The wellbeing of our whole school community is a priority at St George and St Teresa. Please remember that our school is here to support everyone and if you have any worries, concerns or anxieties about yourself or your children, please let us know. We all have mental health and we believe it is important that children are encouraged and supported to look after their mental health every day.
Since the start of this pandemic, we have recognised that now more than ever, we need to support children to regulate, express and understand their emotions. Well-being sessions are built into our weekly timetables and children are encouraged to take part in a range of activities whether they are learning in school or at home.
Being mentally healthy means that we feel good about ourselves, make and keep positive relationships with others and can feel and manage the full range of emotions. These can range from happiness, excitement and curiosity through to less comfortable feelings such as anger, fear or sadness. Good mental health allows us to cope with life’s ups and downs, to feel in control of our lives and to ask for help from others when we need support.
How can you support your child’s Mental Health?
Mental health and mental illness are part of a ‘spectrum’, just as physical health and illness are. Throughout our lives, many different things can lead us to move up and down the spectrum such as the start or end of relationships, getting a new job or being made redundant, changes in physical health and good news or worries about those we are close to.
It is important to remember that recovery is possible, even from severe mental ill health, and that people with a mental ill-health diagnosis may be managing their condition well and still experiencing high levels of well-being.
Often, life events that are outside our control can damage our mental health, and this is made worse if we feel powerless to do anything about them.
Top tips for how you can support your child’s mental health
Day to day:
Our everyday habits are important to our mental health, just as they are to our physical health. Here are a few suggestions to help your child develop good habits.
- Think about the five ways to well-being
- Are there things you can encourage them to do, or do together, each day?
- Talk openly about mental health
- Just as you might encourage them to eat fruit and veg to keep their bodies healthy (and model this behaviour yourself), talk openly about, for example, staying connected with others or being physically active in order to take care of our minds.
- Model good habits – Children often learn from copying what they see around them. If you are taking care of your own mental health, it’s easier for them to see what good habits look like.
- Think about phone usage – both theirs and yours. We don’t fully understand the impact of social media on our mental health but using phones and laptops can impact on our sleep, which is important to our mental health. We’re also more likely to listen to one another if we’re not distracted by technology.
- Notice any changes in your child’s behaviour -Young people tell us how they’re feeling in many ways, not always verbally. Learning what is normal for your child makes it easier to notice when things change, and if this might be a sign that they’re struggling
Where can you go for support?
Speak to a member of staff in school who will direct you to an appropriate member of the team.
Parents can text a School Nurse for advice about mental health and wellbeing via our Chat Health Parent Text line 07480 635 496. Please see the latest video from the Solihull School Nursing Team. This video is aimed at Primary school aged children regarding emotional health and well-being. https://youtu.be/7LjLl386yl0
Visit your GP and discuss your concerns.
Solar is a partnership between Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Barnardo’s and Autism West Midlands provide emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people in Solihull. They provide multi-disciplinary assessment and treatment of children and young people with mental health or severe emotional and behavioural difficulties. The service currently accepts children and young people, until their 19th birthday, or have a Solihull GP.
They are now accepting self-referrals from young people and parents/carers. This means that young people, or their parents or carers, can fill in a form and send it back to Solar if they think they might need help from this service. Please visit the referral page for more information:
https://www.bsmhft.nhs.uk/our-services/solar-youth-services/ Please note, they only accept referrals from families who have a Solihull GP, or children/young people under the age of 19 who are in the care of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and live out of the borough, and therefore don't have a Solihull GP.
Provide support for young people and their families. https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/
Young Minds Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Charity 24/7 hotline 0121 262 35555
Information for parents, carers and young people https://www.place2be.org.uk/
Every Mind Matters – this link takes you to lots of support and advice for the whole family.
Public Health England
Public Health England have produced guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people's mental health and wellbeing. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing This includes key actions they can take to support their child or young person’s mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic such as supporting safe ways to connect with friends. It also emphasises the importance of children continuing to remain fit and active and, wherever possible, having the 60 minutes of daily physical activity recommended by the Chief Medical Officers.
Association for Physical Education
Youth Sport Trust
Further publications which you may find useful: