Many vulnerable children have had to shield at home
Many vulnerable children have had to shield at home

Coronavirus: Lars Windhorst Foundation offers families and teachers access to psychotherapists during crisis

‘The Foundation has always been passionate about supporting young people and, during this difficult time, I believe it is more important than ever,’ says founder

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 12 May 2020 14:58
Comments

The Lars Windhorst Foundation is offering families and teaching staff access to psychotherapists in an effort to support their mental and emotional health amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the mental wellbeing of members of the public has been heavily impacted by the many changes they have had to adjust to, from being furloughed to being separated from their relatives for long stretches of time.

Nearly half of adults (47 per cent) have suffered from Covid-related anxiety according to an ONS study , and researchers from the department of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge have said the pandemic is “likely to have major impacts on mental health now and into the future”.

Writing in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, the team stated that children, among other groups, may be in particular need of mental health support, saying: “The pandemic intersects with rising mental health issues in childhood and adolescence.

“Ascertaining and mitigating the effects of school closures for youth seeking care is urgent and essential, given that school is often the first place children and adolescents seek help."

In light of the pandemic and subsequent closure of schools in March, the Lars Windhorst Foundation, which supports non-profit and social organisations “to deliver positive sustainable change to improve society”, has announced it is offering mental and emotional support to families and teaching staff from local primary schools in London.

The foundation has launched a range of “practical initiatives to bring essential help to schools and families”, including delivering toys, teaching resources and access to psychotherapists.

The measures have been introduced in association with Light Education Training and the firm’s team of qualified psychotherapists.

“Teaching staff and families will have access to wellbeing sessions facilitated by highly-experienced psychotherapists in child and family health,” the Lars Windhorst Foundation told The Independent.

“These sessions can offer advice and support, the opportunity to share experiences, and provide practical suggestions to release stress and anxiety, such as body awareness and breathing techniques. One-to-one personal sessions are also available.”

On its website, the foundation outlines that these sessions are being offered to families and teaching staff at local primary schools in London.

Lars Windhorst, founder of the foundation, said that the organisation “has always been passionate about supporting young people and, during this difficult time, I believe it is more important than ever to focus on this”.

“The coronavirus crisis will cause significant disruption to young people and their families’ lives, and schools are facing unprecedented problems,” Mr Windhorst said.

“We hope that by offering this very practical support we can help minimise disruption to education and make this period easier for pupils, families and teachers.”

Vanessa McHardy, director of Light Education Training, stated that offering “safe spaces” to families and teachers where they can share and connect “is vital” in the current climate.

Tim Mvula, assistant principal of the King Solomon Academy, explained that the school has had to “completely re-imagine the ways in which we can provide excellent education for all our pupils, be it remotely, or for the few key worker children that are still attending the school”.

“Generous help from the Lars Windhorst Foundation has meant that we can increase our impact during home learning tuition online, and pupils on site have access to a wider variety of engaging resources,” Mr Mvula said.

On Monday 11 May, the government released guidance on how lockdown measures in England are expected to ease in the coming days and weeks.

The Department for Education stated that by Monday 1 June “at the earliest”, primary schools in England “may be able to welcome back children in key transition years”, which includes students in nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

However, the department stressed that schools will only be reopened “if the virus stays on the downward slope”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in