Quote from the 3rd February 2017 News and Views:
Children’s Mental Health
One in ten children aged between 5 and 16 years have a mental health problem, and many continue to have these problems into adulthood. Schools are seeing more and more mental health related issues (children and parents) and we have to work together to eradicate any taboos linked to this. Starting Monday it’s ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ and we are taking this opportunity to start introducing what mental health is and the signs of this, to the children. Everything will be in an age appropriate, child friendly way and Miss Pohl is taking a lead on this. She has already ordered a book called ‘Scrambled Heads’ which is a children’s guide to mental health written by Emily Palmer. It will also reinforce our values as lots of what is spoken about is linked to being a good friend – friendship.
Today (2nd February 2017) we launched raising the awareness of mental health at Larchwood. Miss Pohl started with an assembly to the children, then sent this email to staff. I will share the contents as it sums up what we are trying to achieve. I have not changed the wording in anyway and Miss Pohl did not know I was going to share it for everyone to see. Truth be told I could not have said this any better, hence my sharing it with you.
Today I introduced “children’s mental health week” to the school in assembly and the big focus is being kind to one and other, and ourselves. I emphasised that we all experience ‘big’ feelings from time to time and that that is ok, and that we must talk about them. I explained how some people don’t know how to cope with these feelings and therefore might need help, but if we show kindness all the time, people will feel more comfortable and happy to talk about these feelings which will help them.
I read a book called “scrambled heads” which looks at understanding mental health in a child friendly way and how not being able to cope with big feelings is almost like having a “scrambled head”. If you want to read this book again or use it to talk about mental health in class then please come borrow the book.
I have attached some ideas for you to do in relation to mental health this week, which if you could squeeze in at least one activity this week that would be great (maybe part of your PSHCE?) or here are some links to some stories which illustrates big and difficult feelings, and that can lead to a discussion about peer support and kindness:
This is also the link to the song “count on me” which I played during the assembly and gives a key message – could be played during reflection time!?
I will be asking for one name per class on Friday of someone who has shown extra kindness this week and thought about other people’s feelings.
Your words are spot on Miss Pohl. Very poignant and will resonate with many people.