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Back to secondary school: don’t jump in with solutions

What’s the best approach with an anxious teenager?

The Co-Space study of the effects of Covid-19 on children’s mental health has found a sudden rise in emotional problems among teenage girls (aged 11-17) from December to now. “There’s something going on — we don’t know exactly what,” says Dr Waite, who is involved in the study at the University of Oxford. “When we talk to them they express two themes — one is dealing with the uncertainty day-to-day and that feeling that it [the pandemic] is just relentless, and the older ones are also worried about their future education and life opportunities. The other theme was a pervasive sense of loss — missing interactions with your friends, but also those key developmental milestones you can’t ever get back, like missing proms or playing football for your county.”

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