Children's Mental Health
As society becomes busier and we all juggle the many aspects of our lives the need to support children and their families becomes more important.
School have invested in Emma Creed (Pupil Support Worker) and Claire Scott (Family Support Worker) to ensure children are supported during the school day and parents and carers have a listening ear if they have concerns about their child or if the family are going through a difficult timeMrs. Creed has put together some starting points.
The importance of Sleep
Children need as much sleep as possible, usually between 10-12 hours for a good rest. The younger you are the more sleep you need. Sleep can improve memory, health and mental health. While asleep, the brain switches our short-term memory to long-term information stored which helps us focus more when awake, it also improves our immune system and helps the body to repair itself.
If your child is struggling to go to sleep, introduce a settling down period before bed.
- Avoiding using electronic devices at least an hour before and try a calm activity such as reading a book independently or even together or try mindfulness colouring in, for example, so the brain can switch off.
- If your child feels worried or anxious about any issues, ask them to write down their worries or draw a picture and explain it or you could scribe for your child. This helps to ‘empty’ the brain and any problems can be addressed the next day.
- Change the mood or emotion by thinking of 3 good things that have happened that day or during that week so positive thoughts take over from the negative ones.
- Use a breathing technique to help their mind and body relax. There are many ideas online or you could use the ‘box’ method. This is done by drawing a box in the air with an index finger and slowly breathing in, for approximately 3 seconds, as you draw an imaginary line along the top of the box, hold your breath for 3 seconds while drawing down the side, breath out slowly for a count of 3 as you draw along the bottom then breath in for the last line and repeat if necessary.
- Ask your child to place one of their hands on their chest and one hand on their tummy and to notice how their breathing feels and where can feel it most. The idea is to focus on their breathing, so it becomes more gentle and slower and helps the body wind down for sleep.
Many of us love sweets, chocolate and junk food. We also know that we shouldn't eat too much of it! Even though we know that we can often let it slip for ourselves and our families! But it is important!
Healthy balanced meals at home, including breakfast, are also important as having healthy packed lunches in school. A good diet feeds the body and brain with nutrients which have a positive impact on physical, emotional and mental health as the body needs fuel to function at its best. We have noticed a massive improvement with packed lunches since the NHS Healthy Food Swap Campaign we ran across the school, where healthier choices have been made so thank you and please keep it going!
Plenty of water throughout the day helps with concentration, mood and good physical health helping muscles to replenish and also helps to maintain a healthy weight.
I'm still a little worried about my child?
Please find below, a link to some short videos ranging from bed wetting advice, gaming support and behaviour support to name just a few! It has been developed for parents to watch short videos delivered by the charity, Place2be. They are a leading organisation who endeavour to support children with their mental health and well-being and to also support families as a whole. We hope you find it useful.
Any other resources?