A new resource supporting local schools with addressing emotional wellbeing of students has been launched by the Healthy Minds Lincolnshire project to coincide with Universal Children’s Day (November 20).
In the past, education settings have put great importance on a child’s academic abilities and how they ‘perform’. However, nowadays Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust says there is more understanding that young people’s abilities to succeed in school can be affected by emotional wellbeing and mental health problems.
The new electronic toolkit builds on the experience Healthy Minds Lincolnshire gained while working with schools across the county to develop a proactive approach to students’ emotional wellbeing.
It can be used in any education setting or by anyone working with children and young people such as children’s services staff.
The toolkit includes practical steps and tested strategies which can be used by professionals to support children and young people who may be experiencing emotional issues such as worries, low mood, anxiety and self-harm. It gives advice on how to build students’ resilience and offers practical exercises including mindfulness and relaxation that support with exam pressures or other everyday stresses.
Professionals can also make use of mood diaries, activity planners and ‘staying well’ plans included in the toolkit.
Lee Scigala, Healthy Minds Lincolnshire Service Manager said: “Problems and challenges faced by children and young people can often have a negative impact on their emotional wellbeing and mental health. Schools play an important role in promoting the resilience of their students and we work with teachers and school staff to address any emotional wellbeing concerns early before they develop into mental health problems. The toolkit will help staff engage with children and young people in a school environment, allowing them easy access to help.
“We recognise that the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people is a growing concern for staff working in educational settings. The toolkit and advice offered by Healthy Minds Lincolnshire will better prepare professionals for supporting the resilience of their students.
“We can see that there is an increasing appreciation that the emotional wellbeing of children and young people is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows students to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them in the future.”
The Universal Children’s Day in 2018 focusses on a theme of building a world where every child is in school, safe from harm and can fulfil their potential. The Healthy Minds Lincolnshire resource is offered as one of the tools which can support professionals in achieving this.
The toolkit can be downloaded from www.lpft.nhs.uk/healthyminds-lincs