Suffolk Mind works with schools to improve mental health in young people
Suffolk Mind has been working with schools to help children and young people understand more about their mental health.
The independent mental health charity is currently piloting a project called EARLY Minds (Emotional Awareness & Resilience Learnt Young) to teach young people (from Year 1 upwards), their teachers, parents and carers about their emotional needs and how to improve their wellbeing.
Charlie Green, the lead trainer on the EARLY Minds project at Suffolk Mind said: “This project is still in the development stages, but is already making a difference. The children are really engaging and enjoying what we teach and how we teach.
“One of our main aims is to raise awareness of what it means to be emotionally and physically well. It is interesting that if you ask any child from five upwards what a plant needs to be well, they can answer straight away – sunlight, water and food. But ask them about what humans need to be well and they are not so sure. This is what we aim to change across the county.
“EARLY Minds educates and inspires children by increasing their understanding of emotional wellbeing as well as teaching techniques to be able to calm strong emotions, think clearly and empathise with others. Through story telling, working in small groups and group discussions, the sessions are interactive, thought provoking and enjoyable for the children”.
Suffolk Mind has worked with schools such as Laureate Community Academy, Sidegate Primary, Saxmundham Primary and Holbrook Academy.
Nicola Shelley, Deputy Headteacher at Holbrook Academy said: “We approached Suffolk Mind whilst reflecting on what we currently offer in school to support young people’s mental health.
“Straight away they were able to discuss their philosophy and offer us advice, guidance and practical support. Suffolk Mind and Gecko Theatre Company ran a fantastic workshop with students at Holbrook during which young people could openly discuss and explore the issues affecting them”.
Suffolk Mind is currently marking Children’s Mental Heath Week (4th February – 10th February) by offering help and advice to parents and carers on social media. A blog and video have been released explaining a technique called dragon breathing, aimed to calm people down. Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for more details.