Mental Health and Well-being
Resources from Birmingham's Educational Psychology Team
What is Know Your Normal?
In 2017 the Youth Council and myVoice volunteers unanimously decided that they wanted to run a campaign around mental health.
The Know Your Normal campaign aims to reduce the stigma around mental health and create resources for autistic young people to work out and understand what their normal is.
Keys to Happiness posters for children
Top tips for parents
Actions for happiness and positivity
Character Building Activities
Mentally Healthy Schools - links, activities, exercises and helplines all linked to mental health for children and adults
Key points from Public Health England on helping to maintain children's Mental Health.
➢ Listen and acknowledge. Look out for any changes in their behaviour. Children may feel less anxious if they are able to express and communicate their feelings. Listen to them, acknowledge their concerns, and give them extra love and attention if they need it.
➢ Provide clear information about the situation: All children and young people want to feel that their parents and caregivers can keep them safe. Provide honest answers to any questions they have. Explain what is being done to keep them and their loved ones safe, such as washing their hands regularly.
➢ Be aware of your own reactions: It is important to manage your own emotions and remain calm, listen to and acknowledge children and young people’s concerns, speak kindly to them, and answer any questions they have honestly.
➢ Connect regularly: Make sure you still have regular and frequent contact via the phone or video calls with them if you live away.
➢ Create a new routine: Make a plan for the day or week that includes time for learning, playing and relaxing; be active for 60 minutes a day; keep to bedtimes etc.
➢ Limit exposure to media and talk about what they have seen and heard: Try to avoid turning the television off or closing web pages when children come into the room. This can pique their interest to find out what is going on – and their imagination can take over. Try to answer their questions and reassure them in an age-appropriate manner, avoiding too much detail.
The guidance also outlines how children of different ages may respond for example: 3 to 6-year olds may return to behaviours they have outgrown: toileting accidents, bed-wetting etc
Supportive resources and activities
Contact details for Pause (mental health support and counselling)
How to support children suffering from anxiety
Establishing routines at home - checklist to share together
This has been recommended by one of our parents who says:
'It was designed by a New Zealand artist called Stephen McCarthy who has created this free 28 diary for children. It's a 28-day diary with a challenge/activity for each day. Whilst I think it might be more suited to some of the older children at St Francis there are definitely activities pages that everyone could use, so pupils/families could be encouraged to use the whole thing or use the pages they are most interested in and print / recreate these pages as many times as they like.'
McCarthy created it with a mix of "prompts" and a careful use of blank space. In his blog he says:
"I didn't want it to be too constrictive so there are lots of blank spaces for children to record their experiences which are different to those of us oldies," he said.
"Children sometimes find it hard to talk about what they're feeling and drawing is a way of accessing that. Get the crayons out, do something tangible and away from digital distractions."
For those who did not have access to a printer at home, McCarthy suggests looking at the diary online and use it as a template on "whatever is available" to encourage children to make their own creation.
"At the end of the lockdown, they can staple it together and keep it as a reminder of their experiences. I like the idea of children finding it in years to come and having a positive reminder of their time in isolation."
It can be downloaded from www.mylockdowndiary.com
We use Jigsaw materials to deliver PSHE in our school. Jan Lever, the creator of the scheme has made some materials free at this time. She writes:
In our efforts to support families, schools, teachers and of course…children… at this difficult time, we are giving away Jigsaw Families stories and Calm Me time(relaxation and mindfulness practice) audios…on the JIgsaw home page of www.jigsawpshe.com These are accompanied by learning activities and are free foranyone, not just people associated with schools using Jigsaw PSHE materials.
We are starting the Jigsaw Big Sing by giving away the Jigsaw song, ‘Together as One’, (seems apt at this time), along with suggested learning activities etc, and then inviting people to upload themselves singing Together as One…and at 3pm on April 14th the collage of videos will go LIVE (same link) so children (and grown-ups) can watch and see if their video made it to the final cut.
Action for Happiness