It’s Children’s Mental Health Week (4th to 10th February 2019) and this year the awareness week aims to promote the steps that children can take to be healthy both inside and out.
The first ever Children’s Mental Health Week was launched by Place2Be in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year Place2Be is encouraging children, young people and adults to look after their bodies and their minds through physical wellbeing, food, being active and getting enough sleep – and we’re pleased to be supporting this campaign.
Often when we hear the phrase ‘healthy living’, we think of being healthy on the ‘outside’ by being active and doing exercise. However, in recent years it’s become more apparent that we also need to be aware of being healthy on the ‘inside’, and that includes eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and focusing more on our mental health by looking after our minds.
According to new research, 56% of children and young people say they worry “all the time” about at least one thing to do with their school life, home life or themselves. Those who usually get less than the recommended nine hours sleep on a school night are less likely to be able to cope with worries.
Here at NK Academy we recognise the many issues students can face in their development, which is why we offer a rich and varied approach to their learning. We aim to provide a comfortable and welcoming environment for all our students, ensuring every student has the chance to shine, feel proud of their work and enjoy a better future.
We understand the importance of mental health, and we would encourage any student or parent with concerns to approach us so that we can help you as best we can. Many illnesses are unseen and mental health concerns are just as valid as physical health concerns. We have a range of facilities within the academy and we also work with external partners including Healthy Minds and CAMHS.
If you are feeling anxious or worried here’s a list of top tips for you to follow during Children’s Mental Health Week and beyond:
- Take five
Whenever you’re feeling stressed, remember to take five minutes to relax, take a break and chat with a friend or teacher if you have any concerns.
- Get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air
As a student you’re likely to spend a lot of time in the classroom learning or in your bedroom revising and staring at books and computer screens. In between studying, take some time to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors – a simple walk, using our swimming pool facilities at One NK to have fun with friends or kicking a football around all helps!
- Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is important for our physical and mental health; it helps to regulate the chemicals in our brain that transmit information, which help to manage our moods and emotions. Not getting enough sleep can start to create feelings of anxiousness and depression.
- Do something you enjoy
Try to make time for doing the fun things you enjoy. If you like going for a walk, listening to music, painting or a specific TV show, try to set aside time to enjoy yourself. It’s easy to become irritable and unhappy if you don’t take the time to do things you like!
- Eat well
Eating well isn’t just important for our bodies, but it’s also important for our minds. Certain mineral deficiencies, if not obtained from food, can put us in a low mood. When stressed, it can be tempting to reach for foods high in sugar and fat, but you should try and eat balanced diet; remember the five-a-day rule!
At NK Academy we hold the values of our colleges dear and encourage all students and staff to think about them during school and in their personal lives. These include remembering to be courageous, to be respectful, to have ambition and to have strength – all of which are particularly relevant during Children’s Mental Health Week.
We are exceptionally proud of the academy and our vibrant community of students, parents and staff who work together to provide an engaging learning environment where young people can flourish. If you feel like you need to talk to someone about your mental health and wellbeing, please speak to a member of staff.