Young Minds Helpline for parents and young people

If there are concerns about a young person’s mental health during this difficult time, you can contact the Young Minds Helplines.

Parents Helpline: If you are a parent who needs advice about your child’s mental health you can contact the Parents Helpline directly on 0808 802 between 9:30am-4pm

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger: If you are a young person experiencing a mental health crisis you can text YM to 85258 for free 24/7 support

The Young Minds website is here:


On this webpage link, there is a collection of downloadable self-help guides that we really like and hope may be useful to you. Some are aimed at adults but the ideas and suggestions in them can still be relevant for young people and parents.  


Coronavirus: tips to cope during the lockdown

Childline has updated its Coranavirus webpage to include tips for children and young people on coping at home during the lockdown. Advice includes: keeping in touch with friends online and talking to people at home; staying busy with things like schoolwork or hobbies, and speaking to a trusted adult or parent if they need support.

Visit the webpage: Coronavirus


Coronavirus: advice and support for parents and carers

The NSPCC has created an online Hub providing advice and support for parents and carers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Content includes:

information on keeping children safe online;

tips and advice to help parents working from home;

advice on how to cope with tantrums;

and ways to talk to a child who is anxious or worried about coronavirus.

Visit the Hub: Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers

The NHS’s Top 5 Tips for maintaining mental wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak

You can view these and more tips on Every Mind Matters.

  1. Talk about your worries: it is normal to feel worried, scared or helpless about the current situation. Maintain contact with friends and family via phone and video calls to share how you are feeling.
  2. Keep a regular routine and set goals: you may need to set a new routine for now. Try writing a plan for your day with the things you can still do at home, such as watching a film, reading a book or completing a puzzle. Setting goals and achieving them gives a sense of control and purpose. Maintaining good-quality sleep makes a big difference to how you feel mentally and physically too, so it’s important to get enough (the Every Mind Matters sleep page provides practical advice).
  3. Manage your media and information intake: if 24-hour news and constant social media updates are making you worried, try to limit the time you spend watching, reading or listening to coverage of the outbreak to once or twice a day.
  4. Do things you enjoy and try something new: focusing on your favourite hobby, learning something new or simply taking time to relax indoors should give you some relief from anxious thoughts and feelings and can help boost your mood. Look online for free tutorials and courses.
  5. Look after your body: our physical health has a big impact on how we feel. At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that end up making you feel worse. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and exercise regularly. You can leave your house, alone or with members of your household, for one form of exercise a day – like a walk, run or bike ride. But make sure you keep a safe 2-metre distance from others.


Coronavirus: supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing

Public Health England (PHE) has published advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the coronavirus outbreak. The guidance covers: helping children and young people cope with stress; how children and young people of different ages may react; children and young people who are accessing mental health services; children and young people with learning disabilities; autistic children and young people; children and young people who care for others; and bullying. The guidance will be updated in line with the changing situation.


Read the guidance: Guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak


Help and support if you’re experiencing domestic abuse 

We know that this is not an easy time for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for some families to be cooped up together at home, all day and night. If you are experiencing domestic abuse you can contact Refuge’s 24-hour domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247. If you would prefer not to call and would rather someone contacts you when it is safe to talk you can use Refuge’s online call back request form, go to

Please do keep an ear out for your neighbours and if you hear something that sounds like domestic abuse, report it to the police by calling 101.

Coronavirus and domestic abuse

The Home Office has published guidance highlighting help and support available to victims of domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak.


Keep the family active with Everyone Active’s online fitness challenge 

Everyone Active has launched a daily timetable of live online classes that you can access via their brand new Facebook page – including family classes and kid-friendly sessions.

Plus at 8.30 am every morning, they’ll be posting a daily family challenge, to get everyone in your household up and active during the coronavirus lockdown. If you enjoy a bit of healthy competition, Everyone Active is asking families to film and post their workouts on Twitter, tagging in @everyoneactive and using the hashtag #eaworkout. Each week they will then announce ‘the fitness family of the week’ just for fun!


Home and Money Hub: Do you need financial support during the lockdown? 

We know that being in debt is one of the most stressful things that can happen to anyone. And now more than ever, some people may need support and advice to help them get out of debt and arrears, or simply to organise their finances so they don’t fall behind with paying bills.

It’s safe to say that lots of people have been in a situation where they’ve fallen behind with payments. If this sounds like you, we’re here to help.

Barking and Dagenham Council have a friendly team at the Homes and Money Hub on hand to give you all the support and advice you need to help you get your finances back on track. They can’t see people in person but this service is still running online and by phone during the coronavirus pandemic. Get in touch by calling 020 8724 2115 / 020 8227 2927 or emailing, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm.


Remember, we can all do our bit by keeping calm, supporting each other and shopping responsibly so that there’s enough for everyone.

Show your support for the NHS and key workers 

Don’t forget to make some noise Thursday night at 8 pm and clap for NHS and key workers who are working incredibly hard to keep us safe. Stand at your door or open a window and show your support!


Valence House – Boredom Busters

Valence House Museum may be closed for the moment, but that has not stopped the team from developing lots of fun activities that our younger residents can do online!

Called ‘Boredom Busters’, Valence House has produced free online activities to keep all of the family entertained at home. Just visit their website – they’ll continue to update it with more fun challenges over the coming weeks


For the little ones, we’ve also found a number of websites that can support your child’s learning. Have a look here and let their imaginations run wild.

Struggling to explain coronavirus to your kids?

Are your little ones finding it hard to understand why they can’t go to nursery and school, or just play in the playground at the park? If so, you might be interested in this digital book by Axel Scheffler, who has created a free book aimed at primary school children about coronavirus. Scheffler has worked with experts to answer questions children may have about why life has changed so much.


Coronavirus misinformation

In a blog, Professor Sonia Livingstone discusses how families can manage the misinformation online surrounding coronavirus, and ways in which parents and carers can help children deal with the challenges of social isolation.

Read the news story: Coronavirus and #fakenews: what should families do?