School closures 'will trigger UK child mental health crisis'

Many schoolchildren will need urgent support from psychologists when the lockdown eases because their lives and education will have been so badly disrupted by school closures, experts have warned. We are going to have to pick up a lot of broken pieces and put things back together.” Morgan, of University College London, made it clear that while the problems were likely to be more serious for those from underprivileged families, other children would also face adverse effects from missing their normal routines, their teachers, and playing with friends. For psychologists that is vitally important.” But all would be affected by the disruption to the normal patterns of their lives and lack of social interaction with peer groups. Gallery: How countries are edging out of Covid-19 lockdown (Photo Services) Even as the world continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, several countries, where the daily growth of new infections has reduced, are beginning to take tentative steps to ease lockdown measures in order to allow citizens to move freely for the first time in weeks and to revive the economy. (Pictured) Spectators maintain social distancing rules as they attend an opera at the Croatian National Theatre, which opened after two months, in Zagreb, Croatia, on May 26, 2020. “Figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics revealed that 19 million adults in Great Britain are suffering from high levels of anxiety,” she said. “A lot of people are going to experience intense mentalhealth difficulties and will need specialist treatment.” Wykes added that lack of certainty about the future was only worsening a very worrying situation: “People don’t know what to look forward to or how to act. Currently most government plans end up in U-turns and that is making people even more anxious.” On Friday, ministers responded to concerns of parents and MPs about the failure to reopen schools, by announcing a £1bn fund to help children catch up on what they have missed. Boris Johnson is expected to announce a partial lifting of the 2-metre physical distancing rule, though Whitehall sources said the changes would not apply across the board. The Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran will on Sunday highlight government figures showing the large number of primary schools which are already operating above capacity – making a return to the classroom even more difficult to achieve. In the north west, the region with the highest death rate from coronavirus outside London, 636 primary schools were at or over capacity before the pandemic hit. “These stark figures reveal that unless urgent action is taken, schools simply won’t have the space for pupils to return safely in September,” Moran is to say.