Supporting Wellbeing During School Closures

At the best of times, wellbeing concerns are front of mind for many young people. Last term, long before Coronavirus first made an appearance, Aspirations responses showed that: 72% of students wanted to be more resilient 47% wanted to get better at staying calm 14% had been feeling optimistic about the future ‘None of the time’ or ‘Rarely’ It is still early days, but a study conducted by Young Minds indicated that wellbeing among young people had declined since the lockdown began – with 83% saying the pandemic has made their mental health a bit or much worse. And it isn’t easy for adults, either – a recent Ipsos MORI poll found just under half of people felt anxious or depressed. So, our inaugural blog is focused on wellbeing – and specifically, some ideas for how you, your colleagues and your students can look after yourselves and each other at this time. This blog was born from the Aspirations Newsletter, which you can subscribe to here! For Staff/Parents For Supporting Younger Children This article from the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, intended for parents, talks about some of the things that can be done to reduce stress and restore a sense of normality for children and teenagers. For Supporting Older Children The pandemic is especially challenging for teenagers and young adults – and, by extension, their parents and teachers. This article from the Childmind Institute offers some useful tips for supporting older children during this period. For Looking After Yourselves For those of us who are responsible for the wellbeing and development of others during a stressful time, it can be very easy to neglect our own wellbeing. We’ve seen a lot of self-care articles directed at parents and carers, but this article from Australian charity Parentline stands out due to an excellent checklist for reflecting on your wellbeing, and a list of small but effective steps which can be taken to improve it. For Students For Anxiety This article from Young Minds clearly explains how to recognise and cope with anxiety in a child-friendly way. For Calmness The Calm Zone website from Childline offers a selection of tools and activities designed to help young people better understand what makes them feel calm. For Self-Care The Anna Freud Centre is a fantastic children’s mental health charity, and their webpage on Self Care offers advice and guidance on self-care practices from meditation to telephone support. All of the above resources are available as online resources to Aspirations students, through the Aspire platform. Interested in personal development? Sign up to the Aspirations Newsletter for regular(ish) updates including recommended resources, great practice from our schools, and trends on student needs and interests across the country Sign Up! #Wellbeing

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