31 Mar 2020
For any help or guidance regarding COVID-19 or Distance Learning please contact us via the following, we will aim to respond to you as soon as possible, within 5 working days: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health & Wellbeing
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While the Academy is closed it is important to make sure that you get daily exercise to help with both your physical and mental health. When taking exercise it is important to make sure you are following all government guidelines and keeping your distance from anyone who is not in your household. Below you will find some links to help you keep fit while staying in your home or own garden. This is in addition to the weekly P.E. lessons on Friday Afternoon (see your Distance Learning timetable) from Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) on YouTube and also a month worth of different daily exercises that you can complete. Please remember to keep safe while doing any form of exercise!
Kooth.com - Online support for young people
We would like to remind you of the availability of our online service to support the wellbeing and resilience of your students.
Kooth is a web-based confidential support service available to young people. Kooth provides a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support designed specifically for young people.
Kooth offers young people the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor. Counsellors are available from 12noon to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10 pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop-in basis. Young people can access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed. Outside counselling hours’ young people can message our team and get support by the next day.
When students register with Kooth they will have support available to them now and in the future. Support can be gained not only through counselling but articles, forums and discussion boards. All content is age-appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.
To find out more visit www.Kooth.com where young people can register and others can find out more about the service.
You can also view a short video about the service at https://vimeo.com/318731977/a9f32c87de.
Mind to be Kind
Regular Academy Presentations:
We All Have Mental Health
We are aware that for the majority of learners, parents and carers, the thought of an unknown amount of time at home without physical contact with friends, loved ones and a “normal” routine is scary. It is important at times like these, learners, parents and staff take time to think about their own mental health. To help through these difficult times we have put together some ideas to help you maintain a positive mindset. Finally please do remember we are in this together and we can get through whatever the coming weeks and months throws at us.
How can the Academy help?
- Keep in regular contact with your teachers, if possible at your regular lesson times.
- Remember you are not alone. Your teachers are still available to support you, both academically and pastorally.
- Ask for help when needed; independent learning is a new skill for some. Don’t be afraid to say if something seems confusing or you need extra support.
- Try to keep on top of your workload to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
- Take the opportunity to also follow your passions; if a particular topic interests you, research it. You never know where it might lead!
- Be sure to keep your teachers updated so we can support you in this.
- Work/life balance
- Healthy eating
- Regular sleep patterns
- Interactions with family and friends
- Communication with others
- Other interests
- Physical activity
Signs and symptoms of a drop in mental health
- Change in sleep patterns
- Becoming withdrawn
- Friendship groups: can become less or more social than usual
- Change in eating patterns
- Change in appearance
- Personality shifts
- Problems with concentration
Wellbeing – How can Parents/Carers help?
- Model and promote Healthy eating
- No issue is too small!
- Monitoring social media access
- Interactions/ listening
- Encourage exercise (and join in too!)
- Create productive habits – work routines
- Be aware of important academic dates
- Encourage downtime – make sure your child takes time to relax
Build in structure / Make your time meaningful
- Try to maintain a routine similar to your normal day/ week (e.g, weekday and weekend routines)
- Make time for what you love
- Plan your time
- Keep up to date with study so you don’t feel overwhelmed
- Make time to be creative – art, music, crafts etc.
- Have allocated time for work and for rest
- Maintain habits – dress in the daytime, etc
- All those things you never seem to have time for – list them!
- Take up a new skill or hobby
- Break your day/ week into chunks
- Build in social contact; distance physically but don’t become socially isolated
- Make time to help others where possible, either virtually or, where safe to do so, in person; collect some shopping for a neighbour.
24 actions to keep you busy
Remember the Basics
- Get some fresh air*
- Go outside, preferably in the mornings/ during daylight*
- Exercise at regular points throughout the day.*
- Keep hydrated
- Try to maintain regular meal-times
- Eat a balanced diet
*If it is safe to do so and following all government advice regarding social distancing.
- Your daily activity will be reduced if you are at home, so it is important to build movement into your routine
- Your usual exercise method may no longer be available
- Use this opportunity to try something different
- Youtube and other apps have tutorials and guided workouts
- Try HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), or more gentle exercises such as Yoga or Pilates
- Go outside into the garden and play a game*
- Take care not to injure yourself – work within your usual fitness levels and take it steady
*If it is safe to do so and following all government advice regarding social distancing.
Mandalas / mindful colouring / Music / Talking - Benefits
- Creative activities encourage flow
- Slows breathing and heart rate
- Allows self-expression
- Time together
- Can encourage “accidental” conversations
- Provides a mental pause
- Can reduce distractions
- Sets a mood for concentration or relaxation
- Reduces anxiety
- Can build routines
- Improves relationships Identifies potential problems early
- Builds self-esteem
- Generates problem-solving ideas together
Journaling prompts – some ideas
We are living through an important event in history. Take some time to write down what is happening.
- The main thought in my head today was…
- Right now I feel challenged by…
- I feel supported when…
- I am grateful for…
- One thing I could do to help myself today is…
- What I want to say to my anxious thoughts…
- Write your anxious thoughts that include words like “never,” “always,” “everyone,” and “no one.” Circle those you can prove are 100% true
MIND (Mental Health Support)
You might be worried about coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it could affect your life. This may include having to stay at home and avoid other people.
This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing.
The mental health charity, MIND, have some great information to help with keeping your Mental Health in top form.
Learner Wellbeing PowerPoint 31/03/20
Please use the button below to access a Learner Wellbeing presentation
- Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council have made various resources, help sheets and fun activities available via their websites.
- Learners, Parents and Carers can download the Dudley Virtual Learning School’s Guide for Home Learning to Support Carers & Families.
- The British Museum has made its online collections free to the public.
- The Natural History Museum has free virtual tours.
- The Tate Gallery has a 360-degree virtual tour online.
- View the latest exhibitions at The National Gallery virtual tours.
- The Vatican has opened up its digital tours so the Sistine Chapel can be viewed.
- NASA Kids is perfect for space fans. Learn all about the universe we live in by viewing these online videos.
- Watch The Wind in the Willows stage production online.
- Minecraft: The Education Edition is popular with children already – these resources all have an educational purpose.
- Look at nature all around the world with Explore.
- Audible Stories has made all of its classic children’s stories free.
- Watch science experiments with Colorado University.
- For music lovers, there is a 21-day free trial to learn an instrument with Prodigies Music.
- Explore the world with videos capturing activity all over the planet with Project Explore.
- On Twitter, Patrick Stewart (@sirpatstew) is reading a sonnet a day.
- Julie Dawn Cole, who played the original Veruca Salt in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (and Tes mental health columnist), is reading the book it was 3 based on – Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – aloud one chapter a night at 6pm on her Facebook page.
- News Mag Media have made their content free. Great for supporting children with their non-fiction reading.
Please note all of the above are subject to availability from the source.