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Suffolk Mind officially launches programme to help prevent mental ill health in primary school children

On World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10th October 2019), Suffolk Mind has officially launched a one-of-a kind-programme to help prevent mental ill health in Suffolk primary school children.

The independent mental health charity hosted an EARLY (Emotional Awareness and Resilience Learnt Young) Minds session with St Helen’s Primary School at Quay Place, Ipswich on Thursday 10th October between 10am and 11.30am.

According to major new research conducted by Mind, three in five young people (11-19 years of age) have either experienced a mental health problem themselves, or are close to someone who has and half of all mental health problems have been established by the age of 14, rising to 75% by the age of 24.

Suffolk Mind wants to teach young people (from Year 1 upwards), their teachers, parents and carers about their emotional needs and how to improve their wellbeing. The charity hopes this approach will prevent mental ill health from occurring in the future.

Jon Neal, Chief Executive of Suffolk Mind said, “EARLY Minds is part of a whole school approach which is different to others in that it teaches people how to prevent mental ill health, moving beyond teaching them to spot the signs of people already unwell.

“Current Government plans and campaigns simply deal with the symptoms of unmet emotional needs, rather than working on the causes of mental ill health.

“By focusing so much attention on things like Mental Health First Aid, they are ignoring the real issues. The pressure we are putting on our children and young people is impacting their needs for security, control and respect. And the prevalence and reliance upon screens is harming their needs for attention and achievement.”

Suffolk Mind has been piloting the project for around two years, working with schools such as Laureate Community Academy, Saxmundham Primary and Sidegate Lane Primary.

Charlie Green, the lead trainer on the Early Minds project at Suffolk Mind said: “This programme educates and inspires children by increasing their understanding of emotional wellbeing as well as teaching techniques, such as dragon breathing, to be able to calm strong emotions, think clearly and empathise with others. They’ll learn skills that they can take home and teach their families, through story telling, working in small groups and group discussions. The sessions are interactive, thought provoking and enjoyable for the children.”

 

Author: Kristina Brinkley
Posted on: 14th October 2019

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