‘With good mental health, children and young people do better in every way. They enjoy their childhoods, are able to deal with stress and difficult times, are able to learn better, do better at school, navigate the online world they grew up in so they benefit from it and enjoy friendships and new experiences. Childhood and teenage years are when mental health is developed and patterns are set for the future. So a child with good mental health is much more likely to have good mental health as an adult, and to be able to take on adult responsibilities and fulfill their potential.’
Adolescence (approximately ages 11-25) is a potentially very challenging time of life, with many transitions to be made, new life experiences to be navigated and changing relationships to be negotiated. My focus this month has been on adolescent mental health, with the aim of getting people talking about this often difficult-to-talk-about subject. As part of this I led a workshop for Middle Years (MYP) staff at the British International School in Stavanger (BISS), and spoke with parents at the MYP open evening. I'll be back at BISS to talk to the students themselves at their morning assembly in October. It's a long time since I spoke in assembly!
So, please, get informed, look at the links below and in previous posts, talk about mental health and emotional wellbeing with your parents/children (delete as appropriate), send them these links and start the conversation. You’ll be pleased you did.
Links for young people, parents and teachers:
Young people – if you’re not sure how to start looking after your mental health, have a look at these pages, and the links in my last post
What can parents, carers, teachers and other adults do to support young people? There are many things that we can do, principally supporting the development of emotional resilience.
Here is a short guide to supporting resilience, from the American Psychological Association for parents and teachers http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resilience.aspx
And here is a longer one from Boing Boing, a UK Community Interest Company working to promote resilience. This book is a free download, written by young people, for parents.