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Mental Health & Wellbeing

"تلتزم مدرسة St John's C of E الابتدائية والحضانة بحماية وتعزيز رفاهية الأطفال والشباب وتتوقع من جميع الموظفين والمتطوعين مشاركة هذا الالتزام."

Who has mental health?


We all have mental health – some people call this emotional health or wellbeing.

What is mental health?

The World Health Organisation defines mental health as a state of wellbeing in which every individual achieves their potential, copes with the normal stresses of life, works productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. It affects how we think, feel and act. Good mental health and wellbeing is just as important as good physical health. Like physical health, mental health can range across a spectrum from healthy to unwell; it can fluctuate on a daily basis and change over time. Most children grow up mentally healthy, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago. It is thought that this is probably because of changes in the way that we live now and how that affects the experience of growing

What helps?

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 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.

What happens in school?

At St John’s, we teach children about what it means to have good mental health and wellbeing throughout our curriculum and daily practice.

Our PSHE curriculum focuses specifically on developing children’s social and emotional skills which can prevent poor mental health from developing and help all children cope effectively with setbacks and remain healthy. It is about helping children to understand and manage their thoughts, feelings and behaviour and build skills that help them to thrive, such as working in a team, persistence, and self-awareness.

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 to talk through what they are feeling and support in developing ways of
moving forwards with this.

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.

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.

You are not your thoughts

You are not your thoughts

This video explains some of the things you can try when you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts. After the video, take a few moments to observe your thoughts with curiosity, paying attention to how each one makes you feel. Paying attention to your thoughts and sorting through them takes practice and patience. For more information, visit: Subscribe to the AboutKidsHealth YouTube channel: This video is provided for general information only. It does not replace a diagnosis or medical advice from a healthcare professional who has examined your child and understands their unique needs. Please speak with your doctor to check if the content is suitable for your situation. #MentalHealth #PositiveThinking #Mindfulness Follow us on: Facebook: Twitter: Pinterest: TRANSCRIPT Every day, we have thousands of thoughts, emotions, urges, memories and feelings. From the time we wake up in the morning, all throughout the day, to when we lay down to sleep at night. No matter who we are, we all have thoughts swirling around in our heads. We even think and feel in our dreams. Often, we don’t realize how many thoughts we are having, and we get lost in them. Sometimes, we’re not even aware that we’re thinking. We seem to be swimming in a sea of our own thoughts. When we are surrounded by our thoughts, it’s easy to get caught up in them and react automatically, sometimes in ways we don’t even mean to react. We might hold onto some thoughts, even when we don’t want to, and it can feel like our thoughts are overwhelming. But thoughts are not facts, and they are not always true, even if they seem to be. Next time you feel caught up in your thoughts, try paying attention to them with curiosity, and not judgment. It doesn’t matter if they are true or false, right or wrong; just notice them. How fast or slow are they? Are they are all very different from each other? Or perhaps you are having the same ones over and over again. Maybe they’re even focused on one theme. Some of these thoughts may be unwanted. But instead of reacting to them, notice what happens to your body sensations and your emotions when you have these thoughts. Perhaps you will notice if they are bringing you closer to or further away from what is important to you or the goals you have for yourself. Observing your thoughts is a skill that takes practice, like playing an instrument. Sometimes it'll be easy for you to be able to notice and respond to your thoughts. Other times, you might have to work really hard to get some distance from them. You might even have to keep letting go of the same unwanted thought over and over again. But don’t give up. Keep trying. Like waves in the ocean, thoughts are always passing through our minds, and can affect how we feel and what we do. But they are not “us”, and we are not our thoughts. Learning to be aware of our thoughts can allow us to respond with more choice instead of reacting in ways we may regret. Observing our thoughts gives us some distance to see how our thoughts make us feel. We can then choose to act in ways that bring us closer to the things and the people that are important to us. Remember, you are not your thoughts. Try observing your thoughts with curiosity. Try it right now.
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