Here are five tips to help you make mental health a priority:
1. Talk about it
I promote discussing mental health during daily life and think it’s extremely important that we break the silence around this topic. Engaging in conversations will bring down barriers, spread positivity and build and cement relationships.
2. Make time for meditation
Meditation can introduce a sense of calm to your classroom, particularly before or after transitions. You can either lead it with some classical music or invest in a meditation CD. Any opportunities you can provide for a peaceful atmosphere will be precious.
3. Seek out resources
Time to Change provides free online resources to help you introduce the topic of mental health to students. The Young Minds website also provides information aimed specifically at children, to help break down barriers even further.
4. Appoint a champion
To make sure the subject of mental health doesn’t slip through the gaps, appoint a positive mental health champion within the school. This can lead to holding whole-school events such as “wellbeing weeks”.
5. Ask a pupil to lead the way
The pupil voice is dynamite. Appoint at least one child to be an additional mental health champion and you can guarantee that, if managed well, positive mental health awareness will be high.
Tracey Lawrence is assistant headteacher and specialist leader of education in social, emotional and mental health at Danemill Primary School in Leicester