Mental health is important at all ages
World Mental Health Day, observed on October 10th, is a crucial reminder of the importance of mental well-being in our lives. This year let’s shine a spotlight on the role educators play in supporting children’s mental health in schools.
Teachers and teaching assistants are not just academic guides; they can also be pillars of strength and support for students who are struggling with their mental health. This listicle offers ten practical ways teachers and teaching assistants can support students struggling with their mental health.
1. Recognise the Signs:
Stay vigilant for behavioural changes, academic declines, and emotional expressions.
2. Create a Safe Space:
Encourage open communication, practice mindful listening, and normalise discussions about mental health.
3. Positive Reinforcement:
Boost students’ self-esteem by acknowledging their achievements, no matter how small.
4. Work in partnership with Professionals:
Share concerns with school counsellors and psychologists and work together to create support plans.
5. Promote Self-Care:
Set an example by maintaining a healthy work-life balance and seeking support when needed.
6. Attend Training:
Stay informed about mental health resources and attend relevant training sessions.
7. Coordination with Parents:
Work together with parents to ensure students receive consistent support at home and school.
8. Inclusivity and Diversity:
Respect cultural differences and consider diverse backgrounds when offering support.
9. Teach Stress Management:
Integrate stress-reduction techniques into the curriculum to empower students with coping skills.
10. Encourage Peer Support:
Create a supportive classroom atmosphere where students can help each other and share experiences.
A different kind of homework…
Britain Get Talking – ITV Campaign
Additionally, on World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2023, ITV’s Britain Get Talking campaign is taking a unique approach to address the mental health challenges facing school children. With mental health concerns rising in nearly 40% of school children, this campaign is assigning a different kind of homework—one aimed at reducing stress and anxiety by encouraging open conversations about what’s on our minds. You can participate by engaging in a chat tonight or taking part in their national homework exercise. There’s no need for pen and paper; you can start by downloading their task and expressing your worries by writing or drawing them on the front cover. It’s a meaningful initiative to promote mental well-being and create spaces for vital discussions about mental health.
Download the ITV Campaign schools resource pack here: https://www.itv.com/britaingettalking/schools.html
Make a difference to children’s mental health
Teachers and teaching assistants have the potential to make a profound impact on a child’s mental health. On World Mental Health Day 2023, let’s commit to creating compassionate, safe, and inclusive learning environments where children can thrive academically and emotionally.
By recognising the signs, promoting open communication, collaborating with professionals, encouraging self-care, and embracing diversity, educators can be beacons of hope and support for children facing mental health challenges. Together, we can help our students navigate the path to mental well-being and a brighter future.
Remember that there are numerous organisations that offer valuable resources and advice to teachers concerned about their students’ mental well-being. Don’t hesitate to reach out to organisations like YoungMinds for more information and assistance.