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Mental Health and Well-being amid Chaos and Uncertainty

Clara Benacerraf
Clara Benacerraf (7 posts) Head Counsellor and Designated Safeguarding Lead View Profile

Clara Benacerraf, our Head Counsellor and Designated Safeguarding Lead, holds an MA in Special Education and Counselling (University of Haifa). She is also a Diplomate Educator/Administrator and Clinician in Logotherapy by the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy. In this article, she sheds light on how to help children move forward and grow during an unprecedented time.

clara mental health talk secondary students gym presentation

Our Head Counsellor discussing mental health and well-being with Secondary students at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

The world around us has been turned upside down by the global pandemic. We have all been confronted by the reality of our fragility. Yet, there is so much power in our fragility.

There has not been just one lockdown. We all had our own experience. Some people saw it as an experience of growth and learning, as an opportunity to connect on a deeper level with family and friends, and as a time to slow down and savour meaningful moments. For others faced with diseases, losses and months of unbroken isolation and loneliness, it has been a time of deep sadness and hardships.

Uncertainty and chaos are an unavoidable part of our current reality. Children’s reactions may go from showing signs of distress, such as fear, anxiety and confusion, to finding moments of hope and resilience all around them despite the uncertainty.

The question is how can our children manage uncertainty and the emotions they experience with it?

mental health presentation gym presentation clara social distancing

Parents have a role to play in listening sensitively to their children’s feelings, validating these feelings and providing an environment that is safe and nurturing.

Working out with your children what they can and cannot control will help them maintain a sense of stability and reduce any fear or anxiety.

Helping your children to hold on to their routines and rituals will become essential now that some aspects of their lives may feel unsettling. For instance, waking up at the same time every day, keeping a balanced diet, exercising or playing outdoors and connecting with friends on a regular basis are some ways of maintaining stability.

Clara Head of Counselling with students presentation 2019

Encouraging your children to embrace uncertainty and be open to life's unpredictability will help them overcome setbacks, and transform themselves from a position of fear to one filled with enthusiasm and opportunities.

Helping your children to be kind, gentle and supportive with themselves will enhance their wellbeing, resilience and coping skills, as well as enable them to manage difficult experiences with less resistance.

Despite truly challenging situations, this is a unique time in history for every human being to show their extraordinary capacity to adapt and thrive.

Clara Head of Counselling with Secondary student and computer