Can you volunteer your professional skills? Online support is being made available for children, young people, families and keyworkers to manage their emotional wellbeing during this difficult time.
This letter was issued around Essex last week, however, trained volunteers could potentially come from all over the UK.
Open letter to Qualified Psychotherapists and Counsellors from Kids Inspire's CEO and Clinical Director, Sue Bell
I hope that this letter finds you and your family well. I am writing to give you an update on Kids Inspire’s current position. We are still fully operational, seeing 95% of our service users online, 5% of the most vulnerable individuals face to face but following all protocols.
I am reaching out to ask for your support as part of Kids Inspire’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Talk together is a new project that has been set up in recognition of the impact of the coronavirus on mental health. It aims to reach vulnerable children and families locally who have fallen victim to their new set of circumstances.
In addition to our existing service users, online support is being made available for parents/carers and children, as well as an online consultation service for teachers, health workers and other key workers.
The specialist bespoke therapy offered at Kids Inspire will focus on nurturing the strengths of a child and family to build resilience during this unprecedented time.
This is a call to action for Qualified Psychotherapists and Counsellors who can offer 2-3 hours per week on a voluntary basis to join our online ‘Talk Together’ service, where those in need of a trained, empathetic ear can receive an assessment to help meet their emotional needs through this challenging time.
Appropriate partnerships need to be formed during this response phase in order to draw on the expertise of those with established trauma-informed practices during the recovery phase. We can not underestimate the need for specialist support if those who have physically survived COVID-19 are going to also recover and survive mentally.
The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 thus will be particularly the case for children and young people who are facing a ‘domino effect’ due to fear of losing and/or actually losing: vulnerable family members due to hospitalisation/death, financial stability due to parents’ job loss and a knock-on effect on housing security and access to food, social and peer support network due to school closure and pause of extracurricular activities, parents’ emotional availability due to extreme distress. The most up-to-date survey conducted by Young Minds (20-25 March 2020) highlighted that the children and young people in the UK are already under a state of immense anxiety. In the relevant BBC article (01 April 2020):
‘A survey by Young Minds has shown that the coronavirus pandemic is having a profound effect on young people with existing mental health conditions. Although they understood the need for the measures taken in response to the virus, the report says, this did not lessen the impact. Many of those who took part in the survey reported increased anxiety, problems with sleep, panic attacks or more frequent urges to self-harm’
We are currently experiencing a Pandemic situation (WHO 2020) with numerous unknown factors. As it is unfolding, the known but yet constantly changing numbers are warning for a trajectory of multi-layered losses on a global scale. The impact will be different for each country and each community.