MENTAL health experts are offering online tips and guidance to parents and children about going back to school, and how to manage the new feelings and emotions they have experienced during time away from the classroom.

Advice by Hampshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) has been published to help parents communicate with their children, and for teachers and pupils to better understand the situation over the coming weeks and months.

A list of top tips includes advice such as monitoring excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, and difficulty with attention and concentration.

Dr Alison Wallis, clinical director for Children and Young People's Services at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: "We understand the lockdown has put families and children under a lot of strain, with changes to their routine, pressures around home schooling and in some situations financial and employment challenges. We are committed to working with parents, young people and teachers to help them understand and manage the strong feelings they may have about their children returning to school.

"The last few months have been a particularly unsettling time for many children, and parents may have noticed changes to their child's behaviour as a result of them missing their friends, or not being part of mainstream education. Children and young people with disabilities including those with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities and ADHD may find the impact of coronavirus particularly difficult to manage. It is important to explain change and manage any anxiety and distress they may be experiencing."

Dr Wallis added: "Schools are doing everything they can to keep children and young people safe, while adhering to government guidelines. We know there is lots of uncertainty for parents, children and teachers. Where possible, try and limit the amount of information you look at, online or on TV about coronavirus."

A wide variety of help and resources is available on the Hampshire CAMHS website at