Helping families during COVID-19 lockdown

Last week, we made the difficult decision to pause our KidsTime Workshops and ‘Who Cares?’ schools programmes in light of recent government restrictions. But our support for families will continue through these uncertain times.

We have all been working hard to put support in place so that, even if we are unable to meet up in person, children and young people affected by parental mental illness will still get the help they need.

So, what have we been doing?

A weekly bulletin

Firstly, Our Time is producing a weekly bulletin which offers practical advice on how to cope, and top tips from our staff and volunteers (including those with lived experience). We send the bulletin to our workshop leads and they share the most appropriate content with each of the families they support. The bulletin also promotes our dedicated email address, which people can use to ask us any specific questions, voice concerns or express their worries.

Activities for children and young people

We are working with our workshop leads to plan activities for the children and young people, such as making daily or weekly video diaries, or taking photos to record their feelings and communicate with others.

Listening sessions

We have also set up a weekly listening session, facilitated by a trained volunteer, where young people (aged 11 to 18) can join a group chat and talk to someone in a safe and confidential space. This occurs weekly on a Wednesday evening from 6pm to 7.30pm. All of our young people have been invited to join this should they wish to.

Resources

We have a wealth of resources freely available to families and young people on our website, which will be updated over the coming weeks. There’s also a dedicated section of our website which lists other organisations to contact should you need more immediate help.