Coronavirus: UK lockdown and mental wellbeing


On the 23rd March at 8.30pm life in the United Kingdom changed. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, effectively ordered a lockdown. The lockdown was issued in response to the ongoing lack of restraint by groups across the country, who had gathered in their numbers in parks, outside pubs and even travelled a considerable distance to spend time by the seaside.

Despite the calls from NHS staff, medical experts and government officials the response to act with great care has been ignored. This has now resulted in an official lockdown, restricting movement for the elderly and groups not regarded as being essential key workers. But while the main focus of the lockdown will shine a light on those groups, there is another group who will no doubt have their own concerns and thoughts about what they are witnessing and experiencing at the same time.

We must be aware during this unfolding crisis how children and young adults are coping in this unprecedented global phenomena.

Often children cannot readily express the kaleidoscope of dramatic news, but for some, possibly many - it will have a huge impact. Some may be thinking: ‘Are my Mum or Dad going die? Maybe my gran? Will I be left alone? Will the virus kill me? These thoughts can quickly turn to deep anxiety and depression, if they're not properly diagnosed

And its not just the real news that can cause distress and worry. Schools are reporting that before the school shutdown they were worried about students being affected by a plethora of fake disturbing news in regards to the coronavirus: “Dear parents we are alarmed at some of the fake news stories being circulated on social media that many children are watching.”

It is now imperative that families are equipped with the tools to help young people during this time.

Spending time talking with a young person, either in at home or via a social network platform will go some way to help ease their concern and relieve the tension which may build up whilst the lockdown continues.

Having honest conversations, and in particular listening to them, on what they think all this means, is the best we can do.

Here are a few organisations designed to offer help to young people who might be feeling overly anxious at this time. - free online support and counselling - free 24/7 support across the UK for young people experiencing a mental health crisis. - free advice and guidance for children and adults experiencing mental health illness this provides you with some ideas of how to manage your mental health especially in the coming weeks

Rodney Reid - OBV