Mental Health & Emotional Wellbeing
Who has mental health?
We all have mental health – some people call this emotional health or wellbeing. This page is a really good explanation of support and strategies to look after mental wellbeing as children and adults:
Things that can help keep children and young people mentally well include:
- 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.
Other factors are also important, including:
- feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
- being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
- 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.
What happens in school?
In school, we teach children about what it means to have good mental health and wellbeing through our CUThrive principles, PHSE Curriculum and Safeguarding procedures.
Our PSHE curriculum is focussed on developing children’s social and emotional skills which can prevent poor mental health by supporting all children to cope effectively with setbacks and remain healthy. It is about helping children to develop emotional resilience, learn effective strategies to communicate and regulate their emotions and feel safe and comfortable to ask for help.
We also work alongside a number of professionals who can provide support, advice and assessment for emotional health including: the school nursing team, Early Help, Point 1, CAMHS and every week a support worker from The Benjamin Foundation visits school allowing some children to benefit from their Time For You service: https://benjaminfoundation.co.uk/service/time-for-you/
We also have a trained Youth Mental Health First Aider and a Senior Mental Health Lead on site. Please speak with our SENDCO by calling the school office for more advice around the referrals process for these services
What if my child is experiencing difficulties with their mental health and wellbeing? Mental health doesn’t mean being happy all the time and neither does it mean avoiding stresses altogether. One of the most important ways to help your child is to listen to them and take their feelings seriously.
In many instances, children and young people’s negative feelings and worries usually pass with the support of their parents and families. It is helpful for the school to know what they are going through at these times, so that staff can be aware of the need and support this.
Coping and adjusting to setbacks are critical life skills for children, just as they are for adults, but it is important that they develop positive, rather than negative, coping skills.
If you are ever worried about your child’s mental health and wellbeing then, just as you would about any concerns that you have about their learning, come and talk to us. Sometimes children will need additional support for a short period – this may be in the form of a daily check-in with a trusted adult, time with support worker, time to talk through what they are feeling and support in developing ways of moving forwards with this. We'll work with you along the way.
If your child is distressed for a long time, if their negative feelings are stopping them from getting on with their lives, if their distress is disrupting family life or if they are repeatedly behaving in ways you would not expect at their age, then please speak to your child's teacher. Speaking with your GP or Calling Just One Number for advice may also help.
Looking after yourself
If things are getting you down, it’s important to recognise this. Talk to someone you trust and see what they think. It is easy to go on struggling with very difficult situations because you feel that you should be able to cope and don’t deserve any help.
Come and talk to us, in confidence and let us know when things are tough. As much as you try to hide how you are feeling from your child, they will notice even the smallest changes.
Go to your GP if things are really getting on top of you. Asking for some support from your doctor or a referral to a counselling service is a sign of strength. You can’t help your child if you are not being supported yourself.
Websites designed specifically for children and young adults
www.youngminds.org.uk/ A website for children and young people. There are different sections offering information and advice on signs and symptoms, seeking help and looking after yourself. Some handy advice for parents too.
Barnardo’s protects and supports the UK’s most vulnerable children. They provide a range of services to help and support children, young people, parents and carers.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) runs a free, confidential helpline and webchat service offering help and advice to anyone feeling down or in need of support.
ChildLine is a free, confidential service where children can talk about any issue they’re going through. You can call their helpline or use their webchat to speak to a trained counsellor.
The Children’s Society supports children going through serious life challenges. They run services and campaigns to make children’s lives better.
Contact offer advice and support to families with disabled children. If you’re a parent caring for a disabled child, you can arrange to speak to an adviser for practical and emotional support.
Family Lives offers information and support on all aspects of family life, including the stages of child development, issues with schools, parenting support, bullying and mental health concerns.
You can text Shout on 85258 for confidential support by text.
The Mix offers free emotional support to people under 25 by phone, webchat or email.
They also offer a short-term counselling service.
YoungMinds offers information and support to young people about their mental health, and helps adults to support the young people in their lives. If you’re a parent worried about a child’s mental health, you can call their helpline.
Tom Percival has written a great series of books around emotions and resilience, some of which we have in school:
Mental Health and Wellbeing (Adults)
Offer help and support to improve wellbeing and manage stress, low mood and anxiety, offering a range of flexible services tailored to meet specific needs.
https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/health-and-wellbeing Signposting site for local support agencies
Provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem.
24 hour support.
Papyrus UK Suicide Prevention | Prevention of Young Suicide (papyrus-uk.org) Offers support and training for people struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Working to end mental health stigma and discrimination.
Online mental wellbeing community. Access free, safe and anonymous support.