Mental Health and Wellbeing
We know that life can be really challenging for both children and adults and that sometimes this can affect our wellbeing and mental health. At Folly View Primary School we firmly believe that being mentally healthy is needed for us to cope with day to day life and needs to be prioritised in order for children to be ready for any other learning. On this page we will be sharing ideas about how to support your mental health and to help us all in wellbeing - being well.
What is Mental Health
We all have mental health. Mental health is about our feelings, our thinking, our emotions and our moods. Looking after our mental health is important. We all have ‘small’ feelings every day. These sometimes feel strong and overwhelming, whether happy or sad, but they go away before too long. Sometimes we experience ‘big’ feelings: These feel strong and overwhelming for a long time. They stop us doing what we want to in our lives. You could watch the video below to help think about these feelings.
How can help my child’s mental health?
1. Make conversations about mental health a normal part of life: Anywhere is a good place to talk; in the car, walking the dog or cooking together. Model everyday talk about feelings such as by talking about a TV character’s feelings.
2. Give your full attention: We all know it’s horrible to be half listened to. Keep eye contact, focus on the child and ignore distractions.
3. Check your body language: Try to keep it open and relaxed and make sure you come down to the child’s level.
4. Take it seriously: Don’t downplay what the child is saying or tell them they’re “just being silly”. Resist the urge to reassure them that everything is fine.
5. Ask open questions: Such as “How did your day go today?” This will help to extend the conversation.
6. Calmly stay with the feelings that arise: It can be our automatic reaction to steer away from difficult emotions.
7. Offer empathy rather than solutions: Show that you accept what they are telling you but don’t try to solve the problem.
8. Remember we are all different: Respect and value the child’s feelings, even though they may be different to yours.
9. Look for clues about feelings: Listen to the child’s words, tone of voice and body language.
10. Some ways to start a conversation about feelings might be: “How are you feeling at the moment?” “You don’t seem your usual self. Do you want to talk about it?” “I’m happy to listen if you need a chat.”
Mindfulness can be calming and help children to focus on what is happening in their mind and body. Try this activty at a calm quiet time.
Children’s Mental Health Week will take place from 5-11 February 2024.
The theme this year is ‘My Voice Matters’.
My Voice Matters is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.
As parents and carers, you play an important role in your child’s mental health.
This year, we want to empower children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to work together to create a positive change for their mental health and wellbeing. Our aim is for Children’s Mental Health Week, we want all children and young people to be able to say – and believe - “My Voice Matters.”
Below is a simple Mindfulness Calendar which you might like to use with your children. It gives a range of mindful activities to support positive mental health for this week and next (there are 5 simple activities suggested as being for Monday to Friday, but which can be used on any day). Each suggested activity on the calendar, links to a set of simple instructions to help you to practice this mindful task with your child or children.
We hope that you can enjoy these together. They are equally good for adults!
This month's theme is all about optimism - setting small and manageable goals to help us feel that we keep moving forward and achieving things! The calendar is full of ideas!
Being a part of something bigger than ourselves and focusing on things that we value is key to our wellbeing. So let's take time to reflect on what we care about this month and keep these things at the front of our minds as our societies begin to open up again.
Daily actions to help you be more mindful and live in the moment.
Daily actions to help you connect with others and spread kindness.
Taking Care of Your Wellbeing during Lockdown