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How to help children and young people develop coping and resilience

Building coping and resilience skills is a key development task for young people and it is our job as adults to help them develop these. Episodes of distress can be categorised into 4 segments: calm, mild, moderate and acute. We know children and young people can manage mild levels of distress. If adults intervene when a child or teenager can manage their own distress, we are actually taking away their opportunity to build their coping and resilience. It is the point at which they move to a level they cannot cope (i.e. moderate, acute distress), that’s when an adult should respond, connect with them and help them to move back into a level of distress where they are safe and can manage. Dr Stephen Spencer (PhD) is a leading child and adolescent mental health expert and this video gives some simple advice to adults on how to help children and young people build their own coping, resilience and positive help seeking behaviour. Steve also developed the TAR3 Psychological First Aid method that you can view on our EEYouth TV news/media page here