Hi, my name’s Naomi Message and I’m the Pupil Wellbeing Lead at Morley Memorial. I’m here to offer pastoral support for you and your child. I hope you’ll find the information here helpful.
If you have any specific wellbeing questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me on NMessage@morley.cambs.sch.uk
Wellbeing during Coronavirus
The uncertain and changing situation we are experiencing at the moment can be very uncomfortable, and can raise some strong emotions, for us as well as for our children. It is important that we think about how we can look after our wellbeing at times like this. There is some good advice here about how to look after yourself mentally https://www.
The main things you can do to look after yourself and your family:
- Keep connected with people – even if you can’t meet face-to-face, take time to talk with friends and family online or by phone, particularly anyone vulnerable.
- Stay informed, using reputable sources of information such as the NHS or the government, but limit the amount of time you spend reading/watching the news if it causes you distress.
- Stay healthy physically, including keeping active, looking after your diet, drinking plenty of water, and doing relaxing activities to reduce your stress levels. (The NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/
oneyou/every-mind-matters/ has some good advice on workouts you can do at home, as well as other ways to look after your wellbeing)
- Try to keep your routine as “normal” as possible for your children. Think about ways to adapt your usual activities, if they are not possible at the moment, and think of new and fun things you can do together as a family.
At times like these, many things feel out of our control, and this can be a very uncomfortable feeling. If you and your children are finding things tough at the moment – you are not alone! As human beings, we naturally want certainty and security. Everybody’s situation is different and we know that some people are experiencing very difficult circumstances at the moment. There are some things we can do at times of uncertainty to support our, and our family’s, well-being. Here are some tips for if you are struggling at the moment with all the uncertainty we are experiencing:
- Acknowledge and focus on the things you can control. You can control what you do to look after yourself at the moment, how you respond and react to others, how you support your community, and how you deal with your emotions. Take time to look after yourself and your mental health.
- Name your feelings. Feelings are neither good or bad. They just are. Acknowledge your feelings without judgement, allow yourself to feel how you do, and then move on. It can help to share your feelings with someone else. It can also really help your children if you model to them how to express and manage your feelings healthily.
- Name your fears. Rather than worrying in silence, it can be helpful to name your fears, to yourself or to someone you trust. Talk through what’s worrying you, and what is the worst-case scenario. You are then in a position to do something about it – whether it’s realising that things aren’t as bad as you think, making plans for if something doesn’t work out, or reminding yourself that you have coped with difficult situations before and can do it again.
- Remind yourself that nothing lasts forever. Things may feel overwhelming now, but it won’t always be this way. Remember times you have coped with difficult or uncertain situations before, and remind yourself of what helped you to manage before.
- Focus on positive thoughts. It can be easy to focus your thoughts on problems, but this often leads to endless worry. Ask yourself, “are my thoughts helpful?” If they are productively helping you to plan or change things, great. If not, acknowledge your feelings, then distract your brain with more positive thoughts or enjoyable activities. Tell yourself, “I can handle it” – positive self-talk is surprisingly effective!
- Look after yourself. The basics of self-care – exercise, sleep, nutrition, stress-relieving activities – are vital! Not only do they help our natural capacity to cope, but they also give us control an element of control in our lives.
- Seek further help if necessary. If you have experienced bereavement or other life-changing circumstances, or need more information or support for any reason, there are a number of useful links below.
Sources of self-help, guidance and support for parents and children
I hope you find this list of websites and organisations helpful. There are many other sources of support out there – these are ones I have been recommended, or have found to be useful. If you know of any others, please let me know.
www.ahaparenting.com – Website, blog, book suggestions, online parenting course
Familylives.org.uk | 0808 800 2222 – Website for parents with information on topics such as bullying, transitions, discipline, step-families, relatives in prison. Confidential helpline, parenting advice videos, online forum, online parenting courses
Youngminds.org.uk | 0808 802 5544 – Website with information and advice for parents on a wide range of issues and topics. Confidential helpline for parents.
Gingerbread.org.uk | 0808 802 0925 – website for single parents, with financial and legal information, factsheets on a variety of topics, tips for single parents; freephone helpline; training courses; online forum; parenting support groups
Mindedforfamilies.org.uk – Website for adults offering training modules on a range of issues, including bereavement, bullying, family difficulties, substance abuse, school refusal, trauma, sexual orientation & gender, attachment, moving schools, eating disorders, risky behaviour, SEND
Growth mindset & resilience
Biglifejournal.com – Free resources/activities emailed every week to mailing list; blog; podcast for children; other resources available to purchase
www.mindsetworks.com – Information about growth mindset vs fixed mindset approaches
centre33.org.uk | 0333 4141809 – Local organisation. Free confidential services for young people aged 13-25 including counselling, advice and support
childline.org.uk | 0800 1111 – Free confidential service, online and by phone, for children (up to age 19)
Chums.uk.com – Local service for children with mild to moderate mental health difficulties. Website with information and advice for adults and children, including anxiety, bullying, diet & exercise, low mood & feeling sad, mindfulness, self-harm, sleep, tics & tourettes; parents can refer directly for group or 1:1 support for them and their children; also signposting and drop-in support
www.cogwheel.org.uk | 01223 464385 – Local organisation. Counselling for individual adults and children, and couples. Referrals can be made directly by phone
http://www.cpft.nhs.uk/services/pws/psychological-wellbeing-service.htm (CPFT Psychological Wellbeing Service) | 0300 300 0055 – Local NHS services for adults. Talking therapies for mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Adults can refer themselves online
Familylives.org.uk | 0808 800 2222 – Website for parents; confidential helpline; online forum
Keep-your-head.com/cyp – Website to support young people in Cambridgeshire. Information and advice for parents, children and young people on feeling good, staying healthy, taking time out, tips on being positive & happy, ideas around mindfulness, bullying
Kooth.com – Website for young people aged 11-19 in Cambridgeshire. Create a free account to access anonymous online counselling, information, online community, and a daily journal
Mindedforfamilies.org.uk – Website for adults offering training modules on a range of issues, including bereavement, child abuse & exploitation, bullying, family difficulties, substance abuse, school refusal, trauma, sexual orientation & gender, attachment, moving schools, eating disorders, risky behaviour, SEND
www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk – Website for all ages, with self-help guides on a number of issues, including mindfulness, exercise, diet, sleep, anger, obsessions & compulsions, anxiety, phobia, trauma, self-harm, bereavement
Moodscope.com – Interactive website for adults and children age 13+. Measure your mood daily, and share with a trusted friend, as a tool for its improvement
www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind/self-care/ – Website created by and for young people. Information on mental health support, including a self-care section with extensive list of methods to help young people
Youngminds.org.uk – Website with information and advice for parents and children, on issues such as anger, abuse, bullying, death, drug use, eating problems, school, online pressures, self-esteem, self-harm, sleep, suicidal feelings; and conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, mania, OCD, PTSD, psychosis.
childline.org.uk | 0800 1111 – Free confidential service, online and by phone, for children (up to age 19)
Familylives.org.uk | 0808 800 2222 – Website for parents with information on topics including bullying. Confidential helpline and online forum for parents
Keep-your-head.com/cyp – Website to support young people in Cambridgeshire. Information and advice for parents, children and young people on topics including bullying.
www.kidscape.org.uk | 020 7823 5430 – National website with support and advice for parents and children. Confidential phone line for parents; free workshops for children aged 9-16 who have experienced bullying, and their parents
Mindedforfamilies.org.uk – Website for adults offering training modules on a range of issues, including , bullying
www.cruse.org.uk/Cambridge |01223 633536 (local) | 0808 8081677 (national) – Local organisation. Free helpline; 1:1 support for children age 4+; drop-in centres; 1:1 and group support for adults; website with information and advice for adults and young people
www.hopeagain.org.uk – Website for children and young people, by Cruse [see above]
Talktostars.org.uk – Local organisation offering counselling for children and young people. Website with information and advice for parents and children
www.winstonswish.org | 08088 020 021 – Website with information for parents and older young people. Phone line and online chat; drop-in groups; 1:1 and group therapy for young people
help2makesense.org – Website for children and young people with information and advice, created by Winston’s Wish [see above]
centre33.org.uk/help/caring/ (Young Carers Project) – Local organisation. Group and 1:1 support for children aged 8+ who are young carers
Youngminds.org.uk – Website with information and advice for parents and children, including being a young carer
Mindedforfamilies.org.uk – Website for adults offering training modules on a range of issues, including SEND
www.autism.org.uk (National Autistic Society) | 0808 800 4104 – National website for adults with information including what is autism, diagnosis, benefits & care, behaviour, communication, strategies & approaches, health, family life, education, transition, adult life. Phone line; online community forums.
www.nascambridge.org.uk – Local branch of the National Autistic Society. Phone & email help; parent support groups.
Pinpoint-cambs.org.uk – Local organisation for parents of children with SEND in Cambridgeshire, including Social Emotional and Mental Health needs. With information and local support groups
romseymill.org/aspire/ | 01223 521270 – Local organisation offering weekly youth groups for young people aged 9-18 in mainstream education with a high-functioning ASD diagnosis
spectrum.org.uk – Parent-led local support for families supporting autism and SEND needs, learning difficulties and disabilities (including undiagnosed). Online community; family workers; and events, activities, days out and sessions for children and families focusing around social gains, sport, technology, the Arts, entertainment and interaction