Advice for Young People during Coronavirus

It’s easy to feel a bit overwhelmed and scared by everything you’re hearing about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) right now.

Find out more about what’s happening and the simple steps you can take to help prevent catching COVID-19 and spreading to others. Also find out more about what you can do if you are feeling anxious and worried, and how you can support others in your community.

Our Services

  • We want you to know that we are still here to look after you and support you as and when you need us
  • At the moment we are operating in a different manner. There are less face-to-face appointments and many more telephone and video calls being made.

You have the right to feel safe in your home

  • Please use our regular telephone number if you need our help.
  • If anyone is making you feel unsafe or frightened, for example, by threatening you in your home or by stealing money from you, please tell someone such as
    • The Police
    • Your local council
    • Any professional involved with supporting you such as a social worker, support worker or your GP

Looking after your mental health at this difficult time is very important. Here are some things that you can do to help yourself during the coronavirus pandemic…

  • Acknowledge emotions of anxiety as they come and then try to let them pass. Try not to reject these emotions as this can create a bottleneck of feelings and then they can come all at once. 
  • Keep in contact with your friends as they will keep your spirits up! You could use your phone or social media sites such as Instagram and remember to investigate ways to do your school work online together.
  • Keep some structure to your day. Keeping up with your normal hobbies and activities as far as possible will help your mental wellbeing.
  • Try to keep your body moving! Exercise is a fantastic way to improve your physical and mental health – check out our tips below!   
  • Most importantly, remember that if you are feeling really low or are struggling to cope, you are not alone and support  is available for you (see all the details below!) Plus you can speak to a friend or family member or book an appointment with your GP.

Feeling anxious or overwhelmed is completely understandable at a time like this, especially if you are struggling with mental health or are concerned about someone with a physical illness. The Children’s Society’s mental and emotional health resource vault is full of advice on issues that may be worrying you.

Keep calm, stay connected, be safe

Information sharing

  • There will be lots of stories and information being shared about coronavirus, make sure you only follow official sources and share medical advice from the NHS. Sharing or following advice from other sources could put you and others around you at more risk.
  • If the 24-hour news is making you anxious, think about only reading a few headlines a day and limiting how much you see.
  • Social media is great for staying connected but remember not to give out your personal details to people you don’t know.

Education

  • Make sure you listen to advice that comes from your place of education as things could be different from school to school.
  • The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) regulates examinations and assessments in England. They are working closely with the Department for Education and any announcements about exams, will come from these two organisations.

Employment and financial uncertainty

As government advice continues to come out, employers are figuring out what coronavirus means for their business and employees.

If you are working a job that pays by the hour, the shift or are on a zero hours contract, find out from your employer if:

  • you can claim statutory sick pay if you become ill and need to self-isolate
  • you can continue to work from home if your place of work cannot open
  • you will continue to be paid if your work does not open

If you will not continue to be paid or your hours will be reduced, you can sign up for Universal Credit until you are able to return to work.

  • Usually, you have to be off work for longer than 4 days to get sick pay but, to make sure people stay home if they are feeling unwell, sick pay will now be paid from day one for those who have to stay home, including those showing symptoms but haven’t tested positive for coronavirus.
  • If you’re an apprentice, you should get sick pay the same way all other employees at the company do.
  • If you are on a zero hours contract, you will have to find out from your employer if you get any sick pay n to work.

Look after yourself

Stress management

  • While you might have to keep your distance from other people you can still go outside and keep a physical distance from others. Go for a walk, run or cycle and explore a local park – phone a friend or listen to a podcast as you wander. Exercise, meditate, and keep to a daily routine as much as you can.
  • If the 24-hour news is making you anxious, think about only reading a few headlines a day and limiting how much you see.

Eat Well

  • If your food shopping looks a bit different, use the opportunity to learn to cook a new meal with ingredients you might not usually buy. YouTube has loads of videos you can cook along with.

Stay Connected

  • If you have access to it, use technology to stay in touch. If you have a smartphone, schedule video hangouts with your friends!
  • Check in with your friends, family, and neighbours regularly. Wherever you can, assist people in your life who may be more vulnerable (e.g. those with no access to the internet or who cannot easily use the internet to shop online).
  • Spend the time connecting with the people you are living with. If you are in a lockdown situation, use this time to improve your existing relationships.

Exercise

  • Work out at home! Working out can reduce stress levels and release chemicals in your brain that make you happy and there’s lot of exercise classes you can follow on YouTube.

Definitions

There are lots of new and technical terms flying around, here are what some of them mean:

Coronavirus – Coronaviruses are a large group of different viruses. Each one is slightly different, but they all cause issues to your respiratory system, which is what helps you breathe. This can range from something like the common cold, to more serious infections or diseases.

Social Distancing – involves staying further away from people to make sure that people don’t become unwell. It can mean simply standing further away from people in a queue, or avoiding going to busy places such as concerts or restaurants.

Quarantine – involves people staying at home or another location to make sure that disease isn’t spread. You don’t need to have symptoms of the disease to be quarantined, it may be that you have travelled from a country that has a lot of cases of coronavirus and they need to make sure you aren’t carrying it.

Social Isolation – is when someone stays away from other people to make sure they don’t spread infections to others. This normally means staying at home and not going outside or having visitors to your house.

Trusted sites to get up to date information on COVID-19

At the moment, there is a lot of coverage from all media and although it is important to stay informed, consider taking a break if you feel things are getting on top of you. Sometimes feeling stressed or anxious can be related to seeing lots of media coverage and new stories about the impact of COVID-19, it is OK and normal to feel this way.

Only take advice from trusted government and health service websites. These have all the latest facts and figures to give consistent advice on how to prevent spreading, catching it and what to do if you think you have the Coronavirus.

NHS (nhs.uk) website COVID-19 advice

Government (gov.uk) websiteCOVID-19 advice

AgeUK Information Guide on COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 
NHS 111
Government Stay At Home Guidance
NHS Information Page