Mental Health Support & Champions
Parental Information & Support
This may be a difficult time for children and young people especially following the changes due to Covid-19 and school closures. Some may be struggling now, while others may be affected later.
During this time, it’s important that you take care of your own and your family’s mental health – there are lots of things you can do, and support is available if you need it.
- Action for Children - helps parents to spot the signs of poor mental health in their child and explains what to do to help
- NSPCC - a range of advice on how to support your child if you are concerned that they may be struggling with their mental health or be anxious about coronavirus
- Every Mind Matters – simple and practical advice to support your mental health and wellbeing, including advice on looking after children and young people.
- Samaritans can help if you are worried that someone you know is suicidal, including your child.
- Young Minds’ free Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544 for confidential, expert advice, if you have urgent concerns about your child’s mental health and wellbeing.
My Happy Mind
We are really excited about starting our New Mental Health Support Programme "My Happy Mind" with the whole school from Monday 10th January 2022.
The children have been introduced to it during an Assembly and are keen to get started and learn more about how their brain works and techniques to support their mental health.
Please see below for the letter to parents/carers and try out the free resources to at home with your children by clicking on this link to the website:
My Happy Mind - Module 1 - Meet Your Brain - January 2022
All the children in school have enjoyed starting the first module of My Happy Mind called “Meet Your Brain”. We are starting to refer to any new achievement as a “neuroplasticity moment” which the children love saying to each other.
They have been introduced to 3 parts of the brain through the H-A-P character so you may start hearing them use these words more at home:
H – Hippocampus - Like a scrapbook storing all your memories and things you learn.
A – Amygdala - Takes control and keeps you safe when there is danger. Fight/flight/freeze.
P – Prefrontal Cortex - Helps you to make choices, concentrate and solve problems.
Please check your Parent Pay account for advice on how to download the FREE My Happy Mind parents’ app to support your child’s learning at home.
Mental Health Champions
In October 2021, we invited children in Years 3 - 6 to apply to become a Mental Health Champion at our school. Those who showed an interest were sent home with a short application form to complete and return. They were asked the following 3 questions:
1. Why would you like to be a Mental Health Champion?
2. What qualities and skills do you bring to the Mental Health Champions role?
3. Why do you believe this is an important role to develop within your school?
We were really impressed by the children's amazing replies and decided that some of the children would go through to the next stage.
The next stage was on Thursday 25th November 2021 and in 2 parts:
Part 1 - A short individual interview with Mrs Jones, Miss Haynes and myself, where we chatted about all the great skills and qualities they mentioned in their application. This also included a photo and a short video of the children saying their best quality.
Part 2 - There was a group activity where the children played games with each other. We looked at how they interacted and problem solved with each other.
We have put together a short video celebrating our successful Mental Health Champions and the skills they said they will bring to their role at Underwood West Academy. Please see below.
(PSHE & RHE Lead, Mental Health Lead)
The successful Mental Health Champions were trained in school on 7th January 2022 by the Mental Health Support Team (MHST) who are a fantastic FREE service that our school has signed up to. Not only do they offer training for our children to become Mental Health Champions and support others but they also support us with individual child consultations with parent/carer permission and group work with permissions too. These groups include "Understanding Your Worries" which focuses on helping children to share worries, build resilience and learn strategies to relieve:
- Everyday worries about coming to school
- General worries in day to day life
- Worries about putting their hand up in class or getting things wrong.
- Feeling nervous about playing out with their friends (being un-liked, people laughing at them)
- Avoiding doing things because they feel worried or anxious about it.
The MHST parents leaflet for their services can be found below: