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Children's mental health week 2023

Children's Mental Health Week: Let's Connect

Children's Mental Health Week (6-12 February 2023) this year is based around the theme Let's Connect. In the week prior to this, pupils in Year 7-10 had assemblies around how to make connections in a positive and kind way, and the connection between kindness and good mental health.

Human beings thrive in communities and healthy, positive connections (with family, friends and pets, or by being part of a club or by volunteering) can support our mental health and wellbeing. If those social connections do not exist, if we don't feel understood or cared for, it can lead to feelings of disconnection, isolation and loneliness, which can negatively affect our mental health.

The Friendly February calendar from Action for Happiness has 28 ideas for reaching out and connecting with the people around us. For example,

  • Send a message to let someone know you’re thinking of them
  • Really listen to what people say without judging them
  • Respond kindly to everyone you talk with today, including yourself.

As we travel through our teenage years, we learn more about ourselves and our individual journey. Our behaviours and interactions affect us and those around us. We need to remember that sometimes if a connection is broken, we may need to be the person to reach out and say sorry, to offer forgiveness or make amends.

children's mental health week 2023

Finding others who enjoy the same things or have the same values is incredibly powerful. Connecting online with friends and family can be great, but there is nothing quite like the buzz from positive, face-to-face interactions and those non-verbal forms of communication like a smile, a nod and eye contact, mixed in with the chat.

You might find the two activities below of interest:

Exchanging Postcards (11-14 year olds)

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Dr Alex George, UK Youth Mental Health Ambassador, who came to talk to our Year 7 and Year 8 pupils in October 2022 (read about Dr Alex George visit), has set a challenge for young people, which can be done in school with friends and peers or at home with family. Use your voice to connect with people who feel marginalised or disconnected.

Building Connections (14-18 year olds)

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Sometimes the smallest connections can make all the difference - a smile, a wave, a message, a phone call. Do you know someone who would really appreciate you reaching out to them? We encourage everyone to make kindness the norm.

Miss Charlesworth, Deputy Head, has challenged our pupils to carry out a random act of kindness every day. That could theoretically be 209 acts of kindness each day for each year group. Imagine what a positive impact that might have.

Our school Mission is for everyone to be the best we can be every day and our school Aims are for every one of our pupils to be Safe, Happy and Successful. To achieve these Aims we have three Deer Park Values which underpin all that we do: Trust, Kindness and Determination. Read more...

Useful Links:

There is a new Every Mind Matters campaign: lift someone out of loneliness. Loneliness can affect all of us, no matter your age. Being kind and helping others can help you.  Find out more...