School children take time to think and talk about mental health

Youngsters at a primary school in the heart of Oldham have been talking and sharing their feelings and emotions as part of a national campaign.

The Place2Be campaign shines a spotlight on the importance of children and young people's mental health.

Last week, schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals across the UK took part in Children's Mental Health Week. This year’s theme was Find your Brave.

Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes and is different for everyone. It can be about sharing worries and asking for help, trying something new or pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.

Finding your Brave can build your confidence, self-esteem and make you feel good about yourself.

Pupils at Oasis Academy Clarksfield, on Grasmere Road, have focused on bravery but also thought about how they can promote good mental health within themselves, including spending the afternoon taking part in activities linked to the five ways of wellbeing including; boxing, yoga, colouring, meditation, LEGO and lots more!

Throughout the week, the children had the opportunity to try something new and meet friends from other classes across the academy.

Claudia Kay, Mental Health Lead at Oasis Academy Clarksfield, commented on the week, saying: "It has been an amazing week. It has been great to see and hear the work that the children have been covering.

"All of our children took part in a competition this week. They designed and created hats that represented their idea of mental wellbeing. They were fantastic! Our Wellbeing Champions had the tricky job of choosing the winners, who all received a special prize – a beautiful mindfulness colouring book.

"Throughout the week, children were thinking about what ‘bravery’ is and when different characters in stories had to be brave. 

"This week has enabled some children to do something they might not have thought they could do. A special thank you to the staff who have made this week possible." 

Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. Now in its sixth year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word about mental health in children.

Luqmaan, Year 2 Pupil from Oasis Academy Clarksfield, said: "It was lovely because we could choose a different workshop to go to in the afternoon to help us with our mental health and we could get more learning about mental health into our brains." 

Safa, Year 6 Pupil from Oasis Academy Clarksfield, added: "On Friday we chose from four activities and got to mix up into different classes to do them. The activities were mindfulness, staying active, colouring and drawing." 

It wasn’t just pupils who took part in the week. Teachers have also been thinking about their own mental health, and all took a break to chat over cake and a cup of tea.

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