Mental Health and Wellbeing
We understand the importance of supporting mental health and wellbeing for all. Please find below ways in which you can seek help and advice should you need it.
If you need support and you cannot find what you require, please contact the school office on 01752 336228.
Livewell’s First Response Service
The Adult 24 hour First Response service now has a free number to call, helping to reduce barriers for access to support when there is crisis.
Livewell’s First Response Service is available to contact 24/7 for people in Plymouth aged 18 or over experiencing a mental health crisis or if you’re concerned about someone by calling 0800 923 9323.
Government wellbeing guidance for the public
Follow this link for help and support with mental health and wellbeing
This document provides a brief overview of mindfulness and how it can help
during unsettling times. It explains the neuroscience behind mindfulness and the
psychology underpinning it. Parents should read through the information so they feel familiar with the content before using it with their child. Mindfulness is normally taught in small group settings.
Resilience games - See attachments below.
The Zone offers a wide range of information, advice, counselling and support services to young people.
Young Devon have provided a wellbeing toolkit with tips, tricks and techniques for maintaining positive mental health during lockdown and beyond.
During challenging times, it’s more important than ever to look after your child’s well-being. To help parents to help their children, Outside the Box has produced a FREE activity journal (At Home with Weaving Well-Being) to help children to enhance their mental well-being through a range of activities. Although it is probably most suitable for children aged 8 to 12 tears old it can be adapted for younger or older children. It was released as a response to the current crisis.
You can download it and print it out for your child or, if you don’t have access to a printer, your child can get the activity idea from the screen and do it on a blank sheet of paper.
Most of the topics in the journal, such as positivity, gratitude, kindness, bravery, creativity and self-kindness, are drawn from the field of Positive Psychology, which is the science of well-being. There are also activities based on dealing with worries and coping with change.
The journal aims to give children a chance to reflect and express themselves, gradually building into a highly personal portfolio reflecting unique aspects of their mental well-being. Once complete, they may enjoy looking over it again from time to time, especially whenever they need a well-being boost!
As a parent, you can use this journal to open up an important channel of communication with your child. Take time to discuss the various activities while they are completing them and perhaps even join in and try some of them on yourself!
The anti-baddies resilience toolkit lovely resource pack that has been designed to help children develop resilience by completing small tasks to earn badges.
The activities and tasks have a focus on wellbeing
Further useful websites
Useful telephone numbers
Oasis Food Bank 01752 254981
Samaritans 01752 221666 or 116123
Jeremiah's Journey (bereavement) 01752 424348
Mind 0300 1233393
Victim Support 0300 3030554
Plymouth Domestic Violence 0800 4582558
NSPCC 0808 800 5000
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) 01752 431601
Is your child or the child you are caring for experiencing anxiety, worry or stress?
Are they experiencing psychological or emotional distress?
Do you need to talk to someone who can offer support and advice?
This service is open to Children, Young People, Parents, Carers and Professionals
The Urgent Mental Health Support Telephone line is open now 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01752 435122 for advice and support.
There is now a dedicated phone line for parents looking for advice, support and effective behaviour strategies to help with challenges posed by school closures.
PIAS – (Plymouth information advise and support for SEND) have a team of dedicated facilitators skilled in a wide range of parenting programs and behavioural strategies from birth to the teenage years. They are on hand to provide advice, support and a friendly ear from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. 01752258933 and select option 2.
Children’s Bereavement Charity
What support do we offer?
- Jeremiah’s Friends 9-week Group
A 9-week group where we work with families where the bereavement has been traumatic in some way.
- Family Group Work
Working with and supporting a bereaved family using a variety of activities over 3-4 sessions
- Story Group
A 4-week group for young children and their parents using storybooks to explore children’s grief.
- EMDR Group
A group delivering EMDR therapy and resourcing to parents where the bereavement has been traumatic.
- Jeremiah’s Journey Youth Group
An ongoing monthly peer to peer support youth group for tweens, which we are starting in the new year.
Sometimes we are also able to offer a limited number of individual sessions to children and young people if we feel this is necessary or support parents or other professionals to support children themselves using Zoom/telephone appointments.
We run a helpline on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 to 12 o’clock. Families and professionals are welcome to call us on 01752 424348 or email us with their tel number at email@example.com and one of the team will contact them during those times.
School Consultation and Training
We offer fortnightly consultation slots from 3:30-4:30pm on alternate Wednesdays and Fridays, which schools and other professionals can access by calling 01752 424348 or emailing us firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the team will contact them to book a time.
We have created several video training sessions and informative posters, which professionals working with bereaved children can request to access. The titles of the training we provide are:
- 5 ways to show compassion to a bereaved child or young person
- 5 things you can do to support a child who has been bereaved
- 5 things you can do to support a child under 5 who has been bereaved
- 5 resources to help you support a young person who has been bereaved
- 5 things parents can do to look after themselves and support their grieving children
- Tips for organisations and staff who are supporting bereaved children and young people
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal day-to-day feeling, just like hunger, excitement, tiredness etc. It’s part of how we rationalise things and make decisions like whether it’s safe to cross the road or not – we don’t want to step out in front of a car! However, when we’re under increased stress, as we are now, our bodies can mis-interpret this stress as danger, triggering an overwhelming anxious response. This is known as the fight or flight response and it provides the body with a burst of energy – adrenaline – so that it can respond to the perceived danger.
When the fight or flight response is activated, you’re likely to have lots of symptoms; some of these might include your heart pounding, feeling nauseous, butterflies in your stomach, clammy hands, tense muscles, feeling dizzy, shallow breathing, racing thoughts, feelings of overwhelm, being out of control or angry. These responses were useful when we needed to run away from a sabre-toothed tiger, but they’re less helpful when we want to get around busy supermarkets looking for toilet paper!
How to manage anxiety
1. BREATHE! This might sound too simple to be true, but by slowing our breathing down, we activate another system in our body which acts as a brake, letting our body know the ‘danger’ has passed, thereby soothing the fight or flight response. It’s worth practising deep breathing when you’re not feeling anxious, so it becomes an automatic response when you do start to feel anxious. Here’s a simple guide on how to do this: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/ways-relieve-stress/
2. Pay attention to your thoughts: unhelpful thinking patterns such as catastrophising and ruminating keep us stuck in an anxious place. If you notice you’re caught up in this type of thinking, ground yourself by placing your feet firmly on the floor and really notice how that feels. Look around you and name five things you can see. The idea is to bring your attention into the present moment, rather than being lost in your thoughts.
3. Basic self-care: get at least 6 hours sleep a night, eat well, don’t go overboard with alcohol. Get some exercise. If you can’t get outside, there are some on-line exercise sessions popping up on the internet. If you can get outside, do; even standing outside your front door and noticing the clouds, the breeze etc can be very soothing.
4. Routine/structure: we all benefit psychologically from having some routine and structure to our days, so think about ways you can put some in place at home. Take it one day at a time and be open to changing things when you need to. Limit the time you spend taking in information about Coronavirus.
5. Connection: we’re wired to connect with other people, so self-isolation and distancing are challenging for us. However, as well as the traditional telephone, we have many on-line platforms to enable us to connect with each other. Make it a priority to keep in touch with others, and maybe even get back in touch with people you’ve lost contact with.
6. Kindness: give yourself a break and be as kind to yourself as you possibly can. Would you speak to your best friend the way you speak to yourself? Probably not! The bottom line is that we’re all mammals trying to get by in life and we all deserve to feel loved and supported.