How to Support Armed Forces Young People During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We know that everyone is a little worried and scared about the Coronavirus and the impact that it will have on their families.

Our friends at Young Scot have produced some fantastic hints and tips on how to stay both safe and resilient as a young person.

From our conversations with our own young people we know that they are facing some additional unique worries as a result of being from a forces family.

Young people have already told us that:

  1. They are feeling more anxious about what the coronavirus means for their families. It’s important to consider that particularly for children with veteran parents they are aware that their parent may have complex health conditions. This can make them really conflicted about attending school, support services or social groups in case they catch the virus.
  2. It is important to remember that the uncertainty of the situation and the fear about loved ones can bring back uncomfortable, and potentially painful memories of parental deployment which impacts on their wellbeing.
  3. Those with parents who are currently deployed need support services more than ever. They are already missing a part of their support network and family structure and will have limited contact with them.
  4. They are worried about whether serving parents may be asked to take on additional work away from the family home as the pandemic progresses and what this might mean for their families particularly if another parent has a health condition.  
  5. They are stressed about when they can take their exams, how the disruption will impact on their ability to do well and this is particularly stressful for those with conditional offers for College & University.

What you can do to support:

  1. Make sure to acknowledge and listen to young people’s very real concerns about how the coronavirus might impact on their lives and that of their families.  
  2. Make sure that young people you support whether as a parent, teacher or a support worker stay informed about how to keep themselves and other safe in a way that is not frightening
  3. Remember that Armed Forces young people may be dealing with already challenging situations such as deployments. Remain empathetic to these challenges and flexible to the supports that they might need. If you need help or support in potential coping strategies that you can help children employ then please get in touch with us on 0131 322 7350 or at comms@rcet.org.uk
  4. Young people need our support more than ever. If you can’t hold your normal services face-to-face please consider providing services in a different way by email, phone or other digital means.
  5. Make sure you know the resources available to young people including Childline and Young Scot.

The situation is constantly changing at the moment and we are doing all we can to work with families, schools, community teams and other professionals to ensure that Armed Forces children are getting the support that they need.

If you are a young person, or you want to support a young person and you need our support don’t hesitate to call us on 0131 322 7350.