By Helen McKinder
Mental health is something that affects many of us, and awareness and education is ever more important, especially in times of increased uncertainty and stress. We, at York Notes, are enthusiastic about opening the door to conversations about mental health, and the role that this can play in helping students overcome worry and anxiety and fulfil their potential. So, we have put together a list of resources that we hope you will find useful and interesting to use with your students to raise awareness and support them during tough times, whether that’s exam or assessment time, or throughout the school year.
We know that your mental health is important too, so you’ll also find tips and support for teachers in the resources below.
And remember: take a moment for yourself, be kind (to yourself and others) and get out in the fresh air when you can.
1. The Mental Health Foundation – Nature
This year, the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week was nature and here Mark Rowland of the Mental Health Foundation explains why experiencing nature is so fundamental to our mental health.
2. Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families – Teacher Toolkits
The Anna Freud Centre website provides teacher toolkits for primary and secondary schools to be used during Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond. There are useful pages about mental health needs, and mental health calendars centred around school terms.
3. BBC – Headroom
Recently, the BBC created Headroom as a single, easy to find destination, housing all its mental health content in one place. Articles range from medical professionals giving advice to celebrities such as Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson speaking about their own mental health struggles.
4. BBC – Teaching Resources
The BBC also has teaching resources for primary and secondary schools. Through a range of videos they explore themes that affect a large number of young people, such as body image, friendship, bravery and adopting a growth mindset. These can be used during Mental Health Awareness events or at any time during the academic year.
5. Cambridge University Press – Teacher Wellbeing
Cambridge University Press has a webpage dedicated to teachers and their wellbeing. It discusses different topics such as wellbeing in English language teaching, working from home, loneliness and ways of supporting teenage learners.
6. TES – Mental Health Awareness
The TES offers free online resources to raise awareness of the importance of mental health. From teacher guides to mindfulness activities, you can find a range of resources to help start important conversations about mental health with students.
7. Young Minds – Support and Resources
Young Minds is a charity that aims to support young people with their mental health, no matter what the circumstances. It offers all kinds of different resources to help you raise awareness, from wellbeing advent calendars to wellbeing tips for school staff. It also offers urgent help for anyone who needs it.
8. Mind – Support and Information
The charity Mind not only offers information, support and advice for adults, but also has a specific section of its website for children and young people, introducing them to mental health and helping them to understand topics such as feelings and diagnosis.
9. PSHE – Lesson Plans
The PSHE Association offers a selection of lesson plans, spanning key stage 1 to 4. These cover content from the government’s statutory Health Education, Relationships Education and RSE guidance. PowerPoint versions are also available exclusively to Association members.
10. Public Health England – Resources
The government provides a wide range of resources for primary and secondary schools. These discuss physical and mental wellbeing, building connections, social media, how to use a worry tree, body image and positive relationships.
What mental health resources have you found useful? Let us know!
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