Advice for parents and carers
It can be really tough finding that your child is struggling with their mental health. It is easy to feel powerless to help them and there is often a sense of being out of control.
Our advice will always be to contact your GP if you are worried. GPs have access to many resources that, as a school, we do not have and have the expertise to know the best route to follow.
Please be assured that, as a school, if we are concerned about the mental health of your child we will always contact parents as a priority to work in partnership to make things better for the child.
Here are some links to some very good resources that you may find helpful:
BBC – A mental Health First Aid Kit for parents: Who to ask and what to do - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zy3yf82
Hampshire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) – video podcasts - https://hampshirecamhs.nhs.uk/videos-podcasts/
Positive psychology is a science of positive aspects of human life, such as happiness, wellbeing and flourishing. It can be summarised in the words of its founder, Martin Seligman, as the‘scientific study of optimal human functioning that aims to discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive’.
Psychology has more often than not emphasised the shortcomings of individuals as compared with their potentials. It is not targeted at fixing problems but is focused on researching things that make life worth living instead, the potentials. In short, positive psychology is concerned not with how to transform, for example, -8 to -2 but with how to bring +2 to +8.
There are a number of activities that you may want to try here:
Mindfulness can be defined as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally”. Mindfulness is all about paying attention to the present moment, not focusing on regrets from the past or worries about the future.
Mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety and improve emotional resilience. It seems hard at first to be mindful, but there are lots of apps available that can help. Free apps such as mindshift, stop, breathe and think and Breathr all work on mindfulness. Headspace is also a mindfulness app though some content is not free. Mindfulness will take practice and you will need to keep trying for it to work for you.
There are lots of useful ideas for mindfulness on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/self-help/tips-and-support/mindfulness/
Useful Apps for students
Below are a number of apps to support young people with their mental health. These are recommended by LGFL (London Grid for Learning). Please check the apps personally to decide on suitability for your child.
Headspace for Educators and children
Hundreds of themed sessions on everything from stress and sleep to focus and anxiety. Bite-sized guided meditations for busy schedules.
Calm (Free – Android and iOS)
Calm is the perfect meditation app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programmes for intermediate and advanced users. Guided meditation sessions are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes , you can choose the perfect length to fit with your schedule.
Three Good Things (Free – iOS)
Evidence suggests that, if you write three good things down every day, your happiness and positivity increase. This simple little app is a great way for you to record what you’re grateful for. Each day, the app prompts you to think about what went well, with three boxes to type your comments in. You can add them all at once at the end of the day, or as they happen and get to level up for recording your thoughts on streaks of consecutive days. https://the3goodthings.org/about
For Me from Childline (iOS only 12+)
‘For me’ is the brand new way to get advice and support on loads of topics – from issues that can play a big part in everyone’s life, like school and exam stress, through to extremely personal issues, such as self-harm and mental health. https://www.childline.org.uk/toolbox/for-me/
Smiling Mind (Free iOS and Android)
Smiling Mind is a unique web and app-based programme developed by psychologists and educators to help bring balance to people’s lives. Smiling Mind is a 100% not-for-profit organisation that works to make mindfulness meditation accessible to all. The app has an easy-to-use interface for keeping track of your progress over time, both in terms of how many sessions you complete and how your emotions change. Families can set up sub-accounts from one login as well.
Kooth.com is commissioned by the NHS, Local Authorities, charities and businesses to provide anonymous and personalised mental health support for Children and Young People. With over 4000 logins per day, we provide end to end support whatever the need.https://www.koothplc.com/our-products/young-people
Shout is the UK's first and only free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.
Since 2019 Shout have had more than 1.5 million conversations with people who are anxious, stressed, depressed, suicidal or overwhelmed and who need in-the-moment support.
Winston's Wish - giving hope to grieving children (winstonswish.org) is a well-known national organisation that supports young people who are grieving. They have a telephone helpline, an email service, and lots of information and practical resources (for young people, parents, and professionals).
Home - SimonSays
This is a Hampshire-based charity that provides support for young people up to the age of 18 as well as guidance for schools. They have also created a booklet for young people.
A youth website (part of the Cruse Bereavement Support), which was developed for young people by young people.