Children’s Mental Health Week 2019 4th-10th February

Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to support children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Now in its fifth year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word.

The theme for this year is Healthy: Inside and Out. When we think about healthy living, we tend to focus on looking after our bodies – our physical wellbeing – through food, being active and getting enough sleep.However, in order to be healthy overall, it’s important that we look after our minds – our mental wellbeing – too. Our bodies and minds are actually very closely linked, so things that we do to improve our physical wellbeing can help our mental wellbeing as well. When we take steps to be Healthy: Inside and Out, it helps us to feel better in ourselves, focus on what we want to do and deal with difficult times. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Our bodies and minds are connected, so simple things that we do to improve our physical wellbeing can help our mental wellbeing too. Place2be have produced a range of resources for both Primary and Secondary schools, these include assembly guides and group activities both for inside and outside the classroom.

LGfL are holding their inaugural Mental Health and Wellbeing conference during this week on Tuesday 5th February at Camden CLC, the conference will include keynotes from Abigail Mann author of Live well, Teach Well alongside two other Head Teachers who will be looking at why Mental Health in schools and how to unleash your inner super hero and a series workshops looking at promoting mental health and wellbeing in schools.  FREE tickets are available for LGfL/TRUSTNET staff.

We also have a range of resources that can support you during this week. Healthy Minds was produced in partnership with the leading mental health charity for young people – Young Minds.  They feature a range of teacher led activities involving group work promoting self reflection and video content with supporting activities. The main activities are designed for use with learners in upper KS2, KS3 and KS4, with some resources are designed for staff and/or for parents.

Young Minds also have a range of resources to support schools, their 360° schools programme helps you to put wellbeing at the heart of your schools’ improvement. By joining their YoungMinds 360° Schools’ Community, you’ll receive free tips, advice and handy resources straight to your inbox.

Audio Network has 60,000 audio files to be used within the classroom these can be used as a calming down tool, to uplift or to inspire.  Audio files can be searched either by topic of theme.

Look, Think, Do contains a range of editable social stories that can be used within the class, with groups or individual students .These resources facilitate social development by using reduced language, visual support and images, structure and small steps, a positive focus, and, when appropriate, choice. The photo-based, visual resource is divided into four key sections: Learning to Play; Learning toSay; Learning to Change and Learning to Help Myself. Editable storyboards bring difficult situations to life in a non-threatening manner and enable pupils to discuss solutions and strategies, and alternative and ideal endings.

The Islington Mental Health and Resilience in schools (iMAHRS) also sets out the components of school practice and ethos that effectively develop resilience, promote positive mental health and support children at risk of, or experiencing, mental health problems. You can view the framework here.

Mind Moose is another excellent resource that can be used within schools, it is a fun, digital platform that teaches children how to keep their minds healthy. Children go on a journey of discovery with Mind Moose and his friends as they learn how to look after their minds, keep their brains healthy, deal with emotions, develop resilience and flourish. The fun, interactive animations and activities are underpinned by theory and tools from the field of positive psychology and beyond. London schools can benefit from a 14 day trial as well as a 25% discount by e mailing inclusion@lgfl.net.

Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has a range of resources for schools including some fantastic booklets that look at supporting mental health and wellbeing in schools. The website also features a fantastic talking mental health animation below along with a teacher toolkit to help begin conversations about mental health in the classroom and beyond.

Mentally Healthy Schools is a free and easy to website where schools can find a range of expert and practical information and resources to help all staff understand, promote and deal confidently with children’s mental health issues. It includes jargon-free information on what can undermine and what can help emotional wellbeing; tips and strategies to help; and specific advice on vulnerable groups.

Improved student wellbeing leads to better outcomes for students.  EduKit is a social enterprise that helps schools to track student wellbeing and pupil premium impact and to analyse and benchmark customisable cohorts of students within each school and against national trends.

Schools using EduKit Insight Plus can:

  • Identify vulnerable learners and to track their progress over time
  • Create bespoke cohorts of students to compare wellbeing across 14 key areas including aspiration, home life, internet safety, resilience and self-esteem

All LGfL schools who sign up before the end of July with receive FREE access to the ‘Plus” package (usual average cost £500) for one year. Click here for more details or to reserve your licence.  You can also read about the differences between ‘plus” and their other products here.

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is a charity that hosts a free mental health book club for school mental health leads.  Schools can opt in to receive a book and accompanying resources once a term.  These aim to enhance the skills, confidence and knowledge of those who work with children and young people, by providing them with resources they can use to promote positive mental health.  The trust has also produced two excellent lists of book recommendation for both a Primary and Secondary Wellbeing library as well as a model policy for schools to use.

They have also produced a series of webinars that staff can use the sessions cover a wide variety of topics and offer plenty of practical advice and recommended resources.

If you are taking part in Children’s Mental Health week, we would love to hear from you on our  twitter or Facebook pages #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek

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