- Over half (57%) of households with children say their mental health has got worse as a result of lockdown measures
- Two thirds of working parents admit to suffering from ‘mental distress’
- 62% increase in referrals for under 18s requiring emotional wellbeing services since the start of the pandemic
- Almost a third of children (2.3 million) were classed as 'inactive' as a result of lockdown restrictions according to recent figures from Sport England
In a response to the government’s announcement that schools will not open until March 8th at the earliest, we are continuing to further support the health and wellbeing of both children and parents with our free online Kids' Wellbeing Hub. We also urge the nation to think more holistically about their health, and most importantly to have open conversations about their mental wellbeing.
Confined at home with routines disrupted and no longer able to see their friends children have been dubbed as the ‘forgotten victims of the pandemic’*. We have seen a 62% increase in referrals for under 18s requiring emotional wellbeing services since the start of the pandemic. Parents too have been experiencing significant distress: attempting to combine working from home with childcare often leads to home schooling feeling like ‘home duelling’. A recent survey commissioned by us revealed that two thirds of working parents say they are suffering from ‘mental distress’ due to the pressures of balancing work and home during the pandemic.
Our free online ‘Kids' Wellbeing Hub’ has been launched with the needs of both parents and children in mind. The hub contains several downloadable practical resources that focus on both physical and mental wellbeing. These practical tools will help keep everyone happier, healthy and active whilst they are confined at home during lockdown 3.0 and children are still unable to attend school. All resources have been developed by our team of experts incorporating insight gained from academic research and behavioural change theory.
- The ‘My wellbeing journal’ encourages children to explore new ways to feel well, sleep well, eat well and move well. Incorporating fun and creative ways for children to express themselves and openly share their feelings.
- A simple ‘emoji face chart’ tool enables children (and parents) to express how they are feeling through creativity. Parents are able to see how their children are feeling, which then helps prompt a chat about their emotional wellbeing with their child.
- The ‘Parent’s guide to kids' emotional wellbeing’ gives straight forward, practical advice to help parents understand how to talk about mental wellbeing with their children.
- Areas covered include top tips on how to sleep well, physical activity such as trying a family workout on ‘Nuffield Health 24/7’, a free digital platform with over 150 workouts and emotional wellbeing classes launched in January 2021.
Brendan Street, Nuffield Health’s Professional Head of Emotional Wellbeing comments: “As we face a global pandemic, a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty and with schools now closed for a prolonged period, children are at risk of suffering emotional and mental health challenges. Routines are disrupted; they’re unable to spend time with their friends, play their usual sports and may even be missing the structure schools and teachers bring. Parents and carers are also dealing with a huge change in routine and the need to balance the demands of work and home in an unprecedented way. Research shows that there is an increasing impact of this on the mental health of children and parents. Times are difficult at the moment and it is very normal to ‘not be OK’ from time to time. However, the resources within the Kids Wellbeing Hub will enable you and your children to spend more time ‘OK together’”.
*The Telegraph interview with former cabinet minister Esther McVey, 25.1.21
Notes to editors:
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For more information contact the Nuffield Health press office on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07775 501647.
About Nuffield Health
Nuffield Health is the UK’s largest healthcare charity. For the last 60 years, Nuffield Health’s experts have been working together to make the nation fitter, healthier, happier and stronger, all for the public benefit. As an organisation with no shareholders, income is invested back into the vision to build a healthier nation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nuffield Health has treated over 230,000 NHS patients in its UK network of hospitals. These NHS patients include COVID-19 positive patients, those needing intensive care or oxygen support, cancer treatment (shielding vulnerable patients from Covid-19), urgent surgery and palliative (end of life) care.
The Charity does this through its day-to-day services across 31 award-winning hospitals, 112 fitness and wellbeing clubs, healthcare clinics, and over 200 workplace wellbeing services, and through flagship programmes to support communities by widening access. Through these flagship programmes, we aim to help to improve people’s lives people who normally would not have access to Nuffield Health’s services. One of these flagship programmes is developing the UK’s first specialist rehabilitation programme to support patients in their recovery after they have received medical treatment for COVID-19. The programme, which blends together physical therapy and mental health support, is being piloted in NHS trusts across the UK, ahead of a potential national rollout.
Nuffield Health delivers a sector-leading 94% of hospitals rated as good or outstanding by national regulators. With a breadth of expertise, Nuffield Health provides connected care spanning from personal training and health MOTs to supporting people on their fitness journeys, helping patients recover with physiotherapy or emotional wellbeing counselling, or providing hospital treatments for illness and serious conditions like arthritis or cancer.
Last updated Thursday 29 April 2021
First published on Monday 1 February 2021