I would love to hear from you about what you learnt from World Mental Health day.
For me, it was an inspirational weekend and I learnt a few useful lessons to help me on my journey.
On the Saturday night, I met up with my best mate for his 40th birthday meal with a few other friends that I had not seen for a while. We had a cracking night with lots of stories about the olden days and lots of laughs. At one point in the evening, I looked around the table and realised at one stage or another all of our families had been affected by mental health issues.
On the train home, smiling away to myself, I reflected how underestimated laughter with good friends is as a self-care strategy for improving one’s mental health.
On the Sunday night, I was fortunate to meet with an inspirational young lady and her brave mum to hear about her serious mental health issues and her recovery. I learnt about the lack of funding for professional support even at times of crisis, and the toll it takes on the loved ones of sufferers and how often they are the ones that are pulling their child through the situation through effective self-care strategies like exercise, getting their children off their phones and reconnecting with loved ones.
It was extremely interesting to hear that sometimes teachers had unwittingly exacerbated her mental health problems by focusing on exam results too much, especially in perfectionist high performing young people. This was an important piece of feedback for me to hear and reflect upon. As a subject leader determined to do well for my pupils and with the pressure of explaining results to my bosses each year, then I was definitely guilty of this charge historically, and made me reflect on how I can do better at this in the future.
In the words of the young lady’s mother ‘Education is key’, and I certainly think that schools can do more to give proactive practical strategies to our kids so that they can practise self-care and prevent some of these issues becoming bigger problems for our children.
Before the meeting I had sent over the Future Action ‘Building Mental Fitness’ CPD course, and it was certainly reassuring to hear from the young lady that the content would have definitely helped her when she was at school and could have potentially prevented her mental health challenges becoming so serious.
I left the meeting more inspired and determined than ever to make a difference building young people’s mental fitness, both within my school and helping teaching colleagues across the world develop their expertise so that they can implement similar programs in their schools.
If you are interested in finding out more about our ‘Building Mental Fitness’ course with editable resources then please go to: https://www.futureaction.net/building-mental-fitness-for-pupils
So, let me know what you learnt from World Mental Health Day?