Razzmatazz – Why we must prioritise children’s mental health

As increased measures to stop the spread of Covid have been revealed in the UK, experts warn that Britain’s children and young people had missed out on crucial social interactions due to lockdown, at the expense of their mental health and education.

Professor Tamsin Ford, a child and adolescent psychiatry expert at the University of Cambridge, warned of a spike in mental health problems in young people during lockdown. She said this group was paying the ‘greatest price’ for lockdown measures, despite being least at risk from the disease.

Experts have said that schools must stay open because when we think about what’s important to adolescents and young people, it is peer interaction and that’s really essential for their mental health.

Razzamataz Newcastle welcomes the news that classes can continue to operate around the UK. Of course, being part of a successful DragonsDen backed franchise network, they are closely following Government guidelines and have been communicating with parents and guardians all the new changes. This includes the ‘rule of six’ to ensure that no one congregates or socialises outside of the classroom and the wearing of face coverings where applicable.

“We understand from our families how important it has been for their children to return to doing what they love at Razzamataz,” says Kayleigh Redford Principal of Razzamataz Newcastle. “Participating in performing arts gives many young people the chance to make sense of the world so if you take that away, it is no surprise that many are struggling.”

Melissa, parent of Senior student Heidi says “Heidi is my whole life and more. Anyone  who knows me knows how much of a worrier I am but I have 100% trust and confidence that when she is with you she is safe, well looked after and having fun! and that’s what it’s all about!”

Although there have been papers on mental health in response to Covid, few studies have been included as sufficiently rigorous. Those in students suggest an increase in depression and anxiety and a study published in the Lancet in July found reports of mental health problems for those aged 16 to 34 had risen twice as fast by the end of April, compared to those aged 55 and over.

“As a school, we made the decision early on that we would do all we could to protect our students’ mental health while we were in lockdown,” adds Kayleigh. “We hosted Zoom Night’s In, Storytime, celebrity masterclasses and gave so many opportunities for the children to connect with their teachers and friends. We also attended training sessions led by mental health professionals to ensure that we were fully prepared and understood how to manage the reopening process in a way that was safe but also fun and exciting for the children.”

Although there is now limited availability to join, Razzamataz Newcastle is holding Taster Sessions for new students where you can find out more about the performance opportunities, special events, scholarships and so much more. Booking is essential. Contact Principal Kayleigh Redford by emailing or Texting or Calling 07772577855 Classes held every Saturday at Excelsior Academy.


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