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University launches free course to help young people cope with impact of Covid

The course will consider the impact Covid has had on children and young people (Danny Lawson/PA)
The course will consider the impact Covid has had on children and young people (Danny Lawson/PA)

A new course is being launched to examine the “collective trauma” of Covid on young people – with one of the experts involved warning that the full impact of the pandemic has not yet been seen.

Glasgow University lecturer Christine Hadfield said: “We have yet to witness the full impact of the Covid pandemic on our children and young people.”

She spoke out as the university launched a free new course which will look at how young people’s emotional wellbeing has been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis – which has seen school children have to deal with periods of learning from home during lockdown.

University students have also had to cope with this, with some having to isolate in halls of residence at times during the pandemic.

Students were at times required to isolate in their halls of residence during the pandemic. (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The two-week long, online course, “Supporting young people’s mental wellbeing post-Covid”, has been developed with staff in the University’s School of Education.

It will examine the impact trauma can have on the developing brain, as well as how isolation and loss may have impacted on young people.

And it sets out to provide specific strategies and tools which could be used by teachers, social workers, parents and others to encourage children and young people to both recognise and discuss their emotions post pandemic.

Ms Hadfield said the course was aimed at anyone who was involved with children on a daily basis “whether it is parents, guardians or professionals in a variety of contexts”.

She said: “We have all been through what I would consider to be a collective trauma during Covid.

“Over that last two and a half years, we have become increasingly aware of the importance of our emotional and mental wellbeing as well as the importance of our connection with others.

“Through this course we will explore this issue in a bit more depth to see how we can support each other and our young people in the post Covid-19 era.

“We don’t know the long-term effects of this pandemic for any of us, but we hope that our two-week course will help to start that conversation and also look at how we might support young people to move forward post pandemic.

Mary Lappin, a lecturer in grief and loss education, who is deputy head of the School of Education, said: “For many, an experience of loss and bereavement will have had a considerable impact.

“Significant loss can be a painful and lonely experience and the accompaniment of adults, the modelling of healthy grief and a growing understanding of the potential impact of loss can be a most helpful way to support the wellbeing and flourishing of our young people post pandemic.”

More details on the course, including how to sign up, are available online at 

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/supporting-young-people-s-mental-wellbeing-post-covid

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