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R U OK survey launched for young people

This is Children’s Mental Health Week and young people in Cornwall are being reminded they are not alone, and that support is available. 

Headstart Kernow and Cornwall Council will be launching one of their biggest surveys to find out how young people are being affected by the latest lockdown. 

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Cabinet Member for Children and Public Health, Sally Hawken, said: “With the reopening of schools and colleges now pushed back to March 8, and only then if the vaccine targets are met, the impact of this ongoing lockdown on teens and young people is an increasing concern.  

“Having heard from some young people and parents over the last few weeks, it has informed our next RUOK survey from Headtstart Kernow. It is completely anonymous and secure, and we would like to hear from as many young people as possible.  The results of the survey will help inform our support and services as we look to move from response in the pandemic to recovery.”

This year’s theme for Children’s Mental Health Week is Express Yourself.  Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good.

Kate Pordage from Headstart Kernow added: “We know that young people are struggling at the moment.

“One of the five ways to wellbeing is connection and we are hearing that a lot of people are missing that physical contact, because it is not possible through a screen.  We know it’s tough, we know how you feel, because we feel it too, so keep it up and be creative and just enjoy each other’s company when we can – this won’t last forever.”

HeadStart Kernow is a partnership programme to develop resilience and mental wellbeing in young people. It is Cornwall Council-led and Big Lottery-funded. 

Sally added: “It’s hard, because we are used to encouraging our children to limit their screen time, but now they are having to use them for long periods of time for learning.  We all need to reconnect with each other, and I would encourage everyone, especially over the half term break, to just play – step away from the screens and enjoy some downtime.”

You can take part in the survey by following this link to the StartNow website.