Young patients at Walsall Manor Hospital were encouraged to express their feelings especially during the Covid-19 pandemic during Children’s Mental Health Week.
Assistant Play Specialist Jo Plank helped the children to do this through the form of art and the pieces will be used to create a display on Ward 21, the Children’s Ward.
Jo said: “We know how important it is to encourage children to talk about their feelings in regards to the pandemic.
“Not only does this give the children something to occupy their time whilst in our care but it also lets us know how they are really feeling and coping.
“Being in hospital as a child is already a huge thing to go through and with a pandemic on top it’s important for us to know how we can make their stay here eve n more comfortable.”
One patient, aged 11 wrote:
“During Covid-19 everybody needs to wear masks, social distance and stay indoors. A positive from this dreadful pandemic is we have been able to spend more time with loved ones in your household. Also many people have got pets to cheer them up. You wouldn’t believe it but schools have closed and unfortunately many people have lost their jobs. Another downside is that we haven’t been able to see family outside of our household; also people haven’t been able to go to work due to this awful pandemic. Also schools are now closed for a second time and they may be closed for many more months.”
Pictured are some of the creations from our young patients and we look forward to sharing more of their thoughts in the coming weeks.
Sallyann Sutton, Walsall Healthcare’s Professional Lead-School Nursing, said there had never been a more important time to promote the wellbeing of children and young people; with the Covid-19 pandemic having a huge impact on them.
“School Nursing in Walsall has consistently been helping children and young people’s wellbeing, however, we have really stepped up during the pandemic to extend our reach to their families too and support their emotional health and wellbeing. We have seen an increase in the number of children and young people in need of support for their emotional health as well as parents concerned about escalating behavioural problems.
“We know that behaviour is a form of communication and that children exhibiting behavioural problems are trying to communicate that they are unhappy, frightened or anxious but often do not have the words to express these feelings. Our service tries to intervene early.”
Blogs and webinars are available via School Nursing’s website www.healthforkids.co.uk which is a safe source of accurate and sound information for parents/carers. Current blogs are:
- Understanding your child’s emotions https://www.healthforkids.co.uk/walsall/understanding-your-childs-emotions-a-guide-for-parents/
- Understanding your child’s behaviour https://www.healthforkids.co.uk/walsall/1760-2/
Sallyann explained that if parents/carers want a more interactive approach they can access a virtual workshop by calling 01922 423349 to book a place. The team also delivers parenting groups, adult resilience groups and children’s resilience groups. These are being delivered virtually at the moment and a free place can be booked via the same number.
Sometimes a crisis situation is made easier by someone to talk to or listen to you. Parents/carers can call the team’s Single Point of Access on 01922 423349 and speak to a School Nurse or text a nurse on text us on 07520 634 909. This service is offered service 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
In the same way, children in Year 6 or above can text a school nurse on 07480 635 363 or can log on to School Nursing’s Health for Teens website https://www.healthforteens.co.uk/walsall/getting-to-know-your-school-nurse/ Here they will also find a blog about School Nursing and be able to listen to a webinar.