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21 May 2020

Animated parenting tips for struggling households – tips 9-12

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust and Maudsley Charity have worked together to create ‘Families Under Pressure’ - a series of films to help families struggling under the pandemic.

Animated parenting tips for struggling households – tips 9-12

Four further animated films are launched today with tips on how to support children and young people with emotional symptoms. The films feature the recognisable voices of well-known parents Alex Jones, David Harewood, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Sandi Toksvig.

The tips were developed by he National & Specialist CAMHS Trauma, Anxiety and Depression Clinic team at NHS Maudsley Hospital including Professor Andrea Danese; Dr Patrick Smith; Dr Jessica Richardson; Dr Zoe Maiden; Dr Sarah Miles; and part of the evidence base includes research by IoPPN at King’s College London.

The tips are based on decades of research from the UK’s leading experts. They are rooted in the experience of NHS teams working with families and feedback from parents.

The recommendations are drawn from evidence-based Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) principles for the treatment of anxiety and depression in young people. At their core is the understanding that emotions are closely intertwined with behaviours and thoughts.

IoPPN, SLaM and the Maudsley Charity worked with top creative agency TOAD London and animators Helena Kampen, Jocie Juritz, Phoebe Halstead and Angie Phillips at Arc Studios, and Lily Shaul to turn the tips into short films. These are now available free on the Families Under Pressure website, along with further resources and tips.

This comes after interim results from the King’s College London RAMP Study, funded by King’s Together Rapid COVID-19 call, found 70% of parents with children under the age of 16 are reporting an increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

It is very difficult to modify emotions directly. However, we can try to change them indirectly by making small changes to the way we behave or think. Building on our research and evidence-based practice working with children and young people at the National & Specialist CAMHS Trauma, Depression & Anxiety clinic, at the Maudsley, we hope that these tips will help parents and carers struggling at this difficult time.

Andrea Danese, Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at IoPPN and Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at NHS Maudsley Hospital

He continues, ‘The films and website provide families with simple and practical advice that can be easily implemented at home to help support children in the face of the new challenges we are all facing. Putting these tips in a fun and easily digestible format and narrated by well-known people makes them easy to share during a busy day juggling many pressures.’

The four episodes released today provide tips and advice on:

  • TIP 9: How to communicate better with your child – narrated by Alex Jones.
  • TIP 10: Helping your child cope with anxiety – narrated by David Harewood
  • TIP 11: Helping your child manage negative feelings – narrated by Julie Hesmondhalgh
  • TIP 12: How to boost positive emotions – narrated by Sandi Toksvig.

The animations are also available to view on the King's College London YouTube channel.

Professor Danese concludes: ‘Parenting plays a vital role in developing resilience and good mental health in young people, and it’s vital that families have access to the right information and resources in order to do this, particularly during times of crisis.’

King’s College London, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and Maudsley Charity have a long history of working in partnership. Together they are planning the ground-breaking new Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People that will be a pioneering centre of excellence, bringing together world-leading clinical and research expertise to prevent and treat mental illness.

‘Families Under Pressure’ Tips 9-12 are funded by Maudsley Charity and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

The first eight tips on behaviour can also be found on the Families Under Pressure website.

Contact: Louise Pratt, Head of Communications, IoPPN: / +44 7850 919 020