We know the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak can be particularly worrying for young people and with so much information out there, looking for advice and support can feel a little overwhelming!
To help you, we have pulled together some information and guides which we hope you will find useful. If you think we have missed anything or would like to know more about a particular service or area of support not included in these pages - tell us using our contact form
The coronavirus or Covid-19 is a new illness that is affecting people all across the world. It's caused by a virus which affects people's lungs and therefore peoples breathing.
The symptoms are usually a high temperature, feeling unwell and a cough you haven't had before.
There are lots of helpful resources and websites explaining what the coronavirus is, how it can affect us and how you can protect yourself and others. You can find them here:
We know that things are difficult right now and many of you will be missing family and friends, so now more than ever it’s really important to try to keep up hobbies and interests. It’s also a good time to try something new - we just have to find new ways of connecting while following the Stay at Home rules.
There are lots of activities which can be carried out whilst social distancing or self-isolating, although many services are unable to provide face to face support, they are able to offer alternative ways of working , over the phone or online activities, counselling or advice etc
One thing we know for sure, is that it’s really important right now to look after our mental health and wellbeing. There are lots of ways we can do this, like making sure we eat well and get enough sleep, take the time to do daily exercises, read a book or dust off some board games!
It’s also really important to have some time away from electronic devices and offline - and remember, not everything you see on the internet is as it seems! If you have social media, you might have seen posts about people getting fit, baking, or connecting with what seems like an endless number of friends and family. Though that’s great, many people are not doing these things and actually finding being at home really really hard - and some people posting what looks like a great time, might be struggling too!
And remember, the internet and social media platforms are also used to share and spread ‘fake news’, particularly concerning Covid19. Always think critically about the things you read on the internet and social media platforms. Always check information sources and where possible always use reputable media organisations for information and news. Always ask an adult such as your parents if in any doubt about the information you’re reading on the internet or social media.
If you are struggling, help is available, if you need someone to talk too or something to do there are lots of ideas and opportunities available.
We know that there are huge benefits to being online, this is especially true as we practice social distancing as it's a great way to keep in touch with family and friends.
It is also important to have an online / offline balance and set aside some time to do something offline, like make something creative, read a book or physical exercise - for ideas see our things to do (can link back to the stuff to do doc)
For advice and help to keep you safe when online and looking after your online mental health, we have pulled together a list of tips and guidance to help you keep safe and know what to do when things go wrong.
There are lots of fun and interesting things you can do on the internet, but it’s important to understand how to stay safe online.
UK Safer Internet Centre
The pages have been written specifically for children and young people to access if they have questions about staying safe online and include top tips, videos and short quizzes.
The latest tips, advice and resources to help children and young people have a safe and positive time online
BBC 8 top tips for online safety.
Find out more about keeping things fun, safe and respectful when you're online. The internet is an amazing place to be creative, chat with friends and find interesting fun stuff. You may spend a lot of time online, so it’s important to make the most of it and enjoy it whilst also being safe, sensible and respectful to others too. Here’s our guide to being smart about who you meet and what you do online.
Mind Online Mental Health
Explains the benefits and challenges to your mental health of being online, and gives ideas for looking after yourself online and getting support. Also provides information on staying safe online and getting the balance right between your online and offline life.
ThinkUKnownow - Online Safety
Learn about online safety when using blogs, chatting, online gaming and when using social networks. The website is divided into sections for 4-7, 8-10, 11-13 and 14+ year olds. It includes games, animations and loads of information to keep you safe and to know how to report.
CEOP - Centre for Exploitation and Online Protection
If you have been a victim of sexual online abuse or you're worried this is happening to someone you know, let us know safely and securely.
Online abuse can include rude messages, pictures or videos. If anyone is making you do things that make you feel uncomfortable online speak to a parent or carer and/or log onto CEOP and click the red button to report.