Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supporting your child’s wellbeing while school is closed.
We acknowledge that things are very different for everyone at the moment and with the uncertainty this has brought, it is even more important to look after ourselves and each other. We are aware that most of us are staying at home and in recent weeks have become teachers as well as parents to our children, and all while we continue to work ourselves. Therefore, it might help to embed some of the following ideas in to your routine to support both your child’s and your own wellbeing:
- Establish a daily routine.
Routines provide reassuring structure and purpose. Include a mix of learning, creative, physical, relaxation, and electronics time. Help your child make a visual timetable so everyone understands the day what is in store for the day ahead.
- Make time for physical activity.
Encourage your child to go outside and play. If you cannot get outside, encourage them to make an indoor obstacle course. There are lots of resources and ideas available on the BBC, ITV and YouTube.
- Work on personal care skills.
Identify self-care tasks that your child would like to do more independently, for example, choosing their own outfits to wear or styling their own hair.
- Develop life skills.
Help your child learn how to prepare their lunch, use a washing machine or change their bedsheets.
- Create a suitable study space.
For most children, home is usually a space where they can forget about school work. Creating a space designated for school work will enable your child to separate work from play and may help to maintain their attention for longer periods while working.
- Teach your child to type.
Typing is a valuable skill for education, social communication and for the workplace.
- Rediscover creative activities.
Such as playdough, junk modelling, Lego and origami. There are many ideas available on YouTube.
- Spend social time together as a family
Play board games, watch a film or make a cake. Schedule mealtimes together and stick to them. This offers an opportunity for conversations to flow and children’s views to be listened to and validated.
- Keep in touch.
Arrange for your child to spend time each day talking to friends or family members on the phone. Depending on devices, video calls are a great way to see those we are missing.
- Look after yourself.
Being a full-time parent/carer with a household duties and work is challenging. Make sure you eat and sleep well, and include time for your own rest and leisure in your daily routine.
Mental health is just like your physical health, sometimes you feel good and sometimes you don’t feel so good. It affects how we think, feel and behave so it is as important to look after our mental wellbeing as it is to look after our physical wellbeing. Just as you would go and visit your GP if you were physically unwell, it is equally important to reach out for help and support if you are feeling mentally unwell too.
We have 3 Mental Health First Aiders in school who can provide a first response to any wellbeing concerns you have and can discuss the array of support options available to you. Alternatively, you may find the useful links below helpful.
Mental Health First Aiders:
Mrs. Liddington – Designated Senior Lead for Mental Health Email: email@example.com Tel: 0121 272 5888 or 07592 079567
Mrs. Frances - Youth Mental Health First Aider Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0121 272 5888 or 07592 079784
Mrs. Grant - Youth Mental Health First Aider Email: email@example.com Tel: 0121 272 5888
Birmingham Council City council website providing links to local support services, facts and guidance https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/50118/health_and_wellbeing
NHS A public health England and NHS site to help people take simple steps to look after their mental health, improve their mental wellbeing and support others. https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
Forward Thinking Birmingham. The FTB team offer lots of support for parents and children including parental webinars. You can also make a referral for your child through this website if you feel that they need immediate mental health support. You do not need to go through your GP or school to do this. https://www.forwardthinkingbirmingham.org.uk/
Mental Health Quality-assured information, advice and resources to help parents understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/
Kooth Kooth is a new free, safe and anonymous service to support young people’s emotional and mental health in Birmingham. We know young people have been worried about exams being cancelled and the impact of COVID-19 on their loved ones. The service is aimed at young people aged 11-25. www.kooth.com
#YouveBeenMissed This website has lots of great resources to support your child with worry, anger, frustration, sadness, and self-care. There is also a dedicated section for parents and carers with a range of articles and activities. https://bwc.nhs.uk/children
Pause. Pause offers talk-therapy support related to emotional well-being for anyone aged 25 or under. https://www.forwardthinkingbirmingham.org.uk/services/13-pause
NSPCC Children’s charity focused on keeping children safe, offering advice on what you can do to support your child. https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
ChildLine 0800 1111. Advice and support for children on a range of topics, as well as games and videos suitable for children. https://www.childline.org.uk/
Domestic Violence Freephone: 0808 2000 247. They can give support, help and information 24/7 (translation facilities also available). www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
The Project Birmingham Debt, benefit, housing advice and crisis support for all families in the area. www.theprojectbirmingham.org
Healthy Lifestyles Change 4 Life offers information where you can discover healthy recipes, nutritional advice and activities to help your children stay healthy. www.nhs.uk/change4life
Samaritans Samaritans volunteers listen in confidence to anyone in any type of emotional distress, without judging or telling people what to do. Call 0116 123 (24 hours, 7 days week) www.samaritans.org.uk