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Supporting Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing

We understand that this is a difficult time for pupils and their families. To support you in managing your own and your child’s wellbeing during this time we have collated some advice and resources which we how that you will find useful. 

We spoke to our school counsellor about what she would recommend parents and families can do to help and support children’s mental health at this time. This was her response:

For children, it is very important we listen to their fears rather than brush them off by trying to protect them, this will also help the conversation of what the children can do for themselves regarding keeping safe and well aiding their personal resilience (see stories and links below to support you in starting this conversation).

Fear happens when we look too far into the future or past, so really useful is to be present each day and to feel connected moment by moment.

Physical exercise that is slow and purposeful like yoga stretches helps the mind and body connection and whilst the brain is occupied with the activity it also begins to relax. The same goes for a walk, being around nature either in their garden or outside and counting the breaths (the count of 4 to breathe in slowly and 5 on the out breath) a list of things to find ie something shiny, white pebble, y shaped stick…. helps ease the internal conflict and any anxiety, the brain really can only concentrate on 1 thing at a time.

Anxiety quickens the heart and shallows the breath so anything slow and steady will help them to relax.

Music can also be great to focus the mind, lots of different styles including things to listen to and things to sing along to.

Encourage children to keep a journal or diary they can either write or draw their day to day thoughts and have the ability to review and see progress as well as looking at what else they can do to achieve small daily goals.

The gift of laughter is so important so remember  it’s still OK to have fun and tell jokes online to friends even though it’s a sad time for many.

Below is a small library of useful activities, and strategies to support families but we urge all parents/ carers who are concerned at all about their child’s mental health and well being to get in touch with school and we will do all we can to help you through this difficult time.