As part of the PSHCEE curriculum we have taken part in some learning about mental health. Mental Health Week is officially Mental Health Awareness Week 2017 and took place between Monday 8th May and Sunday 14th May 2017. However, because some of our students are dual registered (go to the PRU and to Mainstream school), we will continue learning about this over the next few weeks.
The event is coordinated by the Mental Health Foundation and this year’s theme is “Surviving or Thriving”.
All over the country, many will be hosting events and talks in a bid to connect up members of the community and talk about mental well-being.
How many people have mental health problems in the UK?
Increasing numbers of UK citizens experience high levels of anxiety, stress and depression.
A recent survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that nearly two-thirds of people say that they have experienced a mental health problem.
More than four in 10 people say they have experienced depression and over a quarter of people say they have experienced panic attacks.
In fact just 13 per cent of individuals live with high levels of good mental health, with people aged 55 and above being the most likely to take positive action to help themselves deal better with everyday life.
It is time to educate young people into recognising and having an awareness of other people’s mental health and not to feel afraid or to judge people that are experiencing mental health problems.
What have we been doing?
We have been looking at case studies to understand how mental health problems can occur. We have been talking, discussing, debating and researching. The School Council have created a display in the school dining hall and they have found helplines, websites and posters to place in prominent places in a bid to support and educate our students.
Mental health support
We are aware that talking about mental health with your children can be daunting. You may feel that you do not know enough about the subject or that you are not equipped to help your children if they are looking for answers. The most important thing is that you do not need to be an expert!
We have compiled some websites that provide some support and have information sheets, tips for talking and a document outlining different organisations that may be able to help young people in need of support.
For more information on how to help someone or about specific mental health diagnoses please see our partner organisations Rethink Mental Illness and Mind or look at the new e-learning site funded by the Department of Health – MindEd
Recommended Mindfulness Exercises
Mindfulness is a simple meditation technique that can help give young people respite from the stresses of everyday life. Why not try some with your young people?
Practising mindfulness techniques can help young people take a step back from their stresses and anxiety. With practice, they will gradually learn how to notice when exam stress and worry is taking over, and realise that these are simply ‘mental events’ that do not control them.
Mindfulness can be difficult at first, but the more young people practice, the more benefits they will see.
You can download a variety of mindfulness exercises from the Cumbria Partnership website. Additionally, you can find out more information about mindfulness here.
If you do require any further support for your child please do not hesitate to contact their key teacher who can discuss your concerns and support you.