Staying Safe & Well | Mental Health & Wellbeing
Over the course of their education, children spend over 7,800 hours at school. With such a huge amount of time spent in the classroom, schools provide an ideal environment for promoting good emotional wellbeing and identifying early behaviour changes and signs of mental distress. The social and emotional skills, knowledge and behaviours that young people learn in the classroom can help them to build resilience and set the pattern for how they will manage their mental health throughout their lives. Emotional wellbeing is a clear indicator of academic achievement, success and satisfaction in later life. Evidence shows that mental health and wellbeing programmes in schools, can lead to significant improvements in children’s mental health, and social and emotional skills. Wellbeing provision in schools can also lead to reductions in classroom misbehaviour and bullying.
For these reasons, here at Southwark, the mental health of our children is extremely important and nurturing and prioritising support for pupils is a fundamental part of our provision. We want to support everyone in our school community so they have good mental health, positive self-esteem and know what to do and who to speak to if they need support. Get in touch if you have any worries or concerns about your child's mental health or wellbeing. There's lots of resources to help everyone, regardless of how they are feeling.
The children at school are exposed to a comprehensive PSHE curriculum which covers important topics which effect children today. Children take part in daily wellbeing and mindfulness activities as part of their timetable including activities such as 'Mindful Moments' and 'Storm Break'. Children also have opportunities to discuss their feelings with staff including learning mentors if they want to. Some children will be offered specialist sessions which are designed to support their emotions and mental health. We also network with a range of different professional organisations and charities to provide the very best support to children when they need it most.
As always, we are here to help and support in any way we can so please don't hesitate to get in touch through the school office, or on Class Dojo.
In October this year we all wore yellow in school to focus on children's mental health. The children took part in mindful activities throughout the day to recognise the importance of keeping our minds healthy as well as our bodies.
The theme of Children’s Mental Health Week 2022 was Growing Together, and we explored the different ways that we can grow, and help others to do so too.
Growing together is about growing emotionally and finding ways to help each other grow. Challenges and setbacks can help us to grow and adapt and trying new things can help us to move beyond our comfort zone into a new realm of possibility and potential. However, emotional growth is often a gradual process that happens over time, and sometimes we might feel a bit ‘stuck’. Throughout the week, children took part in mindful activities and learnt about how we all continue to grow and develop emotionally over time.
On our 'Dress to Express' day, children were encouraged to wear clothes that 'express themselves' - this might have been bright colours, clothes which represent their national heritage, clothes that are worn in the job they wish to do or the sport they love. We raised £243.60 during this day and the money was donated to Place2Be, which supports children across the country to have better access to mental health support.
For more information please visit:
We do a lot to support the mental health of everyone at school; we have a comprehensive PSHE curriculum as well as a 'Mindful Moment' time slot every day, where our children can develop their strategies to support their mental health. Children have many ways in which they can communicate if they have any worries in school or at home so we can access the right support for them.
The Mental Health Foundation has announced the dates and theme of next year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. It will run from Monday 9 May until Sunday 15 May 2022. The week will explore the experience of loneliness, its effect on our mental health and how we can all play a part in reducing loneliness in our communities.
Loneliness affects millions of people in the UK every year and is a key driver of poor mental health. The Foundation’s Mental Health in the Pandemic research has found that loneliness has been exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. The Foundation has been tracking loneliness levels in the UK during the pandemic and found the experience has been much higher with devastating impact. Loneliness has been an important factor contributing to higher levels of distress, resulting from people’s sense of isolation and reduced ability to connect with others. Further polling also found that loneliness was one of the leading issues that the public felt needed to be addressed.
The week will raise awareness of the impact of loneliness on our mental wellbeing and the practical steps we can take to address it. Reducing loneliness is a major step towards a mentally healthy society.
Please visit this website to find out more information on this year's Mental Health Awareness Week as well as previous year's themes such as the importance of 'Nature', 'Kindness' and 'Body Image'.
Why not take a look at the mindfulness activity calendar by clicking the link below and have a go yourself and with your families?
As always, if you are worried about your child's mental health or the wellbeing of yourself or a family member or friend, we are here to help. We can see how best we can help you and, if needed, sign post you to professional support.
Please find some resources below which you might find useful:
SUPPORTING PARENTS HELPFINDER (YOUNG MINDS)
Times are tough for many people right now. Parents find themselves pulled in many different direction and children may be struggling being in the house for so much longer than usual.
You might be feeling a mixture of emotions at the moment - concerns about Covid-19, working from home, children being at home, remote education expectations, along with possible financial worries. These can all add worry, frustration, and anxiety and possibly lead to a stressful household.
Young Minds have created a useful 'Supporting Parents Helpfinder'. By answering six questions, parents can find out how to support their child's mental health during the pandemic (and beyond).
Find the help finder here:
The website also has a lot of useful information and support which you might find helps.
Young Minds have also created a useful poster highlighting ways to give support to children when they have angry feelings or outbursts and may help families start a conversation and talk about each other’s feelings.
CALM ZONE - CHILD LINE
There are lots of ways to feel calmer. It's about finding what works for you. Calm Zone teaches you some breathing exercises, activities, games and videos to help let go of stress. Try one of the activities or use some of the tools to help you feel better when you're feeling anxious, scared or sad.
CHILD LINE 0800 1111
This website gives you lots of useful advice and guidance on a wide number of issues which might affect you. Childline is yours – a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. They are working a little differently because of coronavirus. But you can still speak to a counsellor every day from 9am - 3:30am.
CHILD FRIENDLY TOOL AVAILABLE TO SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH
Funded by BBC Children in Need, this early-intervention tool will help 8-11 year olds with their emotional wellbeing and encourage communication within families.
It’s packed with advice about subjects including school, friendships, family life and the internet – and it’s available now, for free.
Click on the link below to watch a video which introduces it:
Are you or a family member struggling with mental health? The 'NOTTALONE' website provides information and support for young people’s mental health across Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County.
NottAlone was created to help young people, parents and carers and professionals access the right mental health information and support for them.
ELSA SUPPORT - ADULT & CHILD BEREAVEMENT RESOURCES
CRUSE BEREAVEMENT CARE - support, advice and information to children, young people and adults when someone passes away.
WINSTON'S WISH - help for families and children coping with bereavement.
ANNA FREUD National Centre for Children and Families - Self Care Resources and Information
SAFE HANDS THINKING MINDS - breathing techniques and other useful resources to reduce anxiety and stress