Mental Health Roundup Blog
Ensuring good mental health in schools, for both children and teachers, has never been so important. Here at PlanBee we’ve been looking through our archive and have pulled together some of our posts which include lots of helpful hints and tips for creating and maintaining good mental health, as well as ideas for wellbeing activities for children (plus lots of links to FreeBees!).
Mental Health in Schools - the Statistics
It may not make for happy reading, but if we are to improve mental health in schools, we need to know what we are dealing with. Our Mental Health Awareness in Schools blog talks through various data to give you a clearer picture of the facts and figures associated with mental health in schools. For example, according to the NHS’ publication, Mental Health in Children and Young People in England, 2017, there are roughly 1 in 9 children aged between 5 and 15 with at least one diagnosable mental health disorder. This equates to just over 3 children in a class of 30. When you take into consideration that these figures are pre-pandemic, it is clear that we need to take action to identify and help these children.
Creating Mentally Healthy Schools
So, where do you start when trying to make your school more mentally healthy? Our 10 Practical ways to create Mentally Healthy Schools blog has some great suggestions which are easy to implement, such as taking a mood register, moving some learning experiences outside, and using the emotions of characters within a book as a talking point. We have also turned this advice into a Mental Health Staff CPD slideshow that you can view for free and share with your colleagues.
Part of our Understanding and Creating Mentally Healthy Classrooms blog explores the acute stress response. This is when someone has reached the point where they are unable to engage the ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’ parts of their brain, and are in survival mode. We show you what this might look like in, and feel like for, children, and how to help them through it.
Advice for Parents and Families
Mental well-being is, of course, just as important outside of school. As you are no doubt aware, what happens at home often impacts on what happens in school, and vice versa. Our 10 Practical Ways to Improve Child Mental Health and Well-being is aimed at parents and families, and has some great advice on how to name and discuss feelings and emotions with your child.
It is so important as adults (and parents) to prioritise our own mental health - when you are struggling yourself, it makes it hard to support others. Within our Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 blog, there is advice for improving the mental health of your ‘whole self’, as well as your ‘whole family’. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so make sure you are getting the support you need to help you support the people around you.
Teachers’ Mental Health
As a teacher, a healthy work-life balance can often seem unachievable. In our Teacher Work-life balance - Top Tips blog, we have put together some helpful suggestions including organisational tips, marking advice, how to keep healthy, and how to avoid the ‘perfectionism pitfall’. You might also find it useful to read our guest blog, Real-world Tips for Teacher Well-being. It is written by experienced teacher and counsellor, Marie O’Sullivan, who has a wealth of sensible ideas on how to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Simple ideas such as holding a daily check-in with yourself, or tweaking unhelpful habits can really make a difference.
Well-being Activities for Children
If you are looking for resources to help children begin to understand and explore their mental health, then take a look at our Children’s Mental Health Week Activities blog - it is full of activity ideas and free downloads that are designed to give children the tools to express their thoughts and feelings, from Worry Monster Activity Sheets to Calming Techniques for Kids Posters, and much more.
PlanBee’s full Collection of Mental Health Resources can be found here. As well as lots of FreeBees, there are also some ready-to-teach lessons which aim to promote good mental health, such as our An Emotional Menagerie English lessons, which explore an A-Z of emotions and how they affect us, as well as advice on how to handle these sometimes complex emotions.
You might also want to take a look at our Fulfilled Lives lesson planning packs for KS1 and KS2. These three-lesson packs give your pupils the skills and knowledge to live happy, purposeful and rewarding lives by challenging them to consider the things that truly make them happy, and teach them how living in a way which helps other fellow citizens is for the greater good of all, including future generations.
PlanBee's Fulfilled Lives Lesson Packs
This link will take you to all of the blog posts mentioned above, as well as a few more! Please tell us in the comments what you have found useful, if you have any tips for promoting well-being in the classroom or at home, or any other aspect of mental health and well-being that you would like to know more about.