After Covid, is a new approach needed to improve children’s mental health?

Children and young people would receive holistic, trauma-informed support that focused primarily on ensuring their emotional and mental wellbeing according to their needs – that’s what ‘success’ would look like according to new research undertaken by a group of leading Scottish funders.

The group, which includes STV Children’s Appeal, sought to establish how the Covid pandemic has impacted children and young people’s emotional and mental health and wellbeing, and whether a new approach might be needed.

The funders invited a range of grantholders to share their experiences, and then together, to develop a new way forward using communities’ assets to inform policy and practice. In addition, the findings will inform future funding strategies.

Key themes uncovered:

  • Disruption of family and school life
  • Challenges of providing remote/virtual support
  • Concerns about staff support and wellbeing
  • High degree of adaptability of projects
  • It can’t all be put down to the pandemic – many problems existed before Covid
  • Continuing uncertainty into the recovery phase

Prevention is better than cure

Grantholders reinforced the view that preventative work with children and young people including family support was essential to protecting and promoting their emotional and mental health and wellbeing, and that support needed to go wider than mental health organisations.

They stressed the importance of investing in organisations, not just projects, and valued core funding and flexibility around use of funds.

Read the full report