In the news: under the title of ‘Every Mind Matters‘, the NHS has issued advice to parents on looking after a child or young person’s mental health.
Imagine the scenarios: an elderly relative has Covid, or has died from Covid; grandparents are socially isolating and not available to look after the children; there is no break in the monotony; one or both parents have lost their jobs; the child is witness to an increase in disharmony in the home; the child is sent home from school to social isolate due to a Covid outbreak in school and can’t be looked after; parents are visiting food banks and falling into debt; rent is in arrears and cold winter is around the corner.
Even before Covid, a quarter of children were showing signs of mental ill-health [according to a Public Health England report] and three quarters of adults separately reported they found it hard to cope at some point in the year.
What does the school do?
The answer is, ‘Schools are not set up to provide the emotional learning pupils need to manage the stress, anxiety and even mental ill-health they will encounter in their lives .’
The long term objective of Life-Based Learning is to make Emotional Development a theme all to itself, one of only nine life-based themes – such is its importance.
Through Life-Based Learning, children learn emotional resilience by developing self-awareness, emotional self-regulation and feelings of self-worth as a central learning objective.
We are talking serious focus on what is a serious problem for individuals and society.
In the meantime, I hope schools find whatever resources, and teachers give whatever time they can, in supporting the children in their charge through these unprecedented times.