How to help the children: COVID-19 and health anxiety? Need for child counselling in Kolkata
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the life of children in profound ways. The safety measures like: Isolation, contact restrictions have impacted the mental health of children and adolescents significantly. We sometimes fail to recognise their plight, their anxiety as they don’t communicate with them like an adult. Parents need to be vigilant to understand the anxiety faced by children.
The signs which indicate anxiety /distress in a child and there is a need for Child Counselling
- ✓ Significant change in behaviour: Any kind of change in behaviour should be taken seriously, and given much importance
- ✓ Complaints regarding physical health, like headache, tummy ache, without any physical reason
- ✓ Clinging to adults more than before
- ✓ Difficulties in sleeping and eating
- ✓ Decreased interest in playing and engaging in playful activities
- ✓ Sadness, enhanced crying spells
- ✓ Nightmares
- ✓ Being withdrawn or aggressive
- ✓ Manifesting new fears like, being afraid staying alone, afraid of darkness
It is important for adults to pay attention to behaviours of the children. Few important steps for the caregivers are:
Communication with Children: Care-giver’s need to talk to the children and try to understand what they are feeling. It’s important to be calm and proactive in the conversations with children – check in with them to see how they are doing. Their emotions tend to change regularly and parent need to show them that’s okay. Talk to children about what is happening in a way that they can understand. Use simple language, which is age appropriate.
Engaging in activities with Child:Caregivers can engage children in creative activities, such as playing and drawing, to help them express and communicate any negative feelings they may be experiencing in a safe and supportive environment. This helps children find positive ways to express difficult feelings such as anger, fear, or sadness.
Also read: Benefits of having a relationship Counsellor in Kolkata
Managing Own Emotions Properly:Children often take their emotional cues from the key adults in their lives – it is important that adults manage their own emotions well and remain calm, listen to children’s concerns, speak kindly, and reassure them.
Providing Structured Environment:Parents should provide structured environment to the child by maintain a proper routine, assigning separate space for study.
Help Child Stay Connected with Friend:The caregiver should ensure that the child is in constant contact with his/her friends. Child might feel separated, lonely without friend circle and that can be detrimental for his/her mental health.
Seeking Help from Mental Health Professionals if the need arises:For caregiver’s, it is also important to recognize when external help should be taken. If the anxiety, distress is high, it’s better to seek help from professionals like Child psychologists. Child psychologist is a person with degree or diploma in clinical psychology. They should have enough experience in working with child population.
Red Flags which indicates need for Clinical Psychological intervention:
- Major scholastic difficulties
- Difficulties in sleeping and eating for more than 2 weeks
- Being withdrawn or aggressive
- Complain of pain in stomach or headache without physical reason in continuous frequency
- Clinging, depending on behaviours
- Anxieties hampering regular work, without apparent reason
- Decreased interest in playing and engaging in playful activities
- Being sad, crying more than usual or for no apparent reason
- Problem in communication
- Exposure to any major trauma in life like losing parents/ near one’s
Child Psychologist could be found in hospitals or mental health establishments. Multispecialty also have clinical psychologist. One can use personal reference to look for clinical psychologist in Kolkata. Google is a one stop solution for everything. One can search on google for finding out “Clinical Psychologist” in “Kolkata”. On google, feedback and ratings are also available, so it is advisable to check the ratings or feedback given by others for reference. Please help your child in this pandemic in every possible way.