Mental Health and Wellbeing
What do you need to know?
We are a mentally healthy school and take a whole school approach to mental health. Mental Health is everyone’s responsibility. As teachers, support staff and the school team we are all trained Mental Health First Aiders. This means we all know what to look for and what to do when we are worried about someone’s mental health. Nationally, 1 in 10 children will have a mental health condition at any time (that’s potentially three in any one class).
Some of the ways that children stay mentally healthy are:
- 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.
- feeling loved, trusted, understood, valued and safe
- being interested in life and having opportunities to enjoy themselves
- being hopeful and optimistic
- 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.
Feeling low, angry or anxious is normal at times especially just now, but when these changes are significantly affecting your child, it might be time to speak to someone. We know the families of our pupils well and encourage you to raise any worries with us, even if you’re not sure it’s significant. Most mental health conditions are managed very well with understanding and support. This starts with knowing more about what to look out for, what the child is experiencing and how to encourage them to open up about it.
Sometimes children’s behaviour changes when they are stressed. You know your child best so if you see a big change in behaviour then it might be time to speak to school, your child’s GP or the School Nurse.
You might be worried if your child,
- Is always getting into fights with other children
- Is very worried and refuses to go to school.
- Is unusually quiet and not speaking
- Is not getting on with other children.
- Is always playing alone.
- Is frequently upset and crying.
- Has started wetting the bed at night.
- Is feeling very sad or withdrawn for two or more weeks
- Has tried or threatened to harm themselves of kill themselves or is making plans to do so
- Complains of an overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing
- Is not eating or is making themselves sick to lose weight
- Has intensive worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities
- Has extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still
- Has severe mood swings that are unpredictable
- Has drastic changes in behaviour or personality
If you’re worried about your child then speak to school and we can support you to find appropriate resources to help before things get too difficult.
However, if the situation is urgent and the child or anyone around them is in danger don’t wait, call 111 or 999 straight away
- NHS - Top tips to support children
- Anna Freud video that explains anxiety in children and what can help
- A children’s mental health charity that has some good parent’s advice page
- The Black Dog video about adult depression and how to manage it
Remember: Even if you’re not sure it’s anything to worry about, having a conversation with any of the staff in school might be the first step to helping your child (and you) feel better and more able to grow and thrive.