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Mental Health Support for Pupils and Parents


The situation in Ukraine is horrendous. Whilst we are geographically far away from the events, many in our schools and communities will be directly affected and may have families or roots in the region. The news and social media feeds are filled with the latest information, and some of it is very upsetting and worrying; and may not even be verified. Children listening and viewing distressing images can become frightened and fearful.

Here are some background reading resources to help you think about how adults can support children with what they are seeing or feeling. Please read through these links before sharing, to ensure that they are suitable for your community and situation.

Current information regarding Ukraine

Supporting your child if they see upsetting content online about what is happening in Ukraine (Childnet)

We should not hide from children what is happening in Ukraine (Schools Week/Children's Commissioner)

How to talk to children about what’s happening in Ukraine and World War Three anxiety (Metro)

Help for teachers and families to talk to pupils about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and how to help them avoid misinformation (Department for Education)

Information produced previously about war and international violence

How and when to talk to children about war, according to a parenting expert (Independent)

How to cope with traumatic news - an illustrated guide (ABC News, Australia)

Talking with Children About War and Violence in the World (Family Education, US)

Tips for parents and caregivers on media coverage of traumatic events (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, US)

Here are some additional resources to help adults support children with the issues surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Key has created a free pack of resources for all schools which includes:

• How to talk to pupils:
• Parent information and support pack:
• How to adapt your curriculum:

How to talk to your teenager about the invasion of Ukraine (BBC Bitesize/Anna Freud Centre)

How To Talk To Your Child About The War In Ukraine (Young Minds)

Worrying about Russia and Ukraine (Childline)

Worrying about war and conflict Sarah Dove (Phoenix Education Consultancy)

Talking Therapies is a free NHS service here to support the residents of Berkshire aged 17+ who may be struggling with difficulties including: low mood, anxiety and stress at this unprecedented time. We are currently offering a 4 week Stress Less course which you can access via the comfort of your own home. Please see leaflet below for more information.

Wokingham Schools’ hub – has links to national guidance and also SEND and Educational Psychology Service guidance. It is regularly updated in line with new developments.

Anna Freud Centre – comprehensive advice and guidance for school and college staff about how to help children and young people manage their mental health and wellbeing during times of disruption to their learning and school and college closure. There is also guidance for parents and carers and for Young People.

Anna Freud Centre – advice for young people

Kooth – free, safe and anonymous online support for young people. Monday to Friday 12pm to 10pm. Sat and Sun 6pm – 10pm.

Childline – online or phone support for children and young people. 9am – midnight 7 days a week.

Reading University - free online course for young people with low mood during covid-19