Children's Mental Health Week 2021
February 1st - 7th is Children's Mental Health Week. At school we always try to be aware of how children are feeling but in the current climate, it's even more relevant. In previous years we have had mental health awareness days at school to encourage everyone to be open and accepting of how they and others are feeling. This year will be a little different but we really hope that families will take time to look at the resources available and use them at home. They come from Barnardos and Place2 Be - and there will be lots more online too.
The theme this year is
Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.
It’s really important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.
A PDF download with suggestions for encouraging your child to express themselves. Exploring their interests, finding new hobbies, focusing on the process of creation and expression rather than the outcome, learning how to listen -
A follow-along video where young people are encouraged to draw a picture of how they’re feeling today.
A follow-along video where young people draw squiggles and then make pictures out of them, talking about how their creation might be feeling,
A series of free projects for primary aged children to make at home or school together with parents, carers or teachers designed to nurture relationships whilst having fun making art together. Each project offers space to explore an engaging theme through stories, art and conversation. The activities provided can be adapted to a range of settings with children of different abilities and ages.
Below are some of their resources aimed at parents:
Self-Awareness is the ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behaviour.
WHY we learn about feelings, HOW to recognize feelings, how to REGULATE feelings and the importance of emotional CHECK-INs regularly.
These games provide opportunities to explore important concepts such as feelings, co-operation, problem-solving, friendships and more. They’ll provide hours of fun - and can be enjoyed by all the family.
Games for young learners to practice thinking about and communicating their feelings
Pesky gNATs was designed to help mental health professionals to teach children how to recognise and challenge Negative Automatic Thoughts (NATs) - the anxious thoughts that everyone gets when they’re worried or stressed.In the game, these thoughts are shown as flying gnats that represent the many types of negative thoughts we can have, like the ‘black and white thinking’ gnat or the ‘it’s a disaster’ gnat. Their sting prompts the young person to think and write within the game about their own thoughts and experiences with those negative thoughts.
This reflection and expression of their own feelings and worries has been an effective way of changing those unhelpful thinking patterns.
Further resources are available from Mentally Healthy Schools with their toolkit.