Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education
Vaughan Gething, Minister for Health and Social Services
In a few short months we have seen society change as a result of the Coronavirus. It continues to impact every aspect of our lives, creating new challenges and exacerbating existing pressures. Research helps us understand that the pandemic will affect many people’s mental and emotional wellbeing, and this is likely to be particularly true for children and young people (Footnote 1). People of all ages are having to face new situations and a new set of worries and concerns not previously encountered.
In recognition that many young people are finding the current situation challenging, and to support them during this testing time, we have created an online resource which promotes the numerous digital tools designed specifically to support young people with their own mental health and emotional wellbeing. The Young Person’s Mental Health Toolkit links young people, aged 11 to 25, to websites, apps, helplines, and more to build resilience and support them through the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond. The simple design enables users to take control of their mental health through a medium that suits them, with information, self-help, and advice about how to seek further support embedded throughout.
The Toolkit is hosted on the Hwb educational platform where anyone can use it either from an external link or by browsing the Hwb itself. The Toolkit is made up of six categories of the most common issues affecting young people at this time: Coronavirus and your wellbeing, Keeping Healthy, Anxiety, Low Mood, Loss, and Crisis, each with a bespoke set of hyperlinks to digital resources. The wide range on offer means there’s something for everyone, whether it’s an app from the NHS, a website in Welsh, or a listening ear from a helpline. The toolkit has been developed with support from clinicians and young people, and we want to take this opportunity to thank them for their contribution.
Over time, the Toolkit will be updated to capture the needs of children and young people as the Coronavirus situation evolves to ensure resources remain relevant now and in the future. To enable this, we will continue to gather feedback from children and young people, as well as professionals across both health and education.
 Holmes et al, (2020) Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science