The importance of emotional wellbeing
The emotional wellbeing of children is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health allows children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into well-rounded, healthy adults.
Taking care, how to look after your mental health
There are simple things that children and young people can do to look after their mental health on a daily basis. It’s important to recognise that we are all different and what works for one young person may not work for another.
Wellbeing Mission Statement
At Leigh Academy Tonbridge we aim to adopt a whole academy positive approach to mental health and wellbeing. Together as a community we work to provide support to ensure everyone, students and staff, are able to achieve their personal best.
- Being in good physical health – Keeping active and getting regular exercise can improve a young person’s mood and reduces stress. Eating well is equally important. There is a link between what we eat and how we feel, so it’s important to have a healthy, balanced diet for both your body and mind.
- Sleeping – Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial, without it, you can’t function properly. Sleep helps us to repair and restore our bodies and minds.
- Activities and hobbies – Finding an interest they enjoy is a positive distraction and can help increase confidence and self-esteem. This could be playing an instrument, going to sports clubs, drama, art, reading, painting, cooking or writing etc.
- Spending time with family and friends – Ensure your young person keeps in touch with people who they trust or feel good around and make sure they spend time with them. The support of a loving family where they feel they belong is essential.
- Freedom to relax – Young people need to take time out to relax. Relaxing gives your mind and body time to recover from the stresses of everyday life.
Signs of anxiety in young people
If you’re concerned your child may be worried or anxious, look at whether there are changes in the way they think, feel or act. Ask yourself how they are doing at home, school and with friends?
- Lacking confidence and can’t face simple everyday tasks
- Finding it hard to focus or concentrate for any period of time
- Having problems sleeping
- Not enjoying food or eating too much food
- Easily irritated and frequently have angry outbursts
- Fearful about everyday things, don’t want to be left alone
- Avoiding talking and engaging in conversation.
How parents and carers can help
If your child is experiencing anxiety, there are things that parents and carers can do to help:
- It’s important you are there to listen to your child’s concerns and to talk about their worries to provide reassurance
- Explain it is normal at times to feel anxious, worried or sometimes scared and most people will have these emotions at some point
- Support your child to look for a way forward that will help them to manage their feelings. This will hopefully mean they will not stop doing the thing or things they are worried about
- Help your child to develop a plan or a routine to put in place when they’re feeling anxious. This can help to build confidence and manage their feelings.
- Teach your child to recognise signs of anxiety in themselves
- Encourage your child to manage their anxiety and ask for help when they need it
- Work with your child to develop a routine. Routines provide assurance and encouragement, so try to stick to regular daily routines where possible
When should you get help?
If your child is really struggling you may need additional help. This could be contacting us, the academy, or an organisation that offers support with mental health. If you feel your child’s anxiety or low mood is severe and is affecting their everyday life, then contacting your GP is a good place to start to get help.
For additional help and advice regarding wellbeing and mental health please visit:
- CAMHS – Where young minds matter
- Action for children
- ChildLine 0800 111
- Young minds
- Kent Youth and Child Health
If you are a young person, talk and share your worries
Sharing what’s worrying you can help to make it feel more manageable. If you feel that the problems you’re having are too big for you to deal with by yourself, talk to someone you trust: a family member, a teacher at school or another adult you trust. If you feel you can’t, you may want to contact your GP.
If you don’t know who to turn to, or are finding it hard to talk to someone you know about how you are feeling, there is help for you. You can contact:
- ChildLine 0800 111
- Contact a member of the Leigh Academy Tonbridge Safeguarding Team via the worry button.
- Alternatively please contact Shout (or text Shout 85258) or Kooth. Both resources have been used by other Leigh Academy Tonbridge students, and they have fed back that they are really helpful. Both provide you with a chance to text rather than talk at the first instance, and they have volunteers who can provide support to help with depression, anxiety, abuse, panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, relationships problems and bullying.