April 27, 2022
Mental Health Awareness week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is an annual event when there is an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. This year it takes place from 9-15 May with the theme of ‘Loneliness'. We look at a selection of 2Simple resources that you can use to raise awareness and boost mental wellbeing throughout the week and beyond.
Our connection to other people and our community is fundamental to protecting our mental health and we need to find better ways of tackling the epidemic of loneliness. We can all play a part in this. Schools can access a ‘Finding our connections to feel less lonely schools pack’ providing schools with materials and resources needed to support pupils to understand what loneliness is, how it can make us feel and where to find support. Although the pack is designed to be used in secondary schools, it has lots of useful information for Primary Schools as well.
Striver has been created with a sole purpose: to improve primary aged pupils long-term physical and mental wellbeing. Alongside over 400 PE lessons it also houses 6 wellbeing units.
We have put together a free pack that schools can download and use over Mental Health Awareness Week. It contains a range of Striver lessons for years from Reception to Year 6 and covers topics from mindfulness to teamwork.
Mindfulness helps our whole wellbeing. It can support us as human beings to foster more healthy living habits and understand our unique emotional and physical needs. Mindfulness can stream the thoughts and feelings we experience and bring balance into our daily lives. In relation to the topic of loneliness, mindfulness can help us to become more aware of the world around us which can support us in feeling more connected to others. Practising mindfulness can also give more insight into emotions and improve our relationships with self and others, whether it's at home, at school, or anywhere else.
Working with a team can have a positive impact on children’s wellbeing for a variety of reasons. In the context of loneliness, teamwork can help to develop confidence, communication skills and self-worth which are key tools for building healthy relationships. Additionally, being part of a team often provides a sense of belonging, purpose and community which is helpful in reducing feelings of isolation.
Whilst developing these skills is beneficial for pupils who are suffering from loneliness, it is equally important that classmates understand how they can support peers who are feeling this way, for example, through including those who feel left out and providing positive affirmations in team situations.
There are a range of projects that children could use with Purple Mash over the week. They could use our template 6 steps to Good Mental health to note down different ways that you can have good mental health as well as using 2Publish to produce a poster highlighting where pupils can go to find people to talk to in school and play with if they are feeling lonely. This could be a buddy bench or joining in with lunchtime and break activities. Children could also use this poster template to tell pupils who they can talk to if they need support. There are even more writing templates and paint projects in our feelings and emotions folder that children can use throughout the week to look at a range of emotions and how they can support friends.
The week would also be a great time to share with parents our toolkit for wellbeing, which supports important conversations around mental health and wellbeing and includes a range of steps and strategies that they can use.