Mental Health and Wellbeing
At Lapage Primary School, we are committed to promoting and supporting positive physical health, emotional health, and mental health and wellbeing of our school community. We know that everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we have a role to play.
Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. They include depression, anxiety and are a direct response to what is happening in their lives. We believe that good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with different aspects of life and to grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
At our school we:
- Support children to understand their emotions and feelings, and how to express these in a safe way
- Provide a safe and comfortable environment to share and talk about any concerns, anxieties or worries they may have
- Help children to develop socially, maintaining and nurturing relationships
- Promote self-esteem and ensure children know that they are valued
- Encourage children to explore new experiences, foster their natural curiosity and nurture their love for new experiences
- Help children to develop emotional resilience and to manage setback which are a natural part of life
We offer this support through a range of ways:
- A whole-school ethos that meets the needs of all our pupils and is delivered through the PSHE curriculum
- Additional support through mentoring, bereavement counselling, emotional therapy or welfare support for those who may have been made vulnerable by life experiences
- Intensive provision for children with additional needs and difficulties, as well as greater differentiated support and resources, or specific targeted interventions (such as wellbeing groups, circle of friends, 1:1 mentoring or Nurture provision)
|Things that can keep children and young people mentally healthy include:||Other factors are also important, including:
- being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
- having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
- being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
- going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils
- taking part in local activities for young people
- feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
- being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
- being hopeful and optimistic
- being able to learn and having opportunities to succeed
- accepting who they are and recognising what they are good at
- having a sense of belonging in their family, school and community
- feeling they have some control over their own life
- having the strength to cope when something is wrong (resilience) and the ability to solve problems
Most children grow up mentally healthy, but research suggests that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago. That’s probably because of changes in the way we live now and how that affects the experience of growing up.
Dealing with change
Mostly things that happen to children don’t lead to mental health problems on their own, but traumatic events can trigger problems for children and young people who are already vulnerable.
Changes often act as triggers: moving home or school or the birth of a new brother or sister, for example. Some children who start school feel excited about making new friends and doing new activities, but there may also be some who feel anxious about entering a new environment.
Teenagers often experience emotional turmoil as their minds and bodies develop. An important part of growing up is working out and accepting who you are.
7-Day Family Gratitude Challenge
Questions to ask your child in self-isolation
Talking to your child about Coronavirus
How to cope with Coronavirus anxiety
What to do if you’re anxious about Coronavirus
Four coping techniques for when you feel anxious
Supporting your child’s wellbeing while in self-isolation
Staying well while social distancing
have posted some useful links to support children, parents and carers with their health and wellbeing at home:
Staying Safe Online
Support for Parents and Carers
Answering children’s questions and helping with anxiety
For those of you still working in schools, or sending information out to parents, here are some tips on how to talk to children about coronavirus and minimise anxiety:
Keep it simple – tips from the BBC website
Supporting children and young people with anxiety from the TES website
Kiddle is a useful, safe source of information for children
Support for parents and carers around positive relationship building
Love Reading 4 Kids have put together a collection of books to help children cope with their anxiety and wellbeing.