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The return to school in September is a key priority for us.
To help you, we’ve collected together these useful resources all focused on making sure the return to classrooms in the autumn is as successful as possible. Please do have a look through them as there may be ideas/activities and suggestions that would be of benefit to your child or you.
Our network of recovery-focussed Wellbeing Centres offer safe spaces to be yourself and get back on track through groups, workshops, activities and 1:1 emotional support. Through an initial telephone assessment, we'll work with you to set goals for your time with us and find the right courses to help you work towards them. We can also help signpost you to local services for any additional support needs, like housing, benefits, counselling, crisis support or other specific mental health needs. Our support is always specific and personalised to you, but might include a combination of creative arts, active groups, mindfulness and useful specific short courses for anxiety, anger, self-esteem or life skills. Whatever challenges you may be facing in your life, we can help you build the confidence to manage and understand your symptoms. https://www.solentmind.org.uk/support-for-you/our-services/eastleigh-wellbeing-centre/
Practising mindfulness over the summer break will help your child deal with any anxieties or worries for when they return to school. This resource is a two-week calendar with a mindfulness activity suggested each day, which you could use for the last two weeks of summer. https://mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/resources/mindfulness-calendar-daily-five-minute-activities?pdf=coronavirus-toolkit-return-to-school
Help children create their own self-care plan for the summer holidays with this activity pack. https://mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/resources/self-care-summer-activity-pack?pdf=coronavirus-toolkit-return-to-school
You could work through this sheet with your children to explore the things they may be worried about when going back to school, and ways to calm those worries. https://www.partnershipforchildren.org.uk/uploads/Files/PDFs/Resilience%20Activities/Going%20back%20to%20school.pdf
In this short video, clinical psychologist Dr Jess Richardson shares straightforward suggestions for parents, carers and teachers to deal with any potential apprehension or anxiety children may experience on returning to school. There is also an accompanying fact sheet that is recommended to read. https://nipinthebud.org/information-films/tips-for-returning-to-school/
An important part of preparing to go back to school is to reflect on what has happened during coronavirus, as well as looking forward to the future. Completing this simple activity sheet with your child will help them let go of things they may have missed out on during the lockdown. https://www.partnershipforchildren.org.uk/uploads/Files/PDFs/Resilience%20Activities/Letting%20Go%20and%20Future%20plans.pdf
This simple, illustrated e-book is ideal for parents of young children to explore what the return to school might look like, and help them feel more prepared. https://ebug.eu/eng_home.aspx?cc=eng&ss=1&t=Information%20about%20the%20Coronavirus
Practising good self-care is another important way children can get ready for the return to school. This kit has lots of ideas and activities for children, including mindful colouring, breathing exercises, an emotional check-in, a self-soothe box and more. https://mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/resources/self-care-kit?pdf=coronavirus-toolkit-return-to-school
Technology can be a great tool for encouraging mindfulness in children. This app features lots of mindfulness and meditation activities specifically designed for parents and children to do together. (Please note that adults should always explore apps first before sharing with children, and should always monitor their use of apps.) https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app
We hope that you find some of these resources helpful for your child, or indeed other family members. If as parents/guardians, you have any concerns about your child’s mental health, please see the directory below.
You can find a list of support available in your area via the Youth Wellbeing Directory · https://www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/youth-wellbeing/
or a list of helplines in this resource library · https://mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/resources/?ResourceFormat=Helpline?pdf=coronavirus-toolkit-return-to-school.
Other helplines that may be helpful if you or your child have concerns about mental health issues:
· SHOUT - text ‘Shout’ to 85258 for 24/7 crisis text support
· Childline - under 19 s can call 0800 1111 for free support
· Education Support - school staff can call 08000 562 561 or text 07909 341229 for 24/7 help and advice
· YoungMinds Parents Helpline - Call 0808 802 5544 for free Mon-Fri from 9.30am to 4pm