COVID-19 pandemic affecting children’s mental health

As a healthcare charity, MedEquip4Kids is dedicated to ensuring the most vulnerable children and young people are supported throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Since 2014 we’ve provided extra resources for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) including sensory toys, books, games, and communication aids. Since the coronavirus outbreak, over 80% of young people with conditions such as anxiety, depression or OCD have reported worsening of their symptoms.

Our contacts at CAMHS have told us how difficult things are. A clinical psychologist at an inpatient unit says: “We have been severely affected – no leave or visits are allowed for our young people, who are now stuck on the ward indefinitely with only digital family contact and only outside time in our small garden area. Our education team have also been stood down, so our capacity to provide a full timetable is limited. It is affecting young people’s motivation and there is a lot of hopelessness. We are obviously working as a team to think of creative solutions. We would appreciate anything that can support meaningful activity and social interaction during this time.”

An art therapist working with young people told us: “Due to the current restrictions, staff are unable to support young people accessing outpatient services face-to-face and many are now providing support by phone or video link. For the young people to be able to continue to engage with therapeutic creativity fully, we want to be able to send tailored kits of art materials/instruments to their homes. Unfortunately we do not have the resources available to provide this.”

A CAMHS nurse says: “Given the current circumstances there will be an increase in the amount of trauma children are experiencing due to COVID-19. Thinking long term, there will be significant social and economic difficulties for the poorest communities; the communities that we most often work with, which will unfortunately lead to an increase in child mental health referrals.   For this reason, having resources available will make a massive difference for the children and families we work with both now and in the future.”

We want to provide a package of resources including outdoor and indoor games, books, sensory toys, and arts and craft materials for any service that needs them to continue supporting their patients’ mental health creatively during this difficult time.

Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to our CAMHS appeal. If you haven’t already, we would be so grateful if you could donate through our website and help young people stay mentally healthy during this crisis and afterwards.