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Support for children with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH)

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in children. Coping with stress will make our community stronger.


You can support your child and encourage your child to support itself by:

  • monitoring their access to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.  A social story to help you to talk to your child about the virus can be downloaded from the 'Coronavirus Social Story' link below).
  • encouraging them to take care of their bodies. If they are feeling anxious or stressed, encourage them to take deep breaths, stretch, or practice mindfulness.  Try to eat healthy, well balanced meals, take regular exercise, and stick to regular sleep patterns and routines, where possible.
  • Helping them to find time to unwind and participate in activities that they enjoy.  Mindfulness colouring can be supportive, as can communal jigsaws, or family games.  (Some mindfulness colouring sheets can be downloaded from the link below).
  • Encourage them to talk with you about any concerns they have and how they are feeling.  The mood monster fans below may be useful to help children to identify how they are feeling.
  • If your child struggles to regulate their feelings and emotions, some of the exercises in the 'Supporting Social and Emotional Regulation' document (below) may help.