Psychiatrist attached to the North West Regional Health Authority, Dr Hazel Othello, is encouraging parents to help children understand what is happening in the current scenario of the covid19 pandemic, and try to avoid them being exposed to the many negative messages that are accompanying the containment of the situation.
“Talk to them in age-appropriate language,” she recommended, “And reassure them it is okay to feel anxious or worried.”
She proffered the advice as she participated in her Ministry’s virtual press conference on the coronavirus on Wednesday morning.
She said that was the only way parents could help children deal with the stress and uncertainties of covid19. She said parents should also encourage children to talk about their feelings daily and find solutions to deal with any mental health issues that may be detected within the child.
“We need to use this approach so these children can feel comfortable and get the reassurance and support they need. It is very important when you are reassuring them, to give them realistic positive messages as ‘There are doctors and professionals that can provide treatment people need when they get sick.”
She also encouraged parents to remind children that most covid19 patients have recovered.
“Tell them most people who get sick will recover. Don’t say to them things that are scary, keep them close to relatives so they keep feeling supported, and maintain their routines.”