A UK charity has called into focus the impact of coronavirus on the mental health of the UK’s school-going children.
The UK has been among the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus in Europe. The lockdown measures in the UK were announced on March 23rd and resulted in the closure of schools and businesses.
Parents and students were instructed to stay at home and remain isolated from the outside world to curb the spread of the virus. The impact of the lockdown, more than two months after the lockdown, is starting to be felt. A collapse in the economy, laying off and furloughing of workers, and a work at home policy has greatly impacted adults in the UK.
Mental health impact of coronavirus
However, it is the mental health impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on children that has alarmed the UK’s largest charity group, Barnardo’s. They indicated that these children have been isolated from the outside world, their social environment crushed within a short time and their safe space in schools has been taken away.
The resulting mental health damage from the lockdowns requires special attention when the schools finally reopen, according to Barnardo’s.
The continued by saying, it would be a missed opportunity if, when schools reopen, they do not address the emotional impact the coronavirus has had on these children. They also indicated that vulnerable children were more prone by this pandemic and needed to be addressed.
In a report released by the charity organization, they found that the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities had been adversely affected by these lockdowns. To recover from its impact, these communities would need special attention.
Data on the mental health impact of coronavirus
The report also released its findings that showed that 88 percent of teachers indicated that they believed the lockdowns had a significant impact on the children’s mental health. The report also continued by saying that only 26 percent of teachers believed that their schools were equipped enough to handle children’s mental health challenges due to coronavirus, after reopening.
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said, to some degree, all children were affected by mentally and emotionally by the lockdowns. He continued by saying that we were all in the same storm, but in different boats, in reference to the extent to which the pandemic affected the children’s mental health.
He also called on the government to take this opportunity, once the schools reopen, to rebalance schools and ensure the mental health needs of children are catered for.
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