Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 is almost here, and it has never been more critical for teachers to understand their students’ mental health issues than now. With the rise of cyberbullying, a decrease in physical activity levels amongst kids, and an ever-increasing pressure to excel in school – educators need to be equipped with the knowledge and resources available to give young minds the best chance of coping.
Let us take this opportunity during Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 to reflect on how we can help children through our day-to-day work and provide insight into developing their emotional well-being.
When is Children’s Mental Health Week 2023?
Mark your calendars! Children’s Mental Health Week is quickly approaching from February 6th – 12th, 2023 and this year, the theme is ‘Let’s Connect’. We want children and young people to feel connected to their peers, family, and community.
We also want them to feel related to the support they need to help manage any mental health issues they may face.
The children’s Mental Health Week is to raise awareness in our schools and communities about mental health issues and to promote social and emotional well-being among our children.
This is an excellent opportunity for teachers and school staff to learn more about supporting students with mental health issues and teach them the skills they need to manage their mental health better.
How can we help?
During Children’s Mental Health Week, teachers aim to have a renewed focus on student’s mental health needs and provide them with the support they need. Here are a few ways that you can help:
• Take time to listen – create an open space where your students can talk about whatever is on their minds.
• Educate yourself – read up on mental health issues and strategies to help young people develop skills to manage their mental health.
• Lead discussions – talk to your students about mental health and create an environment where they can share their stories without fear of judgement or criticism.
• Provide resources – ensure that support systems, such as counsellors and psychologists, are available for your students.
• Connect with parents – liaise regularly to ensure that the child’s needs are met at school and home.
• Promote resilience – help children cultivate coping skills to manage difficult situations healthily.
Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 resources
This engaging lesson plan for Key Stage 1 and 2 students offers a variety of ways to promote connections with their peers, community, and even themselves.
Not only will they be able to explore how nature can help build relationships, but they will also understand what it means to have a growth mindset and make use of positive affirmations.
Additionally, pupils will recognise the value of kindness and learn daily strategies to apply these principles.
Place2Be has identified the importance of fostering social relationships in 2021, which are essential for a child’s mental health and emotional development. Without meaningful connections with others, feelings of loneliness may take root and adversely affect our well-being.
Thus, it is imperative that we actively strive to connect with those around us in healthy ways this year for optimal overall mental health!
Place2Be’s experts and educational psychologists have crafted free resources for primary and secondary schools, including assembly guides, group activities, top tips, and videos.
These tools will help students prioritise mental health by providing them with vital sources that encourage healthy social-emotional development.
Let your KS1 and KS2 students discover the vast range of emotions with this free activities pack from Plazoom. Using both images and words helps them identify feelings they, or even their family members, have experienced.
Alongside these are question cards and conversation starters so pupils can learn how to manage any difficult emotions they may encounter positively.
With tailored activities for each critical stage level plus advice for teachers on how best to use these resources, this bumper pack offers a comprehensive approach to helping children explore an entire array of sentiments!
Mental health Lead
If you’re responsible for mental health at your school, it is imperative to have a plan that aligns with the School Development Plan (SDP). Utilise this complimentary and printable template to outline the tasks for each year.
Taskmaster Education and Place2Be have collaborated to launch Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 to get kids involved in problem-solving across the country. This week, Alex Horne will create daily tasks for children at school or home.
Plus, there is an exciting treasure hunt available with clues that must be solved correctly throughout the event; if you are successful, your school, family group or other organisation can make it onto our Wall of Fame and even possibly win our grand prize!
Primary mental health training
If you ever suspect a student in your class is struggling with mental health issues, Catherine Roche of Place2Be’s children’s mental health charity has some advice for what to do.
Teachers are not necessarily experts when it comes to matters related to mental health; however, having the awareness and skills necessary to monitor their students’ well-being and identify problems early on can make all the difference. Furthermore, knowing where help is available if more severe issues appear is essential.
Schools looking to become more mentally healthy can benefit from Place2Be’s Mental Health Champions initiative, which provides educational training and resources. The Mentally Healthy Schools website is an invaluable resource that primary schools may rely on for emotional well-being aid.
Furthermore, professional advice and support must be accessible at all times, such as what our in-school service offers – a long-term systemic approach versus short-term anger management courses.
Why was Children’s Mental Health Week created?
Children’s Mental Health Week was created to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and well-being in young people’s lives.
It is a time for schools and communities to come together and learn about the various issues related to mental health and how to support young people struggling with their emotional well-being.
The aim is to create a more understanding and compassionate society where mental health is taken seriously.
What are the benefits of mental health training?
Mental health training provides teachers with the knowledge and skills to identify signs of distress or behavioural changes in their students early on and be able to provide appropriate support.
It also gives them a greater understanding of how to build relationships with their students, which can be beneficial in helping them establish a trusting and secure environment.
Lastly, it can help teachers recognise the signs of mental illness or psychological distress and refer their students to specialist support services if necessary.
What is the Mental Health Champions initiative?
The Mental Health Champions initiative is a program developed by Place2Be which provides mental health training and resources to school staff.
It is designed to help equip teachers with the knowledge and understanding necessary to recognise signs of mental illness or psychological distress in their students and provide appropriate support.
The program also encourages schools to work together to create a healthier, more mentally aware environment for all students.
Check out our article on how to look after the well-being of your SEN children!