Marking Children's Mental Health Week in the classroom

2019-01-29

Mental health in schools has made headlines in the past months, which makes marking Children’s Mental Health Week in the classroom more important than ever.


Launched by Place2Be back in 2015 as a means of highlighting mental health problems among young people, and the children’s mental health charity is keen to increase the number of people involved this year.


A main theme for the week (4-10 February) focuses on Healthy: Inside and Out, designed to recognise the importance of looking after the body and the mind.


This aims to promote the idea that physical and mental wellbeing are intrinsically linked, and that all individuals can play a pivotal role in supporting each other by encouraging conversation and positive actions.


The charity recognises that there are individuals in most classrooms that require a level of mental health support and that there are others that can struggle to cover challenges such as bullying or bereavement.


Currently, nearly 300 primary and secondary schools across the UK receive support from Place2Be’s highly skilled set of practitioners, with support and advice given to parents, pupils and teaching staff.


Top tips for teachers

Place2Be encourages teachers to have open discussions with pupils around mental health and health in general, starting by getting youngsters to define health and healthy living.


Teachers can lead by example by promoting healthy activities, and by reminding pupils that they can succeed, even when times might appear tough.


It’s also important to stress to young people that nobody is perfect and that everyone is different – that way they can be encouraged to celebrate all that is good about each other.


A key aspect of Children’s Mental Health Week revolves around spreading the word and raising awareness of why mental health is so important – and efforts should start in the classroom.


Place2Be has a range of resources that teachers can use to promote the week, which can be found here, as well as a broad set of classroom activities for primary and secondary school teachers.


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