Wellbeing Connected

We are pleased to announce our new resource, Wellbeing Connected – Promoting Mental Health and Well Being support in Primary Schools. This open access resource has been designed to bring the key information in both video and text format with a quick and accessible interface for schools.

An NHS Survey in 2017 found that 12.8 percent of five to 19-year-olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed, with emotional disorders being the most common disorder among school-age children, affecting 8.1 per cent.

The Teacher wellbeing Index 2018 found that more than three-quarters of teachers surveyed experienced work-related behavioural, psychological or physical symptoms and more than half were considering leaving the profession due to poor health.

Schools are in a unique position when it comes to the mental health of the children in their care, to shape and influence the mental health and wellbeing of their pupils and prepare them for the challenges and opportunities ahead. As school staff juggle a multitude of demands, it is essential that everyone within a school community is given the right support so that they in turn can support the pupils in their care. In addition to having a positive impact on colleagues and children, staff wellbeing can improve performance and job satisfaction, which can lead to reduced staff turnover. It can also help to reduce absence (both short and long term), increase productivity and promote staff engagement resulting in a flourishing school environment.

The Wellbeing Connected for Primary Schools resource has been designed to bring the key information featuring experienced practitioners through video and text format with a quick and accessible interface. The resource is grouped into the following areas:

The portal is designed to be used by staff within schools to plan their whole school approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing and how all parts of the school community can be supported. The expert video clips, information packs and carefully curated external links are provided for staff to deliver comprehensive support.

The video below is just one from many featured on the resource and looks at the importance of Mental Health in schools.

Alongside videos, there are also template policies, wellbeing questionnaires and guidance for schools to use and adapt as well as thinking points that can be used as part of staff development looking at the importance of wellbeing for staff, the community and for the video below the importance of Mental Health and Wellbeing for pupils.

Alongside the videos and guidance are top tips from school leaders who have been recognised for their work in promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing. There are also book lists for EYFS/KS1/KS2 and staff that include a range of books that can be used in the classroom as well as to further support all staff in school. An app list is also included featuring a range of free apps for use by students and staff.

“This important resource for all primary schools is the result of our insights working across schools in London and beyond, day in day out. LGfL is uniquely placed to work across a wide range of different contexts and the guidance provides captures the best approaches that we have seen and think others will benefit.  It features practical and replicable approaches that can be adapted to each school context for the benefit of the whole school community”. Bob Usher Content Manager LGfL

We hope that this open access resource can be used by all schools to enable them to plan for and deliver effective wellbeing approaches in their schools. Please let us know on either our Twitter or Facebook pages if you use this resource in school.

Mental Health Awareness week 13th-19th May

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 will take place from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 May 2019. The theme for 2019 is Body Image – how we think and feel about our bodies.

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age. During the week they will be publishing new research, considering some of the reasons why our body image can impact the way that we feel, campaigning for change and publishing practical tools.

Last year the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people.

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age and directly impact our mental health. However there is still a lack of much-needed research and understanding around this.

The good news is that we can tackle body image through what children are taught in schools, by the way we talk about our bodies on a daily basis and through policy change by governments across the UK.

Mental Health Foundation

From 13-19 May they will be running a body image challenge. Simply post on social media a picture of a time or a place when you felt comfortable in your own skin – this could be now, five years ago or at the age of five. It can be a photo of yourself or something else that reminds you of the moment along with #BeBodyKind #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

There are a range of resources on the Mental health Foundation for use in schools, including publications, covering topics including: How to look after your mental health, the truth about self harm and how to overcome fear and anxiety. The make it count campaign with guidance for teachers, parents and children and their Peer Education Project.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England has put together a range of themed, simple, and mostly cost-free activities below to help you take part in Mental Health Awareness Week. Each activity is something you can do together as a team and it takes only 30 minutes! #EmpowerHalfHour

The DigiSafe team have collected a range of resources that can support the theme of this week at bodyimage.lgfl.net, with resources for KS1-KS5 it is a great starting point for assemblies and PSHE lessons during the week.

The Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign has teamed up with ASOS to run #MySenseOfSelf, a project exploring body image, body confidence and self-esteem. From speaking to young people and staff across the country through their Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Programme, they understand the importance of equipping young people with the tools they need to tackle social pressures on body image and develop self-confidence. As part of this project they have created a lesson plan for teachers or staff members to use: this resource aims to encourage students to open up a discussion with their peers about body image and is packed full of interactive activities.

It contains everything you need to run a 1.5-hour class or a number of shorter sessions, and explores 3 core themes: social media and its impact; celebrating difference; and developing self-esteem. Register on the #MySenseOfSelf website to download these free resources. The resources have gained the quality mark from the PSHE Association, who said “#MySenseOfSelf provides the opportunity to promote positive body image in a highly engaging and thought-provoking way”.

The PHSE Association has published practical guidance for teachers about the safe and confident teaching of body image in schools, as part of the PSHE curriculum. The guidance aims to enable schools to promote positive body image with pupils by supporting teachers to develop their own teaching materials or adapt existing high quality resources for use in the classroom, a range of which are recommended in the guidance. Suitable for Key Stages 1-5, the resource includes sections on establishing ground rules for a supportive learning environment, using visitors in the classroom and addressing the needs of vulnerable pupils. The document, downloadable here, draws upon input from over 350 teachers as well as focus groups of experts and young people.

Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools – The Be Real Campaign’s mission is to change attitudes to body image and help all of us put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies.They have produced a toolkit for schools because they know that in order to tackle body confidence later in life, it is essential that it begins from an early age. Secondary schools are a key setting for young people to discuss and challenge body confidence issues, with both teachers and students playing an important role in how this happens.

Their Somebody Like Me and In Your Face research show that body confidence has a direct impact on students’ academic performance and general wellbeing. Working with a team of experts and teachers, the Be Real Campaign created the Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools to help develop body confidence in all your students so they can thrive both in and out of the classroom.

Mentally Healthy Schools have also curated a collection of resources for Primary schools on the topic of body image, which includes lesson plans as well as a guide to spotting the signs and protective factors: what schools can do. You can read more and find the resources here.

Body image and Advertising resources from Media Smart – Supported by the Government Equalities Office and accredited by the PSHE Association, the resources are designed to build pupils’ emotional resilience as they learn to engage deeper with the messages and methods of advertising. These high-quality resources were created by leading independent experts and will support you in teaching engaging and interactive lessons with key curriculum links to PSHE. They include teacher’s notes and a guide for parents and guardians so that they can discuss this subject at home. We have also created a supporting film featuring young people discussing this issue which you can watch below. Teachers can illustrate the lesson with the suggested case studies or, they can choose their own.

Off the back of Credos (the Advertising industry’s think tank) research, Media Smarr saw a need to create educational materials that focus on the effects of negative body self-image on boys (as most are more girl focused).

To accompany the teaching resources, the team created the film below called the Boys’ Biggest Conversation, with First News and TV medic – Dr Ranj Singh. They interviewed secondary school boys, inviting them to share how they feel about their appearance, and exploring why they feel that way. Parents or guardians can use the free guidelines to support in discussions at home.

Public Health England have also produced a Body Image in a digital world plan pack for KS3 and KS4 pupils, the pack has been produced to explore with students what body image is, how social media can influence it and how to reduce stress caused by online pressure. The resources include videos, lesson plan and powerpoints and can be downloaded here.

Pooky Kingsmith is is the current vice chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. Pooky regularly posts a blog and newsletter featuring advice on Mental Health for both parents and professionals, she has a brilliant YouTube channel with videos covering a range of topics including Mental Health, such as the one below which looks at 4 tips for teachers and parents promoting a positive body image – perfect to share at a staff meeting and with parents.

You can also stay updated by following @MentalHealth Foundation on Twitter using the #BeBodyKind during Mental Health Awareness week.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference

 

Our first Mental Health and Wellbeing conference is on Tuesday 5th February 2019 at Camden CLCFree tickets are now available for LGfL/Trustnet schools for all interested in promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing in schools.

The day will consist of a series of Keynotes and workshops all designed to give staff strategies and hear first hand from schools who have promoted Mental health and Wellbeing within their schools, working with staff, pupils and parents, it will also give staff a chance to network with other professionals across London.

Keynotes from:

  • Ben Commins, Head Teacher from Queen’s Park Primary school who will be looking at Our Frame of Reference  Why Mental Health is important in schools
  • Abigail Mann is a Secondary English teacher and the author of Live Well, Teach Well: A practical approach to   Wellbeing that works. Abbie will be issuing staff with a call to action – if not us then who?
  • Meic Griffiths, Meic is an Executive HeadTeacher in London and in his keynote entitled “Unleash your Inner Super Hero” he will take us on a whistle stop tour in which you will learn how to unleash your inner super hero happiness with a mixture of wand therapy, fiddling frenzy, mental health resetting as well as the possibility of meeting Maria Von Trapp!

Delegates will also get the chance to choose four workshops some of the titles are highlighted below:

  • Resources from LGfL to support Mental Health and Wellbeing in schools’ with LGfL resource consultant Dawn Hallybone
  • Transitions  wellbeing and sustainable change with Stella Wilson  Queen’s Park Primary School
  • Exclusion, ‘self harm bullying’ and the power of the online world to drive positive and negative mental health with Mark Bentley LGfL DigiSafe
  • Is there a role for technology in talking therapies with John Galloway Tower Hamlets
  • iMHARS (Islington Mental Health and resilience in schools) for a whole school approach to Mental Health with Lil Fahey Islington Council

There will also be opportunities in the break and lunch sessions for delegates to network with the presenters as well as selected stands including from Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, Striker boy and EduKit.

You can book your tickets here, you will also be able to choose your workshop sessions.

We look forward to seeing you on the 5th February! #BeWell

World Mental Health Day – 10th October

10th October is World Mental Health day, the charity YoungMinds is calling on schools across the country to take part in #HelloYellow to show young people they’re not alone with their mental health. Schools that register for #HelloYellow will receive a free pack, including a mental health assembly plan as well as a range of activities. They have also recently partnered with the Beano to provide content for Under 12s, Meet Mandi, looks at getting your first phone and some top tips.

LGfL have partnered with Young Minds to produce Healthy Minds, these materials have been designed to support staff and young people to understand mental health better and help build resilience to prevent mental health issues from developing.

The open access resource features 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. Some resources are designed for use by staff and/or for parents.


The resource is split into the following sections:

  • Mental health and resilience activities for young people
  • Mental health and resilience resources for staff
  • No Harm done – materials for staff, parents and young people
  • Handy Websites and Apps

Striker Boy – At our annual conference this year, all teachers who attended received a free copy of Striker boy, republished in memory of the author Jonny Zucker who took his own life in November 2016. He was a loving husband and father, and creator of the SerialMash library for 2simple. Jonny believed passionately in the power of creativity, imagination, and ideas. He dedicated his life to inspiring children to read, working for many years as a primary school teacher before becoming a successful children’s author. Jonny’s favourite of his own stories was ‘Striker Boy’ first published in 2010. Striker Boy is a fast paced thriller that sees 13-year-old Nat Dixon desperately trying to save his beloved club from relegation. It’s packed with action both on and off the pitch.

2simple have produced a range of free teacher resources to accompany the book, including an emotional resilience pack.That’s not all, as there’s also a free emotional resilience assembly great to use on World Mental health day.

Mind Moose have produced an assembly that schools can use. It introduces mental health in the context of being as important to look after as physical health before discussing ways that we can all look after our mental health. It also discusses how children and adults in a school community can help each other to look after mental health.

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.

This is why EduKit created Insight. 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
  • Access over 1,300 EduKit partners able to offer free and low-cost support both across the UK and internationally.

All LGFL schools who sign up before the end of July will receive FREE access to the ‘Plus’ package (usual average cost £500) for one year. Click here for more details or to reserve your licence. LGfL are excited to make this offer available to schools. Please note this offer does not represent an endorsement of Edukit and the Edukit partners by LGfL.

The PHSE association has a comprehensive DfE funded Guidance on preparing to teach about mental health and emotional well being – as well as being a core guidance document it also includes a range of lesson plans for KS2 and KS3 pupils.  It has also produced a mental health teaching checklist as well as ground rules for teaching about mental health and emotional well being to ensure the safety of pupils when discussing this subject.

The Anna Freud National centre for families and children have produced an excellent booklet for supporting mental health and well being in schools – you can download it here: supporting-mental-health-and-wellbeing-in-schools. They have also produced an excellent animated video below to encourage talking about mental health in schools, great for use in assembly and in class:

They have also produced this booklet for supporting mental health and well being in Secondary schools. They have also just launched a short animation and toolkit aimed at Secondary pupils in year 7-9, you can view the resources here.

Schools in Mind is a free network for school staff and allied professionals which shares practical, academic and clinical expertise regarding the wellbeing and mental health issues that affect schools. The network provides a trusted source of up-to-date and accessible information and resources that school leaders, teachers and support staff can use to support the mental health and wellbeing of the children and young people in their care. You can sign up to the network here.

Mentally Healthy Schools is a free and easy to use website for primary schools, offering teachers and school staff reliable and practical resources to support pupils’ mental health. Staff can access 600+ quality assured mental health resources to support the wellbeing of their pupils, including lesson plans, assemblies, guidance documents and measurement tools, alongside easy-to-understand practical information about supporting the mental health of children.

There is clear guidance on the site for what to do if anyone has concerns about a child’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as guidance on promoting and supporting the wellbeing of staff.

The vast majority of the resources are free and available to access via the site. There are a small number of evaluated, mostly licensed programmes that carry a fee, but have stronger evidence of benefiting children either through promoting children’s social and emotional skills, or preventing or helping children recover from poor mental health.

Charlie Waller Memorial Trust – The Trust was set up in 1997 in memory of Charlie Waller, a young man who took his own life whilst suffering from depression. Shortly after his death, his family founded the Trust in order to educate young people on the importance of staying mentally well and how to do so. They have a range of free resources for schools including booklets, posters and teachers can also sign up to a book club for school mental health leads, where they 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.

Adolescent resilience – LGfL have teamed up with Public Health England to provide links to some school-ready resources from a range of different organisations. These include information on academic research, materials for whole-school approaches as well as lesson series and one-off resources, plus targeted support for specific problems, and signposting. Links do not imply endorsement of one approach over another. Please note that not all resources have been formally evaluated, although many have been developed with schools and experts in the field. These resources are suitable for KS3, KS4 and KS5. 

Public Health England have a range of resources to support children in schools, they have a lesson plan and activities based around online stress and FOMO(Fear of missing out).

You can also download a range of calming music for use with either meditation, assemblies or in class from Audio network.

Islington Mental Health and Resilience in Schools (iMHARS)  describes a whole-school approach to mental health and resilience. The iMHARS framework helps schools to understand the seven aspects (components) of school life that can support and contribute to pupils’ positive mental health and resilience.

The seven components have been distilled from a wide body of evidence and have been developed and tested in Islington schools.

iMHARS can be used in schools to research current practice, identify where things are working well, areas for improvement and next steps. Schools are encouraged to reflect on what support is in place to meet the needs of all pupils; for the most vulnerable pupils, for those at risk, and preventative measures for all pupils.

When I worry about things is another excellent resource from BBC Teach it is a collection of animated films that use personal testimony to explore mental health issues from the perspective of children. Alongside each, there is more information about the content of the film, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom. These resources are suitable for use with pupils aged 8-13.

Tell us what you are doing for mental health day on either our Twitter or Facebook pages. #WorldMentalHealthDay

Healthy Minds

Our latest open access resource is now available. Healthy Minds has been 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. Some resources are designed for use by staff and/or for parents.

It is essential to support mental health in schools as statistically 1 in 10 children between the age of 5 and 16 will have a diagnosable mental health disorder. That means that in an average classroom there are 3 pupils who have a mental health disorder. There will also be many more who are struggling with stress and anxiety, relating to school life and home life.

In 2014, Young Minds consulted with over 5,000 young people to find out the problems they are facing in their daily lives. The biggest issue that came out of this was school stress, with 84% ofyoung people saying that schools should help by teaching you how to cope when life gets tough.We know that more than half of adults with a mental health disorder were diagnosed before they reached 14, so it is vital that we help children to understand their mental health and wellbeing, and that we help build their resilience so that they are better able to cope with life.

The resource is split into the following sections:

  • Mental health and resilience activities for young people
  • Mental health and resilience resources for staff
  • No Harm done – materials for staff, parents and young people
  • Handy Websites and Apps

Mental health and resilience activities for young people

This section includes resources for an assembly or workshop on mental health and resilience as well as a number of short activities that can be used directly with children and young people to help explore wellbeing and resilience and what things make us feel more resilient. Individual resources can be used as a one off with a class or can be built on over a whole term focusing on emotional wellbeing and resilience. These activities are designed for use with learners in upper KS2 (though not all are-please judge what is appropriate), KS3 and KS4, but can be adapted for other young people as required. Please ensure you read the outline before you start to ensure the resources are suitable for the Key stage you are working with.

Mental health and resilience resources for staff

This section includes CPD resources to help staff understand mental health issues, risk factors, supporting resilience and what they can do to help. Many staff support students with a range of mental health issues. When staff don’t have knowledge in this area and find it difficult to access external support, it can be extremely stressful and worrying. These resources have been designed to support staff for these reasons. There are also a few resources to support staff mental health as it is essential that staff receive the help they need too.

No Harm done – materials for staff, parents and young people

This section includes films and digital packs tackling the difficult subject of self-harm, as this has come up as a common issue in schools that staff are dealing with more often than ever before, but often lack the knowledge and training to deal with confidently. There are three different films and packs, one for staff, one for parents and one for pupils, all of which are voiced by real people sharing their real experiences.

Handy Websites and Apps

This is a document that can be downloaded that are recommended by Young minds to support staff.

Please share via our twitter or Facebook pages, if you use this resource in school.

 

Children’s Mental Health Week 5th – 11th February 2018

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 fourth year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word. The theme for this year is #BeingOurselves

Some children and young people can find it difficult to think positively about themselves. Low self-esteem affects more than 8 in 10 of the pupils who have Place2Be one-to-one support. Place2Be is inviting everyone – children, young people and adults – to come together and celebrate the unique qualities and strengths in themselves and others. They have a range of resources for both Primary and Secondary schools that can be used throughout the week.

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.

LGfL have a range of resources that can support you during this week. 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.

Young Minds have recently launched their 360° which will support schools in taking a whole school approach and ensure your school achieves best practice in wellbeing and resilience. You can find out more here.

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.

Last week the Duchess of Cambridge launched the latest initiative from Heads Together to support children’s mental well-being. Mentally Healthy Schools brings together quality-assured information, advice and resources to help primary schools understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing.  The site is currently in its pilot phase which will run during 2018 with selected schools. However it will be publicly available from spring 2018. If you would like to receive a notification when the site is launched, please email mhs@annafreud.org with your contact details.

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

 

 

 

World Mental Health Day – 10th October 2017

10th October is World Mental Health day, the charity YoungMinds is calling on schools across the country to take part in #HelloYellow to show young people they’re not along with their mental health. Schools that register for #HelloYellow will receive a free pack, including a mental health assembly plan as well as a range of activities.

Mind Moose have produced an assembly that schools can use. It introduces mental health in the context of being as important to look after as physical health before discussing ways that we can all look after our mental health. It also discusses how children and adults in a school community can help each other to look after mental health.

The PHSE association has a comprehensive DfE funded Guidance on preparing to teach about mental health and emotional well being – as wells being a core guidance document it also includes a range of lesson plans for KS2 and KS3 pupils.  It has also produced a mental health teaching checklist as well as ground rules for teaching about mental health and emotional well being to ensure the safety of pupils when discussing this subject.

The Anna Freud National centre for families and children have produced an excellent booklet for supporting mental health and well being in schools – you can download it here: supporting-mental-health-and-wellbeing-in-schools. They have also produced an excellent animated video below to encourage talking about mental health in schools, great for use in assembly and in class:

Adolescent resilience – LGfL have teamed up with Public Health England to provide links to some school-ready resources from a range ofdifferent organisations. These include information on academic research, materials for whole-school approaches as well as lesson series and one-off resources, plus targeted support for specific problems, and signposting. Links do not imply endorsement of one approach over another.Please note that not all resources have been formally evaluated, although many have beendeveloped with schools and experts in the field. This resources are suitable for KS3, KS4 and KS5. 

Public Health England have a range of resources to support children in schools, they have a lesson plan and activities based around online stress and FOMO(Fear of missing out).

You can also download a range of calming music for use with either meditation, assemblies or in class from Audio network.

When I worry about things is another excellent resource from BBC Teach it is a collection of animated films that use personal testimony to explore mental health issues from the perspective of children. Alongside each, there is more information about the content of the film, and suggestions of how it could be used in the classroom. These resources are suitable for use with pupils aged 8-13.

Tell us what you are doing for mental health day on either our Twitter or Facebook pages.