While rates of mental ill health do increase as children get older,early intervention is key to giving young people the best start in life. We have a vital role to play in supporting children’s mental health – teaching them the skills they need to recognise and deal with their emotions, and helping those with difficulties to get the support they need.
When children and young people look after their mental health and develop their coping skills it can help them boost their resilience, self-esteem and confidence. It can also help them learn to manage their emotions, feel calm, and engage positively with their education – which can, in turn, improve their academic attainment.
Children and young people present with, and will be exposed to, a range of factors in their homes and communities that can affect their mental health- this is what we call ” risk factors. Some children and young people experience multiple risks, which means their mental health is more likely to be affected. Their mental health will change on a daily basis dependant on circumstances,
These risks come in many forms and maybe the result of :
- the child’s individual characteristics ( eg. their temperament, communication difficulties, learning disabilty etc)
- being exposed to traumatic experiences ( e.g abuse, domestic violence, bullying etc)
- changes in relationships within families or friends ( eg. divorce, separation, death and loss etc )
- broader society ( eg. discrimination and poverty etc)
However, not all children and young people who are exposed to risks will develop mental health difficulties.
Here at Blue Sky Learning we create a safe and calm environment where mental health problems are effectively dealt with through play, activities and Thrive sessions. This helps to improve pupils to be resilient so that they can manage the normal stress of life effectively and equip them with the tools they need to cope. This will include teaching pupils about mental wellbeing through the curriculum and reinforcing this through individual and group sessions whilst having fun. Our sessions include baking, art therapy, outdoor games, blowing bubbles and crafts. By encouraging fun, calmness and the correct environment children often feel comfortable in opening up and will express their feelings and concerns, therefore getting to the root of the problem.
The following websites can offer great support for mental health ….