Earlier this month, Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health and School of Education collaborated to develop the COVID-19: We’ve got this covered! website to help prevent anxiety and depression in children and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic in response to feedback from over 350 young people, parents and teachers.
Professor Jennie Hudson, Director of the Centre for Emotional Health within the Faculty’s Department of Psychology, says that based on this feedback, gathered from a Macquarie University survey, Macquarie psychologists and educators designed the content and format of the website specifically for those adults, teens and children in most need of support.
According to the survey, 60 per cent of parents and 88 per cent of teachers were concerned about their child’s or students’ mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, over half of all respondents were also concerned about their own mental health.
“The isolation, change and uncertainty of the pandemic can unfortunately be a ‘perfect storm’ for the development or exacerbation of mental health problems in children and young people,” says Jennie.
Aiming to directly address sector needs, the site was created to provide freely accessible and comprehensive information for Australian families and schools concerned about the emotional health and wellbeing of their children and students.
Offering evidenced-based strategies for managing any anxiety and depression experienced during the pandemic, the site also includes videos, tip sheets and contact lists.
“As students across Australia transition back to school and resume face-to-face classes over the remainder of the year, ambiguity remains for children, families and teachers,” says Jennie. “This free digital resource provides support, resources and contacts for those children and teens not coping with the disruptions this unprecedented crisis has produced.”