Swindon's MPs are urging people who work with children and young people to sign up for new free online psychological first aid training.
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland and North Swindon counterpart Justin Tomlinson recommend the training to help support children and young people affected by the pandemic.
The online course, developed by Public Health England (PHE), offers training on how to provide practical and emotional support to children and young people affected by emergencies or crisis situations.
Children and young people can be very resilient, but crises such as covid-19 can severely impact their mental health. Getting the right support early on can help prevent problems occurring or worsening.
The MPs said in a joint statement: "The Coronavirus pandemic has turned lives upside down and hit children and young people particularly hard.
“We know that while children can be very resilient, crises or emergencies can have a huge impact on their mental health, and we must continue to ensure they can access the support they need.
“This online training will be invaluable in helping people to understand how best to offer children and young people here in Swindon the right support at the right time.”
Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said: “This new training module is being introduced at an important time. I know how difficult the pandemic has been for children and young people across the country, and this additional support for those working with them every day – whether they are parents and carers, teachers, health and social care workers, or volunteers – is timely and necessary.”
Those completing the training will be equipped to better identify children in distress and provide support to help them feel safe, connected and able to take steps to help themselves during the pandemic or other crisis situations.
It is available for all frontline workers such as teachers, health and social workers, charity and community volunteers and anyone who cares for or is regularly in contact with children and young people aged up to 25, including parents and caregivers.
Further details about the course can be found by visiting https://www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-launches-new-psychological-first-aid-training
Details of how to sign up can be found at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/psychological-first-aid-for-children-and-young-people