How To Start A Conversation About Mental Health With Your Class

How To Start A Conversation About Mental Health With Your Class

According to the latest research, 50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14.

Which means teaching our children to understand and manage strong emotions has never been more important. Learning social and emotional skills can have a positive impact on how happy our students feel - and how they perform in the classroom.

Feelings are not 'bad' or 'good

One of the vital early steps in talking with pupils about mental health and wellbeing, is to teach them that feelings are not 'bad' or 'good'. Humans experience a vast array of feelings every day and they all serve a purpose. For example, it's widely recognised that feelings of anger can motivate people to take action.

A great way to help children understand the concept of the varying frequency and differing intensity of feelings is to use the metaphor of clouds passing across a sky.

Just like clouds; some feelings are big and some are little. A feeling may last a long time or may be fleeting. And it's perfectly normal to experience more than one feeling simultaneously. For example, someone going to a party may feel nervous and excited at the same time.

Where do feelings come from?

Understanding how the brain and body are linked is fascinating to children of all ages. Learning about how feelings are created, and how those feelings drive behaviour is a great first step towards developing positive mental health and wellbeing.

In time for Children's Mental Health week we've got a done for you PowerPoint presentation to kick off the conversation with your students

This resource will:

  • Introduce the link between our thoughts, feelings and behaviour - so children learn what drives their own (and other people's) behaviour
  • Encourage children to interpret facial expressions so they react sensitively to others
  • Explain that strong emotions are neither right nor wrong - it's what you do with them that counts
  • Teach in simple terms, how your brain and body react when they see a threat - and how that feels on the inside

Give all of your pupils, practical strategies that they can start using right away

The presentation also includes:

  • 7 practical ways of coping with anger if you get upset
  • 7 practical ways of helping others if they get angry

The Managing Feelings Presentation even comes with a set of presenter's notes, explaining what to say on each page of the presentation, so everything you need for your lesson or assembly is right there.

Get instant access to your managing feelings presentation.

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