It's no surprise that the pandemic is still having its effects on both primary and secondary school children. That's why this Children's Mental Health Week it's time to raise awareness in the classroom and get your pupils talking about all things surrounding their mental health and wellbeing. This years theme by Place2Be, the charity who established Children's Mental Health Week, is based on 'Growing Together'. It's important to discuss with your pupils how different scenarios and circumstances that we experience over the years allow us to grow emotionally.
In a recent poll, Place2Be surveyed 1,130 teaching staff across the UK who the vast majority revealed that they have noticed an increase in various mental health issues within pupils since the start of the school year.
- 86% noted an increase in low self-esteem
- 76% said they’d seen an increase in depression
- 68% witnessed an increase in sustained feelings of anger
From the statistics it's evident that more needs to be done in the classroom to help reduce these sky high percentages. Getting your school involved with Children's Mental Health Week is a great place to start. Here's a few ideas on ways that you can take part.
For Primary school pupils
- Have a class discussion about things that we can do to look after our wellbeing and mental health. Write each one down and pop them in a jar so they can be easily accessed by the children when needed.
- Ask your children to draw a self portrait that represents their emotional growth over the past year.
- Talk about emotions, the different situations that brings each emotion out of us and how to deal with them.
- Ask your children to set 3 goals that they'd like to achieve by the end of the year which doesn't have to be about school. This will ensure that they always have something to keep them motivated and you can check in with each of them to see what progress they're making.
For Secondary school pupils
- Discuss how journalling and diaries can be beneficial for our wellbeing in particular if they're someone who finds it more difficult to talk to someone in person.
- Ask students to write a letter to their younger selves. What type of thing did they used to worry about that really doesn't matter now? Ask them to think about how they've grown emotionally since then.
- Practice gratitude and finding the positives in each day.
For more useful resources, including online assemblies and activity packs, check out the Place2Be website here