Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to delay our conference that was originally planned to look at how we can best support bereaved children in finding a voice.
The current situation though has really made the Listening Tree team look at how we can give all children a voice at a time like this when many are living with grief, anxiety and change. The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy recently reported that:
‘More than 80% of young people who have a history of mental ill health found their conditions have worsened since the coronavirus crisis began in the UK, a survey revealed.
And the poll by charity YoungMinds found that of the 83% of young people who said the pandemic had made their mental health worse, 32% said it had made it “much worse” and 51% said it had made it “a bit worse”.’
Many children are experiencing multiple losses, isolation and changes to their routine which further impacts on their mental health. Offering these children support is vital to their ongoing wellbeing.
Listening Tree believes that if support is given early after a bereavement or loss most children and young people don’t need professional support. What they need most is someone who cares and has the time to listen to them in an environment in which they feel safe. For many, this place is in school and we have been lucky to see the fantastic work that goes on within our Lancashire schools. Here is an information sheet “Supporting children through difficult times” produced by Child Bereavement UK that you may find useful.
There are many other great resources on their website.
The Winston’s Wish website also has some really good advice on supporting children through the Covid-19 pandemic that you may find really helpful.
We believe that it is also important that we look after the professionals around the child and those most at risk of burnout or tertiary trauma. This seems more important than ever in the pandemic. Listening Tree does this by providing professional supervision and reflective practice to staff.
If you feel we could support you or your school in any way please contact us for an informal chat. We recognise that every school has its own unique set of needs.