Mental Health Champions
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, 1 in 9 children were thought to have a mental health disorder (NHS, 2017). This has risen to 1 in 6 children: stress, anxiety and feelings of uncertainty amongst children and young people is higher than ever. Sadly, the mental health of our younger generation is moving in the wrong direction with 3 in 4 mental illnesses starting during childhood.
This is why it is vital that, as a school and community, we act now to protect the future life chances of our children by prioritising their mental health and providing extra support during their time with us at Mendip Green. We believe that teaching children and young people how to stay mentally healthy and giving them the skills and tools to be more resilient is essential.
What are Mental Health Champions?
We have a team of children from Years 3- 6 who have received specialist training to become Mental Health Champions. They have learnt about the importance of having positive mental health and techniques to help when children are struggling with worries and anxieties.
Our Mental Health Champions are positive role models within the school community. They recognise and promote the importance of mental health within their class, year group, on the playground and across the school. The children offer a listening ear for a peer who needs to talk and a watchful eye that looks out for someone who may appear lonely or worried. Our Mental Health Champions aim to catch a worry early, provide reassurance and to help other children recognise that it is ok to feel that way and to encourage them to talk about how they are feeling. There is a team of adults that works alongside our Champions, and part of the children's training, ensures they know and understand when they must share a child's worry with this team of adults and that they can ask for help at anytime.
What have the Mental Health Champions being doing?
Our Mental Health Champions have learnt all about the skills and qualities that Mental Health Champions need: empathy, kindness, positivity, courage and leadership. These skills and qualities are not unique to being a Mental Health Champion - they are important in all walk of life.
The Mental Health Champions have learnt about the importance of having good mental health and can recognise some signs of when someone may be struggling. The children were shown some helpful techniques to help children who may be overwhelmed with their feelings:
- Take 6 breath
- Using a calm jar
- Tense and relax
- EFT - the tapping technique.
The children are busy producing a video of these techniques to show to the rest of the school.
The children will meet regularly to talk about how we can further support the mental health of the children at Mendip Green and to raise the profile of having good mental health.
Our Mental Health Champions are busy creating more content for this page to share the fantastic work they have been doing at Mendip Green since completing their training.
Watch this space!