Talking to children about serious illness
Making Impossible Conversations Possible
Talking to children and young people about illness and death is important for their mental health.
STEP BY STEP GUIDES FOR talking about Illness
Please click on these links for free access:
for Healthcare Professionals
Support for Schools
The team have developed a guide specifically for school staff, to whom children may turn to ask questions or share their experiences or worries about illness and bereavement during the last few months.
Support for Care Homes
Communication to Children
It is critical to highlight the importance of ensuring adult’s everyday communication with children reflects their developmental understanding and that adults are authentic about the uncertainty and psychological challenges of the pandemic.
In 2019, we led a Lancet series summarising the available evidence on communication with children about the diagnosis of their own life-threatening disease and about a life-threatening disease in a parent.
IN THE NEWS
The New York Times:
Children's Mental Health - Importance of Effective Communication
The New York Times:
Real Talk Training:
Communicating the Diagnosis of Life Threatening Conditions to Children, Recent Guidance Specific to COVID-19
Dr Louise Dalton and Dr Elizabeth Rapa presented their work in May 2020.
COVID Conversations: Protecting Children and Adolescents’ Mental Health, with Professor Alan Stein in conversation with Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore.
This talk was broadcast on Wednesday 24th June 2020.
Questions and Feedback
If you have any questions about the resources provided, or require different formats/language versions please get in touch with a member of the team.
We would like to thank Dr Helen Griffiths, Dr Brenda Kelly, Dr Shaun Wilson, Dr Virginia Davies, Dr Sally Hope, Dr Matthew Hotton, Cecilia Hoegfeldt, Julia Ruiz Pozuelo, Helena Channon-Wells, Gemma Brock and Suzy Shepherd for their support, contributions and insight.
Generous funding for the staff animation was provided by Oxford Hospitals Charity