What Is Mental Health?
Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. We all have mental health. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. It also impacts on how we cope, interact and form relationships with others, as well as our daily functioning.
Our mental health can vary and be dependent on a number of factors which may include;
What is Mental illness?
Mental health is different from mental illness (which can also be referred to as having a mental health disorder). Poor mental health and struggling to cope is also different from having a mental illness. A mental illness or mental health disorder is an illness that affects that way people think, feel, behave, or interact with others. There are many types of mental illnesses/ health disorders with different signs and symptoms.
Generally, the difference between poor mental health and a mental illness is the nature of and degree to which the difficulties someone is experiencing are having on their wellbeing and functioning (socially, occupationally and academically). Mental illness typically has more of a significant detrimental impact across many areas of an individual’s life than episodes of poor mental health which may be situation specific or time limited.
Anyone of any age, gender, geographical background, race, ethnicity, class, background, religion, ability, appearance, culture, caste, education, economic status, spirituality, sexual orientation can experience mental illness.
Factors that contribute towards good mental health and emotional wellbeing
It is important to have the basics of wellbeing consistently practised and in place. Young people may need help establishing and maintaining these wellbeing practices:
How adult caregivers can support a young person struggling with their mental health
1. Ensure you have support for yourself; ask for help or let someone know if you are struggling either with your own emotional and mental health or if you are struggling with supporting a young person.
2. Role model that you are human too; normalise and validate that we all have thoughts and feelings and can experience difficulties and struggles with our emotional and mental health.
3. Share information; joined up working between adult caregivers (e.g., home and education) ensures consistency and containment for young people.
4. Be calm, consistent, clear and boundaried, as well as kind and compassionate.
5. Remember that your verbal and nonverbal communication and responses will have an impact on how a young person thinks, feels and behaves.
6. Work with a young person to help them better understand , express and communicate how they are thinking and feeling.
Please find attached the website link for Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 (1-7 February 2021). There is lots of information on there for parents and carers that we wanted to share this with you.
Here is the website: Children's Mental Health Week 2021
I need support with mental health.......
If you feel you child is struggling with their mental health, or even if you aren’t sure, then don’t worry – help is at hand. There are various ways to get help and advice.
Call the Samaritans free helpline. It’s open 24 hours, 365 days of the year. Dial 116123 (yes, 116123!)
If you are in an emergency and there is risk to life (that can be your own or another persons) call 999.
If you don’t feel 999 is appropriate, speak to an adult at school or call the YoungMinds Parent helpline – 0808 802 5544
Designated lead in mental health: Miss Sue Hurdle
ELSA and pastoral support: Mrs Amanda Rampton
Please feel free to contact the office to speak with one of these adults if you have concerns that have already been discussed with your child's class teacher.
Below are some useful documents/websites that may help you at home:
www.happymaps.co.uk - HappyMaps website is a single hub of reliable, up-to-date and professional advice on mental health problems in children and young people. It covers many common problems including anxiety, self-harm, tics, gender dysphoria, ADHD, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and much more. It also has a pre-school section for issues such as sleep, behaviour, and fussy eating.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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