Mental Health

At this time... we are here for you!

As a school we recognise that these  are uncertain times and it is important that amongst the worry, we look after ourselves and the children in our care. We need to do our best to remain positive, care for one another and try to keep smiling! This page is designed to offer some useful tips, links to resources and contacts to support with your child and own wellbeing.

If you require any support at all please do not hesitate to email chapelford_admin@omegamat.co.uk. Please state your name, contact number and a brief outline of the support you require. Please allow time to for us triage your email but please be assured we will respond as quickly as we can.

Wellbeing

At Chapelford Village Primary School the wellbeing of children and young people is at the heart of everything we do. Wellbeing is about how things are going for children in their daily lives. We consider if they are feeling safe, are healthy, are achieving, are nurtured, are active, are respected, are responsible, are included.

During this period of uncertain times we are all being asked to work in very different ways. We understand the pressures that parents and carers will be facing as they try to juggle their own working patterns, financial pressures, wider family commitments alongside teaching your child(ren). Staff are on hand to support you with this and will be speaking to you regularly to aid any questions or challenges you are facing. We do not want you to feel stressed with education pressures but we do aim to support you in every way that we can.

How to talk to children about COVID-19

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When we become anxious our body prepares itself for some form of physical action, often called the ‘fight-flight- freeze’ response. It’s something that happens automatically in our bodies, and we have no control over it.  These booklets have been developed to focus on how anxiety builds up over time and what you can do to help contain or alleviate these feelings.

Booklets

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Young Minds Matter

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Children and young people’s minds are developing at a rapid rate. And as they grow up, all the challenges they face can affect their behaviour, emotions and their view on the world. In today’s complex society, those challenges can lead to difficulties which have a big impact as children get older. In this leaflet you’ll find information on children and young people’s mental health, what can affect it and where to go if you need help with your child.

The NSPCC

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We know how challenging it can be to balance all the demands parents have to cope with. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help. All children need boundaries and discipline, and this guide helps you develop what works for you and your child. Every family is different, so make this guide your own.

Heads Together

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Too often, people feel afraid to admit that they are struggling with their mental health. This fear of prejudice and judgement stops people from getting help and can destroy families and end lives. Heads Together wants to help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.

Heads Together is a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, which combines a campaign to tackle stigma and change the conversation on mental health with fundraising for a series of innovative new mental health services.

Financial Support and Advice

If you are worried about your financial situation, you will find the latest guidance on the Citizens Advice Bureau. 

Citizens Advice

Happy? Sad? Ok?

There’s a link on the homepage of the Happy? OK? Sad? site to information about COVID-19 and mental wellbeing. The information includes practical suggestions for working from home; information and advice for people still going into work; and ideas for self-help, if you or members of your family are feeling anxious or worried.

New 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Line for Warrington

North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has launched a new mental health crisis line. The crisis line number 01925 275 309 is now the first port of call for local residents, experiencing a mental health crisis. For more details click here.

Domestic Abuse

The National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25 per cent increase in requests for help since the lockdown began, according to a leading charity. Refuge, which runs the phone and online service, has warned self-isolation could aggravate existing tensions and remove potential escape routes. In the initial stages of the lockdown it saw a 150 per cent increase in the number of people accessing the national domestic abuse website www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.

In addition to the Government guidance on domestic abuse, Safe Lives has produced an excellent guide for victims and survivors of domestic abuse staying safe during COVID-19. The Employer’s Initiative on Domestic Abuse has also published help for employees when home is not a safe place. Please use these resources to support you and your family.  

Mindfulness is taking notice of how your body feels and what you see, smell and taste. Maybe you even feel emotions in your body, perhaps through a tightness somewhere, or a good sensation. Mindfulness is also noticing what your mind is doing. When you notice what is happening around you, you focus more deeply, and that attention to your own senses will help you improve in diverse areas of your life.

Improved focus can help you achieve at higher levels in sports, school or music. It will help you score higher on tests, too. We always do better when we’re able to pay attention to what we’re doing, right? Mindfulness helps you deal with tough emotions, and mindfulness can make you happy and feel good.

Life can be difficult at the best of times and with the current climate it is important to stop and take a minute to ourselves. A good way to do this is by practising mindfulness.

Mindfulness means paying full attention to something. It means slowing down to really notice what you're doing and being aware of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment. Being mindful is the opposite of rushing or multitasking. When you're mindful, you're taking your time.

When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we're sensing in the present moment rather than worrying about the past or imagining the future.

The benefits of mindfulness are endless; it lowers anxiety and stress, increases positive moods, improves social skills and communication and helps with better decision making just to name a few.

Mindfulness Documents

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The Coronavirus Pandemic poses a number of threats to our physical, social and emotional wellbeing. The aim of this website is to provide people with the resources that they need to manage their mental health at home during this very difficult time. 

Physical Well-Being in Social Isolation

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Coping with Coronavirus

Let’s look after ourselves, and each other.

As days of isolation turn into weeks, many of us are feeling increasingly uprooted from our normal lives. In a world on lockdown, it isn’t just our routines that are being disrupted, but our relationships too. Thankfully, distance doesn’t have to mean disconnection.

These challenging times remind us that it’s never enough to just look after ourselves. We must look after each other too. This is what it means to Calm Together.

Calm Together

10 Mindfulness Tips

Aannnd relax!

  1. Breathe - As simple as it sounds, asking children to take the time to focus on nothing but their breathing will help to clear their mind. Try experimenting with breaths (breathe in for 2, exhale for 4) to allow children to find their own natural rhythm.
  2. Muscle relaxation - When tensions are running high, ask your children to lie on the floor and starting from their toes, tense their muscles for 5 seconds – squeezing as tightly as they can – before releasing again. Continue all the way up the body, even scrunching their facial muscles to relieve any tension from the day.
  3. Sensing the senses! - Encourage your children to tap into their senses by pausing for a moment and noticing exactly what they can see, hear and smell in that particular moment. Being in the present can help to alleviate worries that children may have had about previous lessons.
  4. Noticing emotions - Mindfulness teaches children that it’s ok not to be ok. Recognising the emotion that they are experiencing is the most important thing, as well as understanding that this emotion will fade over time.
  5. Time on your hands - For those needing some breathing space, a simple yet effective exercise is asking children to hold out their hand in a high five pose, then as slowly as they can, trace round each finger with their other hand. Taking the attention away from what has made them feel frustrated or upset, even if only for a matter of seconds, might be all it takes for them to calm down.
  6. Strike a pose - When thinking of mindfulness, yoga is the first exercise that springs to most peoples’ minds. Complicated downward dogs may be attempted, but a simple crossed legged position or standing tall with arms stretched out wide can help children to refocus.
  7. Heartbeats - Have your pupils job on the spot for 30 seconds to release some much needed endorphins, then ask them to put their hands on their heart, noticing the speed of the beats. This simple exercise is effective in improving children’s focus.
  8. Practise gratitude - When a day or a lesson seems to have been a complete disaster for a pupil, take the time to have a quick circle time, asking the children to share one positive thing about their day. Hearing what others are grateful for will foster an environment of positivity.
  9. Youtube meditation - There are so many fantastic guided meditation channels on Youtube now, such as “Peace out”  which lead children through a relaxation sequence. Ideal for improving concentration before a long writing session.
  10. The sound of music - Using a bell, tambourine or maracas, make sound for while the children close their eyes. Ask the children to open their eyes when they notice that the sound has completely gone and silence has been restored.

A bereavement is a difficult time for adults and children. We know that there may be many families affected in the weeks and months to come across our town and our school communities.  We know that family members, colleagues, friends, and children make get ill and people will be frightened and need support.  We are sharing this resource containing information and signposting to resources in the event of  a death/s within the school community.

Bereavement Support

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Supporting Children Through Difficult Times

Frightening events that are widely reported in the media, such as the coronavirus pandemic, can cause children to worry about themselves and others. It is normal for children to feel unsettled when something scary is happening or has happened, and many will be upset, sad or fearful at times.

Covid 19 is impacting all our lives and very sadly, bereavement of our family and friends may be part of this.

Bereavement is the experience of losing someone important to us. It is characterised by grief, which is the process and the range of emotions we go through as we gradually adjust to the loss.

Losing someone important to us can be emotionally devastating, whether it be a partner, a family member, friend or pet. It is natural to go through a range of emotions as we gradually come to terms with the loss. Bereavement affects everyone in different ways and it is possible to experience a wide range of emotions. There is no right or wrong way to feel. There is not a time limit on these emotions.

Here are some tips to help you support a child through difficult times:

Talk

Children and young people often find it helpful if they can talk about what is happening, helping them to make sense of events and feel less afraid.  Even young children are likely to hear reports in the media or overhear adults talking about deaths due to coronavirus, or the risk of death from becoming ill with the virus. It’s important to talk about their fears or anxieties honestly and openly in age-appropriate language. It may also help to restrict the amount of media coverage and social media they are exposed to, and balance this with other activities and positive things to focus on.  Children’s understanding of death varies with their stage of development and it can be helpful to understand why children may respond differently.

Be honest

Give children honest, factual information in language appropriate to their age and level of understanding, and be guided by their questions. Children tend to pick up when questions are avoided and may imagine all kinds of things, causing further anxiety.  It’s not necessary to go into detail but it will be helpful to explain things that affect them directly, such as why they are being asked to wash their hands regularly and how the virus is spread, why their school has closed, why they can’t visit a grandparent or why a parent is working from home.

Acknowledge concerns

Children may be concerned about someone they know becoming ill or even dying. Explain that some people will have no symptoms and will be fine, most people will experience only a mild form of the virus and will get better, but some people are more vulnerable and so we need to make sure they are protected. Be honest though and don’t shy away from explaining that some people may die, as children need to trust that you are being honest and open with them, so that they can ask you other questions with confidence.

Create routines

Currently, keeping to usual, daily routines might be difficult. But routines can be reassuring to children when everything else seems to be disrupted. If you are at home with your child, try to keep to regular routines such as meal times, school work, breaks, play and bedtime.  Children feel more in control, and therefore less fearful, if they are given clear tasks, such as washing their hands properly, and simple jobs around the house.

Make sure you’re supported

If you are struggling with your own reactions, try to get support for yourself. Children and young people are quick to pick up on the distress of others around them, even if the adults are trying to hide their feelings. Make time to do something for you that helps you to relax and takes your mind off worrying news and information. Make sure you connect with others in any way you can that is safe, such as video chat or phone call, and keep active.

Useful Documents

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Child Bereavement UK

The website provides useful links and resources for children, families and professionals to access.

Helpline 0800 02 888 40

Grief Encounters

Child bereavement support to children and families. 

Winston's Wish

Winston’s Wish offers a wide range of practical support and guidance to bereaved children, their families and professionals who support them. The charity also provides a Freephone National Helpline (08088 020 021), for teachers or parents to call  for information and advice about how to support bereaved children and young people.

Child Line

A free and confidential services for children and young people where you can talk about anything, including bereavement. Temporarily counsellors will be available between the hours of 9am and midnight. Please check the website for the most up to date information regarding how to access support.

Young Minds

A national charity for children and young people to support their mental health and well being.  

If you need support around child bereavement please contact Child Bereavement UK:

Helpline: 0800 02 888 40

Live Chat via childbereavementuk.org Email support@childbereavementuk.org

9am-5pm, Monday-Friday (except Bank Holidays).

Please also see documents below for further support.