conversations when you're doing an activity together.

  • Ask them, what are their challenges and confusions about what is going on?

This is a series of conversations -- think, "less is more". You will explore your child's feelings more deeply through repeated conversations than once-off intense discussions.

  • encourage your children to ask questions and, as adults, try to answer as truthfully as you are able to.

it is important to acknowledge the feelings of children and to recognise and help them to understand how they can manage this distress they're experiencing.


There is help available.


  • If you are unsure of what to do, reach out to your kids' school, to the teachers, year coordinator, welfare staff, etc to get advice.

  • The area specialist mental health service (triage service) can be a very useful source to contact for advice and they can triage and work at the level of urgency if you need something more intense.



It is critical that we consider children and teenagers and their families because they could very easily be forgotten in this epidemic.


Finally, research tells us that the earlier we can identify a problem, the better the outcome … so we need to make sure that we intervene as early as we possibly can.


--


Stay safe & be kind!

We are stronger together :)

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