Macquarie University launches “COVID-19: We’ve got this covered!” a children’s mental health resource for teachers and parents

18 May 2020

A Macquarie University survey has found that 60 per cent of parents and 88 per cent of teachers are concerned about children’s mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. In response, Macquarie University has today launched the COVID-19: We’ve got this covered! website for teachers and parents to support students and children with mental health concerns including anxiety and depression during the pandemic.

Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health and School of Education surveyed 350 students, parents, carers, teachers, schools and health professionals to understand their concerns, and identified the need for a comprehensive online resource to help children to stay mentally healthy during this time.

“We reached out to parents, teachers and young people to ask how we could help, and what exactly they wanted to know. The website responds directly to those queries by providing freely accessible and evidence-based information for Australian families and schools,” says the Director of the Centre for Emotional Health, Professor Jennie Hudson.

The new Covid-19: We’ve got this covered! national website offers focused strategies for managing anxiety and depression during the crisis and includes tips, videos from experts and contacts for further support.

“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 Professor Hudson.

“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.

“Backed by Macquarie University academics’ expertise and research in children’s emotional health and education, this free digital resource provides support, resources and contacts for those children and teens not coping with the disruptions this unprecedented crisis has produced.”

Professor Hudson notes the importance of early intervention where parents and teachers notice signs of depression and anxiety in children: “It is well documented that the prevention and early intervention of anxiety and depression in this cohort can result in health, economic, social and education benefits across the lifespan,” she says.

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