The importance of mental health was central to a special awareness day for children at Upton Junior School in Broadstairs.
Each year girls and boys dress in bright yellow for the Hello Yellow Day run nationally by charity Young Minds to highlight mental health in young people and to generate funds as part of the organisation’s annual profiling event.
Upton’s Personal Development Lead Izzy Reed led a whole-school assembly that focussed on strategies children could use to help them with their emotions, as well as discussing ways in which they can share how they are feeling with trusted adults.
These strategies included face-to-face discussions or making feelings known through other means such as a drawing, a letter, or an email message.
Miss Reed explained: “Hello Yellow Day is a fantastic opportunity for pupils and staff to reflect on the importance of our mental health and wellbeing, and re-establish the things we can do if we are not feeling 100%.
“This focus day also links to our PSHE topic - Health and Wellbeing - which is our overarching theme within the curriculum from September to December."
Head of School Darci Arthur says Upton has a strong and structured support network enabling pupils to openly discuss their feelings and anxieties.
She said: “We help enable strategies to overcome feelings of anxieties and stress, such as speaking to a trusted adult, taking deep and calming breaths, and communicating effectively. They know that help and understanding is available whenever they need it in school.
“The Hello Yellow Day is important as it focusses attention on the benefits of strong and balanced mental health. This is also a part of our ongoing Wellbeing strategy that covers a range of initiatives such as showing kindness and respect to others or enjoying the benefits of exercise like yoga to encourage a positive and well-balanced overall outlook.”
The school raised £400 which will contribute to providing support for young people suffering with mental health issues.
The Young Minds charity say: “More young people than ever before need support for their mental health - accessing that support quickly can make a critical difference to those young people. Yet, most of the time those young people need to wait. And wait. And wait.
“When it feels like nothing is there for you when you need it most, you feel alone. For far too many young people, this is their reality. When they need help and can’t get it, it feels like they’re being told they don’t matter.
“We have called our strategy ‘You Matter’ because, ultimately, that is what this is all about. We need young people to know that whatever they are going through, they matter and they deserve help. And each and every one of us needs to acknowledge that, to those young people, we matter and the role we can play is vital.
For more information about Young Minds go online to www.youngminds.org.uk
Upton Junior School is part of the Viking Academy Trust with Chilton Primary School and Ramsgate Arts Primary School.
*For more information contact Head of School Darci Arthur on 01843 861393.