Children's Mental Health and wellbeing
At Creswell Junior School, we believe in promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing to ensure that our school is a community where everyone feels able to thrive. Our core values underpin everything that we do.
What is Mental Health?
Mental Health is the way you think and feel about yourself and the world around you. It affects how you cope with life's challenges and stresses.
During Mental Health week 2022, we compared our mental health to a growing tree. In some years trees grow a lot, but in some years trees have a hard time growing.
Sometimes we feel like we are growing and developing and doing really well. For example, we might do well in our work at school and feel like we have good friendships. But at other times we might feel like we are not growing and developing like we want to. We might get upset because we are finding our school work difficult or have fallen out with our friends.
These feelings are very ordinary and that even when we feel like things are not going right in our lives, we can continue to develop and grow – just like the tree can grow even when the conditions aren’t quite right.
What happens in school?
In school, we teach children about what it means to have good mental health and wellbeing throughout our curriculum and daily practice.
Our Jigsaw 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.
We encourage 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.
- Connect: Connecting with others makes you feel like you belong, you are important and you are valued. Belonging helps raise your self-esteem.
- Be Active: Being physically active can make you feel GREAT! It is a great way to boost your mood and reduce anxiety.
- Take Notice: Being in the present moment, right now (think Jigsaw chime time!). No worries, no tension, just appreciating things around you right now.
- Learn New Things: Just a little thing each day that you have learnt to do can give you a mood and confidence boost.
- Give: Helping others in the smallest ways – with a kind word or action – makes both of you feel better.
Year 5 Mental Health Champions
Friends Support – Chat and Relax!
- Monday and Wednesday lunchtimes – 12:30 – 1pm, Fish Room
- A space to chat about your thoughts, feelings or worries, one-to-one, with a Mental Health Champion.
- Mindfulness activities if you need to relax.
- A small, friendly, cosy space, to be quiet and calm, if and when you need it.
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 someone in school, in confidence, and let us know when things are tough.
Adults: Go to your GP if things are really getting on top of you, or your child. Ask for some support from your doctor, or a referral to a counselling service.
Children's Mental Health Week 2023
The theme for Children's Mental Health Week this year is 'Let's Connect'. Mrs van der Spoel's assembly reminded us all of the Five Ways to Wellbeing, and she gave everyone a challenge!
Can you connect with someone else? Perhaps someone you don't ordinarily talk to much, or work with in class? A smile, a wave, or a high-five - something small could make someone's day.