Mental Wellbeing During Covid-19
At Uphill Primary School, we are passionate about creating a culture of positive wellbeing and mental health and are committed to working together with teachers, parents/carers and all pupils to help build healthy, calm and happy school. Together we can drive positive change, encourage conversation, and create an environment that fosters wellbeing for all pupils, which in turn enables them to flourish to their full potential.
Children’s mental health and well-being, is being reported more frequently in the news, with a range of issues including the use of social media, self-esteem, social mobility and diet being highlighted on a regular basis. It is clear that there is a nationwide concern emerging around children’s mental health.
What’s also apparent is that this issue is not specific to any particular age group and children in primary schools are increasingly becoming affected. It is fair to say that there is no ‘magic fix’ to this, but at Uphill Primary we are always trying to think of new ways to support children’s mental health and the worries they may have. Whether it be:
- providing time out for a child to speak to our Learning Mentor or a member of our mental health trained staff,
- inviting the children to our lunch time clubs and after school clubs,
- focusing on mental health and wellbeing within specific days and assemblies,
- focusing on the importance of healthy wellbeing within our class PSHE lessons
- liaising with parents/carers.
Mental Health and wellbeing, whether it is children or adults, can have a rather negative stigma attached to it, yet we believe that by raising the profile of this very important issue then only good things can come from it.
A happy child is a happy learner!
You will find lots of useful resources in this blog to help you support your child at home during this difficult period.
Explaining COVID-19 to children
We know that explaining COVID-19 to children can be really difficult, so we wanted to start with some resources that tackle the often difficult subjects of social distancing, sharing concerns and staying in touch.
Newsround also have some really useful resources and gives some great advice if you are worried about Coronavirus.
Looking after yourself and your family
Looking after yourself and your family has never been more important during such a difficult period of disruption and uncertainty. Caring for each other Sesame Street have some great videos, activities and tips for the whole family, especially parents, to care for themselves and others during this time. Action for happiness have written a great blog on ways to help keep yourself mentally active during these unprecedented times.
There is also some fantastic advice from the NSPCC aimed at parents to support them during what may be a difficult time.
Supporting children at home
Play is a vital part of childhood and is essential in all aspects of children’s development. During times of significant change, play can have a therapeutic role, helping children to recover a sense of normality. The International Play Association aim to protect, preserve and promote a child’s right to play as a fundamental human right.
With this in mind they have produced a guide to Play in Crisis: support for parents and carers. It is full of information and ideas on how to support your child’s play during these unprecedented times. The document covers a range of areas from the importance of play to managing play at home, play that involves difficult themes and things to play with around your home.
There are also lots of other fun activities and ideas to try together:
- 100 indoor activities including strategies to support with mental health and wellbeing
- Sparkle activity guide
- Physical activities for school ages children
- #ThisIsPE supporting parents to teach PE at home
The School Nursing Team in North Somerset are still available to help with any concerns you may have during this time. Find out more about the services they offer and how to contact them.
Losing someone close to you is never easy and it can be harder to explain during this pandemic. Here are some resources that may begin to help. Our Learning Mentors are also there to support you and can be contacted through the learning mentor email: [email protected]
If at any stage there is a bereavement in your family, there is useful information on organisations that you can contact for support and advice on the VANS website.
Bereavement UK also has a page dedicated to the Coronavirus outbreak which includes advice on supporting children through difficult times/bereavement and when you can’t visit someone who is ill. The page also had details about their helpline and web-based live chat.
Winston’s Wish is a really good website with information on dealing with bereavement and children. It also has information around Coronavirus that you may find useful.