Next week is children’s mental health awareness week; the focus of this campaign is to teach children (especially those in Primary School) about expressing feelings and encouraging communication between parents and teachers in order to spot the warning signs early and to put things in place to help.
Now, being in lockdown, we have all been affected one way or another with mental health, whether it is living alone and only seeing people through screens or worries about money, it can be a valuable learning opportunity for both adults as well as children.
https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/ is a great place to start with a virtual assembly about children’s mental health as well as other resources. Though they are targeted to a slightly older audience than the early years, this would be a brilliant starting point if you want to take part.
There is also my wellbeing and staying safe resources that you could use too!
Similarly, I was listening to a podcast, they had a CEO of a tech company on, they were discussing how they are approaching mental health during the pandemic. They said that as it is often be difficult to express your emotions; their company ranked their feelings with with the traffic light system green being great and red being very low, they said that the beauty of this system is that people do not have to explain why they are feeling that way but it allows for more open communication and it allows people to be aware of how you are feeling. It can allow people to alert others of feeling down, worried or anxious. They said that it could mean that people who are orange or red that they may not contribute to the discussion on the zoom call as much that day, but the next day they may feel better and be green. It can also show others that people may be feeling the same way. Should there be a lot of oranges it gives them the opportunity to put plans in place to sort it. Whether that be checking in on people one to one, closing for a day to give people the time to recharge or setting up clubs for people to socialise outside of work such as book clubs and gaming zooms.
While this would not always be suitable for everyone, this idea can easily be applied to children, to help develop their understanding of emotions. While they may feel red, it could be one thing that is making them feel like this, when they talk about it they may decide that actually they are an orange but had been over thinking it. They can then discuss ways that they can become green again. While as teachers we can only do so much especially while teaching form home, we can help in lots of little ways, hopefully to make the children happier until they are back in the classroom again!
Today I am a lime green, it has been a long week but excited for the weekend!
Let me know how you are feeling in the comments.