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Talking Positively About Mental Health

by Michael Ford last modified 12 Feb, 2019 02:58 PM

Manor Park CE First School, Dorchester, held its first Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week from Monday 4 to Friday 8 February.

Assistant Headteacher Emily Birch explains:
“Latest research suggests that one in ten children between 5 years and 16 years of age suffer from a diagnosed mental health problem. At Manor Park we believe that emotional wellbeing is just as important as their physical health and want all of our children to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them.

“During the week the children will be taking part in many different activities around the theme of emotional wellbeing. One of these activities will be to produce a ‘Positive Pebble’ with a positive message which the children will then place in different locations around the community in order to pass on the positive feeling.”

On Wednesday 6 February, School staff ran Parent Workshops to share ideas about how families can support children's mental health and wellbeing at home.

The week culminated on Friday 8 February with a Mental Health Awareness Morning in the school hall. Information was available via representatives from organisations in and around Dorchester who support both adults and children with their mental health. These included the Dorset Family Partnership Zone, Steps to Wellbeing and the Dorchester Food Bank.

Parents were invited in to speak to staff, collect information and have a coffee and a chat.

Ms Birch comments, “The week was hugely successful with many positive comments from parents, carers and professional organisations. As a school we are committed to raising awareness of the importance of Mental Health and Wellbeing and we were proud to have our pastoral provision noted as a strength of our school in our recent OFSTED inspection.”

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