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The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically impacted the lives of children and young people across the country. We know that many found the lockdown particularly hard and struggled to cope with social isolation, anxiety, a loss of structure and fears about their future.
Many with mental health problems have also lost their coping mechanisms – including seeing friends or taking part in routine activities. Our research also suggests that a third have lost the mental health support they were getting before the pandemic.
Lana is 17 and a YoungMinds Activist, she talks about the impact the pandemic has had on her mental health, “The coronavirus pandemic has been an isolating time for everyone, especially those in rural areas who already struggle with everyday isolation.” She says.
“It can quickly impact your mental health, making you feel alone and unable to cope. Anxiety is often a lonely condition, and coronavirus has worsened that for me. It’s been difficult not having my good friends to support me and cheer me up on bad days. Although excited to return to school, I feel underprepared and anxious about the lack of clarity surrounding coronavirus procedures and feel uncertain about the future of our education.”
Right now, we all need something to look forward to. We need to show young people they are not alone with their mental health and encourage them to reach out for support if they need it.
That’s why #HelloYellow from YoungMinds is more important than ever this year.
Thousands of schools up and down the country will be wearing an item of yellow for World Mental Health Day to support young people’s mental health and raise money for YoungMinds.
The campaign is a day that everyone can take part in to support young people’s mental health. All you have to do is wear something yellow on Friday 9 October. Whether you’ll be back at school, at home or still connecting over Zoom, you can take part wherever you are on the day and do something fun.
“YoungMinds has helped me in more ways than I can count.” Lana says.
“YoungMinds has been an outlet for me to help make a change in the world and to meet other young people who understand how I feel, resulting in me feeling less alone with my struggles.”
Lana is encouraging everyone to take part in #HelloYellow this year “as a way of breaking down stigma and showing support to those who are struggling with their mental health. No matter how you contribute to #HelloYellow, it’s an excellent way of saying you care and that you’re here to listen.”
When you sign up to take part in #HelloYellow 2020, YoungMinds will provide you with a fundraising kit complete with mental health lesson plans for the day, wellbeing tips and activities for you and your class that can be done in person or remotely if you’re not in school that day, and we’ll also include resources and tips on how to fundraise online.
You, your colleagues and your students all need something to look forward to. Let’s come together to feel positive about the future.
Tom Madders from YoungMinds, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has been incredibly hard for children and young people. The pressures of lockdown and the uncertainty many feel about the future will leave some experiencing mental health problems for the first time, while others will have continued to struggle, and not feel that support is there for them.
“There have been great strides in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health over the last few years, but we know that many young people still don’t feel like they can speak to someone, or don’t want to feel like a burden because of their mental health.
“It’s now more important than ever that young people feel comfortable reaching out for help if they need it, whether that’s talking to a friend, a family member, a helpline or someone at school they trust.
“#HelloYellow this year is here to remind young people they are not alone, but also to raise vital funds for YoungMinds so that we can keep fighting for young people’s mental health.”
To sign up to take part in #HelloYellow on Friday 9 October, or to make a donation, go to youngminds.org.uk/helloyellow.
You can then share photos of your fun-filled day online using the hashtag #HelloYellow and tagging @YoungMindsUK.
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