The pandemic has affected all of us in so many ways and we know it has had a particular impact on mental health and wellbeing for many people.

Children and young people in particular have been adversely affected by the events of the last 18 months and we have seen a significant increase in the level of need for wellbeing support and mental health services.

We are working with partners across West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove Council, district and borough councils, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Sussex Police and other agencies to support young people, parents and carers, and professionals in how to get access to information about mental health and share tips and support through a new campaign Your Mind Matters.

Ten tips on self-care

  1. Be kind to yourself. It’s ok not to feel quite like yourself.
  2. Keep in touch with friends.
  3. Plan fun things to do.
  4. Regular exercise can reduce stress.
  5. Eating regular healthy meals will maximise your energy levels. Drinking water keeps the brain active.
  6. Aim for 7 to 8 hours rest each night.
  7. Try relaxation techniques like deep breathing to help you feel calm.
  8. Remind yourself to take each day at a time. Structure your day with things you can realistically achieve.
  9. Switch on programmes, podcasts and content that make you laugh. It may
    help you feel happier.
  10. If you need help, talk to your family and friends, or someone you trust.

Five top tips for parents, carers and families

  1. Changes in your child’s behaviour since the pandemic could be a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. It doesn’t necessarily mean they need specialist mental health support. Try asking them about it.
  2. Monitor your child’s exposure to stories and information about the pandemic and potentially conflicting messages they might be seeing.
  3. Listen to your child and accept their feelings and concerns. Encourage them to acknowledge their feelings.
  4. Help your child find things they can enjoy which can distract them from their worrying thoughts for a while.
  5. Help your child focus on positive aspects of life, there’s more to life than Covid-19.