Dr Alex George has issued a warning to parents of children heading back to school when lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Following his appointment last week, Dr Alex has recommended that young people are given flexibility when heading back to the classroom.
The NHS doctor suggested that forcing some kids back too soon will only ‘exacerbate’ problems if they are feeling anxious.
Speaking to the BBC’s Newscast podcast, Dr Alex said: “As children are integrated back to schools we need to be a little bit more flexible about the time of transitioning back.
“You can’t just expect someone who’s very anxious to go back to school, will go back to normal. It might be that that child needs a bit of time to integrate slowly back in the classroom, so that rather than chucking them in and exacerbating the problem, we do it gently.”
Boris Johnson has told MPs that the government hopes to start the reopening of schools in England on March 8 – depending on a number of factors including meeting targets of the ongoing vaccination drive.
In Wales children aged three to seven will return full-time from February 22. While Scotland’s youngest pupils are likely to return full-time from the same date as part of a phased reopening.
Primary and Secondary schools across the UK have been offering remote learning for pupils since lockdown began in January.
Dr Alex, who has spoken publicly about losing his brother to suicide, also stressed in his latest interview the importance of young people taking their mental health seriously.
He told Newscast presenter Adam Fleming he thinks children should be able to take days off school when they need to focus on their mental wellbeing.
He explained: “If you’ve been able to take time when you needed to, you’re probably more likely to not only be academically successful but take care of yourself physically as well.”
Dr Alex also dished out some of his own tips, recalling how he haa unfollowed numerous accounts on social media that eft him feeling unhappy.
“About six months ago I just unfollowed loads of people… they didn’t make me feel good and it didn’t serve me, in that selfish sense to be honest, I just didn’t follow them or I muted them.
“If you’re worried about upsetting someone, just mute them, they won’t know,” he told listeners.
“Even if it’s me, unfollow me. If I make you feel bad, you don’t like me kicking snow, unfollow me and try it, try it in the morning. Give that a go. I really think that idea of starting the day in your own space, in your own mind positively and allowing yourself to influence your own day.”
Listen to Dr Alex’s full interview on the BBC Sounds podcast here
-- to www.mirror.co.uk