Let’s Talk About – Children’s Mental Health
As schools and teachers around the country prepare to introduce their classes to the first of our Mental Health Heroes it’s important to reflect on why wellbeing is such an important topic…
Mental health is a difficult topic to approach, even more so when we discuss the mental health of children. Now more than ever, the wellbeing and mindfulness of children is a HUGE discussion point. This isn’t to discredit the topic, it’s always been hugely important. But the impact of school children being away from a stable learning environment in the classroom, and being away from their social circles for such extended periods over this past year have had clear detrimental effects to the mental health of many children, and it’s important we acknowledge this and, more importantly, act on this.
Let’s take a look at some stats
In 2020, NHS studies showed that the number of children who had reported a probable mental health disorder had risen from 1 in 9 in 2017 to 1 in 6 in 2020. No coincidence then, that this coincides with the beginning of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns which resulted in school closures.
Thankfully, this has led to immediate action, with Dr Alex George (of Love Island fame) being appointed as the Youth Mental Health Ambassador, after the death of his younger brother. He believes that as schools have returned, it is expected children will need increased help. The constant shifting between the classroom and home learning is not healthy for any child, and not to mention the increased stress levels teachers are facing at such a difficult time.
It’s important we continue to act, these children depend on us for guidance, for leadership and to keep them safe.
NHS studies also show that 1 in 8 children experience emotional problems growing up. While for some they may resolve with time, others require further support. And it’s important that we bear in mind, this is just without the impact of COVID.
We know that it can be a struggle to prioritise wellbeing due to the current pressure to close gaps in learning, which is why our Wellbeing Wednesday scheme comes with comprehensive teacher guides and weekly overviews in order to save you the time and pressure. Our team has carefully researched and planned this scheme utilising the latest information available to support wellbeing in the classroom.visit ‘Mental Health Heroes’ hub
If you’re a teacher, the odds are that you have more than likely witnessed this yourself, but it’s a damning stat nonetheless. 2 out of 3 primary school children say they worry all the time about at least one thing. And 90% of school leaders have reported an increase in the number of students experiencing anxiety or stress in the last five years. School should not have to be a place where a child turns up worrying about something all day, every day. Unfortunately for some teachers, it is an incredibly sensitive and difficult topic to approach.
So what are Teacher’s Pet doing to help?
As you are probably aware, sunday saw the release of the latest term of Wellbeing Wednesday, our mental health initiative designed to teach children new wellbeing skills that you can be confident they will bring forward with them after the 12 weeks have passed.
Why not check out Week 1 of our latest term, the Mental Health Heroes? It’s completely free to download, and completely free to view the animation and comic too. Week 1 and beyond have differentiated resources for EYFS, KS1, LKS2 and UKS2.
Our heroes are on a quest to defeat The Negatron. A cloud of negative energy that needs to be destroyed. Join the heroes as they use their mental health power to take on The Negatron. You can check out the animation at this link here.
And you can follow on the ending of each animation by viewing that week’s comic. The animation and comic have been carefully designed to embed the knowledge and skills taught each week by the Mental Health Heroes. The animation is a fantastic hook in and a useful way to engage children in discussions about wellbeing.
Remember, we are here for you
Remember, we have your back all the way. We want to remind you all that Teacher’s Pet is there for you and to provide any advice and help you might need. Keep an eye out for our wellbeing support group on Facebook that we are soon launching. We hope to build a thriving and helpful community for all. Teachers, you’re not alone in this one!