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COVID-19

Online therapy sessions now available

As the spread of the coronavirus continues to impact our daily lives, we are reminded about keeping our community safe, and although we are encouraged to remain physically distant, it is important for you and your children to remain socially connected.

What we are doing

During this trying time, we are dedicated to providing our clients with continued support. We are monitoring the situation closely and following advice from Queensland Health and the Department of Health in relations to management and containment.

We are still able to offer face-to-face appointments. We are committed, as always, to providing our families and staff with a safe environment. As such, we are taking additional precautions on top of our normal procedures in order to minimise the risk of infection.

Our clinicians can also work with families remotely through a number of communication channels, such as phone consults and telepractice, across all our services. We can also assist by developing home programs, providing parent coaching and advice, completing clinical reports, and creating visual supports and resources.

What you can do

If you are attending our clinics, you can help us provide a safe environment for others, particularly those who are elderly or at risk, by doing the following:

  • If you meet ANY of the following criteria, please see your doctor prior to your next appointment and follow their expert advice regarding necessary precautions:
    • You and/or your children have travelled anywhere overseas within the last 14 days OR
    • I am suffering fever and flu-like symptoms, i.e. sore throat, cough, shortness of breath and/or fatigue OR
    • I have had close or casual contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • If you are not sure if you should keep your appointment, you can:
    • Take Qld Health’s Novel Coronavirus Quiz – CLICK HERE OR
    • Call our friendly reception team to discuss any concerns
  • If you are interested in receiving sessions via telepractice, please let your Youthrive clinician know, or call your nearest clinic.

As always, it is important to look after yourself by eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting regular physical activity, sleeping well and reducing stress. Parents who feel cared for themselves are better able to respond to the needs of their children.

Our thoughts go out to those who have been impacted by this crisis.

Telehealth

What is telehealth?

Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely. It is a convenient and effective way for Youthrive to provide psychology, occupational therapy and speech pathology services to children and their families who may not be able to attend face-to-face appointments. Telehealth services can include tele sessions (live video), phone calls, text reminders and resource sharing, and can be accessed from anywhere using a smartphone, iPad/tablet or laptop and an internet connection. Youthrive can also use telehealth services to develop and provide home programs, parent coaching and advice, reports, and visual supports and resources.

Is telehealth right for my child?

Our team will assess your child's needs to determine if telehealth is the most appropriate method for supporting your family. We will consider any factors that may impact your telehealth therapy sessions. Some of these factors may include vision or hearing difficulties, ability to sit and focus on a computer, sign language use, use of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), severity of communication deficits and their impact, and availability of technology. Click here for a child-friendly telehealth information sheet.

What technology will I need?

You will require a device that has a microphone and speaker, such as a computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. You will also need webcam and a good internet connection (the minimum standard is 3-5Mbps). You can assess your internet connection from websites such as speedtest.net. You may want to use headphones to hear your Youthrive clinician better. To access the platform for telehealth services, we will send you a link via email. You will also need to have a flat surface to place your device while you are having your session. Make sure you are able to see the screen and can be seen by your practitioner on camera.

COVID-19 Resources

Prioritising children’s mental health

Thousands of people around the world have been directly impacted by the the coronavirus outbreak. A large number of these people are children who may have suffered major disruption, losses, or lived through confronting experiences. Many other children have been affected indirectly, through hearing about the disaster, seeing panicked adults and empty grocery stores, or knowing someone who has suffered loss. These can all be challenging experiences for children and can affect their mental health for weeks, months and years to come.

Adults need to try and keep perspective and not buy into others’ fearful behaviours. While it’s important to be prepared, how you communicate and exhibit this to your children will have a big impact on how they feel about the coronavirus pandemic.

We are urging adults to protect children’s mental wellbeing by looking out for the warning signs that suggest they are feeling distressed, and learning the best strategies to help them recover and thrive in this challenging environment. 

If you believe your child is struggling with anxiety and you would like some support, please contact our friendly team.

1

Signs that chilren are feeling distressed

Children react differently and have varying responses to a distressing or frightening experience. Please allow time for a delayed emotional reaction. Some children will seemingly cope well at first, but can experience reactions to the stress days, weeks or even months later. Below are some of the warning signs:

  • Behaving developmentally younger than they are
  • Anxiety about sleeping alone
  • Nightmares
  • Becoming more clingy or wanting to stay close
  • Unusually fussy eating
  • Irritability or anger
  • Tantrums and increased defiance
  • Decreased concentration or attention span
  • Anxiety, fears and worries about safety of self and others
  • Questions about death and dying

2

Supporting kids in isolation

With more and more Australians experiencing self-isolation, remember to look out for your child’s (and your own) mental health during these exclusion periods.

For parents dealing with children in isolation, consider restricting access to the media surrounding the coronavirus and where possible, maintain normal routines and rituals such as bed times and daily tasks.

Act for Kids has created useful resources to help parents support kids in isolation:

  1. Video – Viruses and isolation – Helping Young People Cope
  2. Tip Sheet – Supporting Kids in Isolation
3

How to talk to kids about coronavirus

It’s only natural that children will have a lot of questions about the pandemic, so it’s important that adults can answer these questions appropriately to help reduce children’s anxiety.

  1. Educate yourself
  2. Keep explanations age appropriate
  3. Remain calm
  4. Encourage kids to talk about their feelings
  5. Answer their questions and be positive
  6. Reassure children
  7. Encourage them to stay connected
  8. Look after you!

Learn more

Watch: Video – Talking to children about coronavirus