I think we can all agree that mental health is not discussed enough in schools. Fortunately, more awareness of the importance of mental health is developing every day. But this isn’t enough. The mental health of young people is a subject that all schools should take extremely seriously. The sad truth is that suicide is the second-largest cause of death for 10-24-year-olds. So why aren’t we taking it as seriously as other illnesses? it’s a silent killer that can go completely unnoticed. We should be teaching our children to look after their mental well being as well as checking in on others around them. It’s important for students to recognise if their peers are showing any symptoms of mental illnesses. Supporting and helping those in need is essential. Therefore, it is crucial that schools have the correct resources to help any children that are struggling. There should be lessons on mental wellbeing so students can seek understanding, support, hope, and recovery.
Here are the top 3 ways that schools can help mental well-being…
It’s important for everyone’s mental health to feel connected to others. This will help ease any feelings of loneliness and help to create meaningful friendships. As we all know, schools can be very cliquey. Therefore, teachers should create groups that wouldn’t usually socialise. This is a great way to introduce new friendships and get to know other students with different interests to them. It prepares students for the real world and the many different types of people that they will encounter. It’s a great skill to be able to interact with any type of person with confidence. Students should always be encouraged to chat with each other and complete tasks together. Parents and children – if you’re school isn’t already doing this then push them too. Social interaction is important to anyone’s mental wellbeing. It will promote a sense of belonging and security.
It’s important for every student to know where they can go to for help and support. These resources should be easily accessible too. It’s essential that students feel that they can talk to you about any problems or issues they have without judgement. Whether it’s a trained mental health team installed into the schools or a tutor for each child. Mental health can be seen as taboo which will prevent many students from seeking help. That’s why it’s important to teach mental health and ensure all students are comfortable with discussing their feelings and seeking help if needed. Having regular one to ones with students will help teachers identify any problems the students may be facing. And this one to ones should be for EVERY student. Sometimes the ones struggling the most are the ones you least expect.
A wellness week
If you’ve read our previous page, then you’ll know how much time is wasted on utterly useless things we are taught at school. So there’s definitely no excuse for the time when it comes to a wellness week. This week will be a huge breath of fresh air and a well-needed break from the usual day to day cirrocumulus. During this week teachers can organise different activities for students which will benefit their mental wellbeing. Such as:
⦁ Socialising with other students – teachers should arrange team building activities as well as activities which get the students to talk to each other
⦁ Sports day – but a lighthearted one. Do a fun sports day with team activities which can get people laughing and interacting with each other. As well as bringing their competitive side out! Sports days are known for boosting endorphins. Achieving goals will boost self-esteem too. Because who doesn’t love an egg and spoon race?
⦁ Charity events – there are so many different activities that schools can host to give to charities. Not only is it teaching the students to give to others and help the less fortunate. It’s also teaching them to be mindful and will improve mental wellbeing. Get them baking cakes or bring in old clothes that they don’t need.