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How to Support Children’s Mental Health in Schools

3rd May 2022

Mental health difficulties are affecting an increasing number of people around the world. This is true of both adults and of children. Children across the UK are suffering from rising rates of anxiety, depression and even self-harm. Addressing the rise in mental health concerns is a priority for both parents and the government – with schools the primary place to make positive changes. But how can teachers and support staff help support children’s mental health in schools? What positive changes can they make, and is there a simple way to get help?

Children’s Mental Health

Children face a number of potential mental health issues. Schools, changes to their bodies and the pandemic can all affect how well children cope with life and the challenges they face. While recent years have seen a growth in the number of children suffering from mental health problems, children are often remarkably resilient. It is possible to limit the risk of mental health problems developing and to help those children experiencing problems to recover and return to good mental health and wellbeing with relative ease. Teaching children to look after and protect their mental health and wellbeing can help them to build resilience and emotional intelligence and improve their ability to navigate the challenges they may face in life.

Effects on School Work

Poor mental health can have a number of negative impacts on school attendance and achievement. These might manifest as: · Engagement – many schools find that children with poor mental health struggle to engage with work, or they may be less interested in their work. · Attainment – Students that are facing challenges to their mental health can struggle to meet expected standards and to achieve positive results in school. · Energy and Enthusiasm – Pupils’ lives at school are not solely about academic achievement. They are also about enjoyment and personal development. Mental health problems can reduce young peoples’ desire to take part in events and extracurricular activities.

Improving Children’s Mental Health in Schools

There are numerous reasons why children may experience difficulties with their mental health. However, this does not mean that they cannot be addressed. There are numerous ways that teachers can support and protect children’s mental health in schools. Mental health teacher training can help teachers help their pupils through their difficulties. They can talk about mental health in the classroom – explaining that it is as much a part of life as physical health. They might also talk about positive examples of mental resilience, and explain how others have coped with difficulties.

Courses from Wellbeing Through Sport

Sports and physical activities are one of the best ways to improve mental wellbeing. Schools can make use of sports to help improve their pupils’ mental health and wellbeing. Wellbeing Through Sport courses help schools to plan fun, physical activities and quieter, more reflective practice sessions to help build resilience. Our programmes give teachers lessons plans, task sheets and online CPD training. We build programmes that equip teachers to help students equip themselves – all through the means of sport and fun physical activity. We offer a range of both teacher and coach led programmes to suit all sorts of schools.

For more information on whether WTS might be able to help support children’s mental health in your school, get in touch today.