Identifying Mental Health Issues in School Children: A Guide for Educators and ParentsSleep and your Teenager's mental health

In an era where the significance of mental health has gained long overdue recognition, it is crucial that we take a proactive approach towards identifying and addressing mental health issues in children. This task takes on an even greater weight in the educational setting, where students spend a substantial portion of their time. It’s not just about academic performance; a child’s mental wellbeing plays an integral role in their overall development and future success. Let’s delve into how these issues may present in school children, and explore the support available.

Recognising the Signs

Children may not always have the language or understanding to express their feelings, so mental health issues can manifest in a variety of ways. It’s important to understand that changes in behaviour, mood, or academic performance could be indicators of a broader issue.

Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. Persistent Sadness or Irritability: Children experiencing mental health issues may often seem unusually sad, withdrawn, or easily irritated.

  2. Changes in Academic Performance: A sudden decline in grades or lack of interest in schoolwork can be a signal.

  3. Changes in Sleep or Appetite: A significant increase or decrease in sleep or appetite may indicate stress or anxiety.

  4. Social Withdrawal: If a typically sociable child starts to isolate themselves, it might be a sign of a mental health issue.

  5. Physical Symptoms: Unexplained headaches, stomach aches, or other physical complaints can often be symptoms of emotional distress.

Seeking Support

Identifying potential mental health issues is the first step. The next is seeking the right support, and this is where resources like Jenny Ward Therapy come into play.

  1. Speak to the Child: Having an open and empathetic conversation can go a long way. Give them a safe space to express their feelings and assure them that it’s okay to ask for help.

  2. Contact a School Counsellor or Mental Health Professional: Schools often have trained counsellors who can help assess the situation and provide initial support.

  3. Consult Jenny Ward Therapy: Jenny Ward Therapy provides evidence-based therapy tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual child. Jenny delivers therapy remotely via secure video-conferencing, making her services accessible to those who may not be able to attend in-person appointments.

  4. Collaborative Approach: Jenny Ward also works with schools and academies across the UK, providing mental health support and training. She collaborates with school staff to promote positive mental health and wellbeing.

Mental health is as important as physical health, and acknowledging this is the first step towards change. Identifying mental health issues in school children is a collective responsibility. It’s essential that we create an environment where children feel comfortable seeking help. Remember, with the right support and intervention, children struggling with mental health issues can thrive both acadically and personally. Jenny Ward Therapy is here to help navigate this journey.