Advice for supporting young people struggling with the death of Her Majesty The Queen
Mind, the mental health charity in England and Wales, wants to offer support for any young people struggling with the recent news of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.
This advice will share how to spot if a young person is struggling with what’s going on, how we might go about explaining challenging things that are happening in the world, and ways we might reassure them.
• The recent news of the death of the Queen, and the news coverage around it, may bring up a range of emotions, for us and the young people in our lives. For some of us, it may bring up feelings of personal grief and loss. Some may feel that this adds more uncertainty to an already unsettling time for the nation.
• It’s important that we reassure young people that there’s no right or wrong way to feel about the death of the Queen. Everyone will react to the news in their own way. Your reactions, and what you might need at this time, might differ from those of the young people in your life. However you’re all feeling, it’s okay.
• Try not to shut down conversation with ‘don’t worry about it’ or ‘it doesn’t affect us’. These may feel like soothing messages but they may appear dismissive of their feelings.
• Rather than dismissing or minimising their concerns, you could try to start the conversation yourself- ask open questions like ‘How are you feeling about the news at the moment?’ or share how you’re feeling.’
• It’s important that you to allow young people to process what’s going on in their own way and let them know you’re there for them if they want to talk about how they feel.
• You may want to support a young person with how they’re using social media and when they’re looking at the news. You could encourage them to take breaks from social media and news sites if they’re feeling overwhelmed and surrounded by content about this. Make it clear that you’re not trying to limit their screen time or nag them about phone use – suggest the diversion strategy is another phone-based activity.
• Encourage a young person to tailor their use of social media in ways that feel helpful for them. For example, they could filter their feeds so as to try and see less content about the news if they’re finding it difficult.
• Think about ways you and a young person can take care of yourselves or distract yourselves if the news is feeling difficult. There’s lots of different things you could try, such as helping them with practical things like schoolwork or appointments. And you could encourage them to do things they enjoy, like watching a film or doing sport. You might want to think of things to do together, but you might both need some time to yourselves as well.
Ultimately, different people react to different situations in different ways. Mind is here for everyone however they’re feeling whether they’re finding this news difficult in any way, or struggling with something else. We’d encourage anyone finding things difficult to speak to someone they trust.