How have your child’s feelings changed throughout the pandemic?

It’s Children’s Mental Health Week (1 to 7 February), and Barnsley Council is encouraging children and young people to take part in an emotional health and wellbeing survey with the support of their parents.

Throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the council’s public health team has been collecting the views of children and young people to understand how their feelings are changing. The survey has received over 1,000 responses and has revealed that young people feeling positive about the future has decreased from 74% in July to 65% in October. However, there has been an increase in physical activity from 29% in July to 38% in October. The top five words to describe how young people are feeling include: happier, bored, okay, sad and anxious.

Children and young people aged five to 18 can take part in the survey with their parents’ support. The survey can be completed monthly by visiting https://surveys.barnsley.gov.uk/s/YFEZGV/. Anyone who has already completed the survey is encouraged to complete the survey again.

Using the information from the survey, the council is supporting parents and carers to spot the signs of young people who may be struggling with their mental health and take action to support them. Here’s how residents can access local support:

Cllr Margaret Bruff, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “Most families have experienced an enormous change to their daily lives during the pandemic. In November, we asked adults how they were feeling in the Director of Public Health’s Day in the Life Report, and we’re just as eager to continue hearing the thoughts and feelings of our young people.

“I would encourage all children and young people to complete our survey so that we can continue to provide the right support for your emotional wellbeing. Remember, it’s okay to share your feelings and talk to people you trust, whether that’s your parent, another adult or friend. This will help you to understand how you feel and get the right support.”

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