MENTAL HEALTH & WELLBEING
Below are some useful links for wellbeing advice, resources, information, physical activities and news.
Advice and Information
Advice, information and resources for managing mental health during these uncertain times.
Activities/ Skills Learning
Learn how to touch type which is a useful skill to improve speed and familiarity with a keyboard. From the home page, click on typing and select text type 2. There are other activities on this website.
Well-being journal - either for print or used interactively. The journal is filled with challenges and activities to keep children happy, healthy and active whilst at home.
Internet safety activities for home.
Grow your Mindset - Everyone loves a freebie and here at Grow your Mindset we are no different. We can promise some great printables that you can use at home.
Supporting children with anxiety - Resources
Seven Days of Kindness we are encouraging primary schools to get mentally healthy by spreading a little kindness. This calendar, designed to encourage pupils to do two acts of kindness each day – one for someone else and one for themselves.
Seven Days of Kindness
Physical Activities/ Good Energy / News
Sport England - tips, advice and guidance on how to keep or get active in and around your home.
Karina Yoga for kids. Youtube videos to follow for different age groups.
Go Noodle - free online resource that provides tons of ways for kids and families to be active, stay mindful and keep on learning!
Newsround - top tips for showing emotions.
COVID-19 Wellbeing Support
Dear parents and carers,
During this difficult time, coronavirus is the cause of much anxiety and concern for young people and families. Below are some resources designed to help cope with such stress and uncertainty at this time. We are still here to support your child and your family in whatever way we can.
You might be noticing signs of increasing anxiety in your child as they’re spending more time indoors and outside of their normal routines. These might include:
Children aged 3-6 years:
- Regressing to behaviour they’ve outgrown, such as thumb-sucking or bed-wetting
- Showing greater fear at being separated from you
- Trouble sleeping
Children aged 7-10 years:
- Expressing sadness, anger or fear
- Sharing false information that they’re hearing from their peers or seeing online
- Wanting to talk about coronavirus all the time
- Not wanting to talk about the current situation at all
- Having trouble concentrating
We’ve put together some resources to help you support your child which you can find below this letter. We hope you find this information helpful.
If you have any concerns about how your child is coping or you need any other support from the school, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will direct your message to the right person.
Supporting your child's wellbeing
Take care of yourself
It’s really important right now to take care of your own physical and mental health. Children are very perceptive, and they react to what they sense from the adults around them.
Here are some things you can do to help keep yourself healthy:
- Connect with others – maintain relationships with people you care about through phone and video calls
- Exercise – take some time every day to move. You could go for a walk or run. You’ll also find lots of fitness videos online for everything from yoga to dance. Find something you enjoy and that makes you feel good
- Eat healthy meals – try to keep a well-balanced diet and drink enough water
- Get some sleep – being anxious or worried can have a big impact on your sleep. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, try to develop a calming bedtime routine – for example, do 10 minutes of yoga or listen to calming music. There are also apps you can download that provide guided meditation to help you get to sleep more quickly
- Turn off the news – it’s important to keep up to date, but the 24-hour news cycle can make you more anxious. Limit your exposure to the news to only a small amount of time, just enough to know what the latest government guidance is
- Do things you enjoy – now that we’re all spending more time at home, we can finally take up that hobby we’ve always meant to learn. Try baking or gardening or learning to knit. These are also great activities we can share with our children
- Set goals – it’s easy to lose track of the days in our current situation, so it can be helpful to set daily and weekly goals to give us a sense of control and purpose. Examples might be setting a goal of walking for half an hour at least 3 times this week or reading a new book
- Connect with the outdoors – depending on where you live, it may not be possible to spend time outside. If you don’t have a garden or terrace, you can still open a window to let some fresh air and sunlight in. Put a comfortable chair by the window so you can look outside and get some air as you read a book
- Talk to someone – during this difficult time, sharing with family and friends how you’re feeling and what you’re doing to cope can be helpful for both you and them. There are also helplines you can call for support – we’ve included a list at the end of this pack
How to talk to your child about what’s happening
No matter how calmly you manage the current environment, children are likely to be anxious, so it’s important to talk to them about what’s happening.
This booklet from the Anna Freud Foundation offers some strategies on how to manage anxiety -
Helping Children and Young People to Manage Anxiety
For younger children
Children pick up bits of information from their friends, from the news and from listening to adults talking around them – but they can misunderstand what they’re hearing.
- Deal with the news head-on and talk about it openly and calmly, giving them the facts
- Give them age-appropriate information – take a look at:
- Teach them how to know if information they find on the internet is reliable. Explain how some stories on social media may be based on rumours or inaccurate information
- Encourage them to take breaks from listening to or reading the news – overexposure isn't helpful
- Encourage questions
- This will give them the confidence to reach out, if they have anything to ask
- Be reassuring but honest when answering questions – it's ok if you don't have all the answers
- Be ready to answer the same question over and over – children tend to repeat themselves when they're feeling uncertain or worried, so you might have to answer the same questions more than once as they seek extra reassurance
- Be a role model
- Recognise and manage your own worries first
- Be open about your own feelings and let them know it’s normal to be concerned – for example, let them know you’re also finding the news a bit worrying and what you’re doing to stay calm
- Explain how our body's immune system protects us
- It's constantly working against germs without us knowing. We can't and don't need to control this process
- Explain that we're taking precautions against this particular germ because it's a new one which our bodies haven't come across before
- Remind them how important it is that they eat healthy food, sleep and exercise, as this helps to fight germs
- If it helps, reassure them that the effects of this virus on healthy young people are very mild
- Keep doing your bit to help children reduce the spread of germs
- Remind them to maintain good hygiene like bathing daily and wearing fresh clothes
- Encourage them to sing 'happy birthday' twice when they're washing their hands
For older children
Older children will have the same anxieties about their own health and that of their family and friends as younger children. But they’re also likely to feel socially isolated, and worried about the result of school closures on their education and what life will be like after the pandemic is over.
In addition to the steps above:
- Reassure them that when more guidance comes from the school, you’ll share this with them as soon as you have it – you could also check that they understand the information you’ve received so far, in case there are any points of confusion or worry that the school could help to clarify
- Encourage them to maintain social ties – relationships are especially important for older children, so give them room to keep in touch with their friends
- Equip them with accurate information – for example:
- Share tools to help them manage anxiety
If your child struggles with higher levels of anxiety
Some children are naturally more anxious, such as those with existing phobias or obsessive-compulsive disorders. The current situation can make those anxieties worse.
- Get them to do activities such as counting, ordering and sorting tasks which can help them calm down
- Encourage them to use relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing
- Look out for obsessive or compulsive behaviours and try to get ahead of them early by challenging unhelpful thoughts and assumptions
- If you’re worried about your child’s anxiety, YoungMinds is a charity dedicated to children’s mental health. They’ve opened a parents’ helpline for confidential, expert advice. You can reach them at 0808 802 5544
Helplines and websites for children and young people
If your child would like to speak with someone confidentially, there are helplines and websites specifically for them.
Free, confidential support via text, available 24/7
|Text SHOUT to 85258 in the UK to text with a trained crisis volunteer who’ll provide active listening and collaborative problem-solving|
Free confidential telephone helpline and online service that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem
Call 0808 808 4994 for free (11am to 11pm daily)
Access the online community
Email The Mix
Confidential telephone counselling service for any child with a problem
Call 0800 1111 any time for free
Have an online chat with a counsellor (9am to midnight daily)
Check out the message boards
|Night Owls||Night Owls is a new overnight listening and advice service for children and young people experiencing a mental health crisis. The service is available 8pm – 8am every day and their new number is 0800 148 8244|
Where to turn to for help
It’s okay to not be okay. We all need someone to talk to sometimes. If you feel overwhelmed, at risk of abuse or experiencing financial need, there are people you can call on for support:
Mental Health Foundation
Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities
A mental health charity
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
Youth suicide prevention society
Phone: 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 10pm, and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays)
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers
A charity dedicated to children’s mental health
Phone: Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
Cruse Bereavement Care
Support for grief and bereavement
Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm)
Child protection charity
Phone: 0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)
0800 1111 for children (ChildLine’s 24-hour helpline)Website: www.nspcc.org.uk
Advice on dealing with domestic violence
Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)Website: www.refuge.org.uk
Health Care advice Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Support Healthcare Signposting
Northorpe Hall – Kirklees
Children’s mental and emotional health service
Phone: 01924 492183
Kirklees Children’s services
Phone: 01484 456848 / 01484 225161