Mental Health and Wellbeing

Hello, I am Ms Tranmer and I am the school Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, also known as an ELSA. I’ve been interested in children’s mental health and wellbeing for several years and have previously completed training for the FRIENDS programme, Play Therapy and Mental Health First Aid. I started my ELSA training in September 2019 and hope to be accredited by September 2020.ELSAs are trained and supported by Educational Psychologists and we attend regular top-up sessions to ensure that we can do the very best for the children we work with.

ELSA work aims to support the emotional development of children within school. As you can probably imagine, this is a very broad spectrum! Within my ELSA work I cover friendship issues and social skills, self-esteem, belonging, communication, recognition of and managing feelings and emotions, support through family changes and breakup, and behaviour and behaviour strategies. Sometimes my ELSA role is just being a listening ear for a child, and I run a drop-in session once a week for children to come and chat. An ELSA is also able to support children through grief or loss and I am currently studying for a grief and bereavement counselling diploma in addition to my ELSA qualification.

During this time of school closure, you can email me on and I will try to provide you with some ideas and resources that you can use to help your child at home. If you feel that your child would benefit from attending ELSA sessions with me please complete this form and email it to me on [email protected] 

Resilient Rutland

Rake a look at the support and advice that are on offer from Resilient Rutland.

Mindfulness on Class Dojo

This set of activities was created in partnership with Yale University's Center for Emotional Intelligence and features a character we all know!

Wellbeing during the lockdown

29.1.21

Hello everyone,

I hope you’ve all had a good week. It’s been so cold but I had such a lot of fun in the snow!

We are nearly four weeks into lockdown now and a lot of people are starting to feel a bit down about it. I hope that you are not feeling too down about it. It’s really hard not seeing your friends, maybe if you are missing them, you could call them on the phone or write them a letter. Everyone loves to receive letters from friends and perhaps you could put a nice picture in that you have drawn. Every time your friend looks at it, they will think of you.

Have you been doing anything to help with your happiness and wellbeing this week? It’s so important to try and make a little bit of time just for something that makes you happy. I’ve been working on my allotment when I can because being outdoors makes me feel happy. What could you do to help you? I’m sure you can think of something nice, preferably away from a screen!

Here are some ideas:

  • Go for a walk, maybe you can make a list of things to look out for (a squirrel, a postbox, buds on the trees…so many things you could spot!)
  • Have a bath or shower with some bubble bath or soap that smells nice
  • Try a guided meditation (Cosmic Kids is my favourite one to listen to on YouTube)
  • Draw or paint a picture
  • Sing, REALLY LOUDLY, to your favourite song
  • Go outside and listen carefully for ten minutes. What nature sounds can you hear?
  • Plant some seeds. Keep checking back on them to see how they are growing (don’t disturb the soil though!)
  • You might have lots of different things that make you happy. Please try hard to spend a little bit of time doing them. It really will make a difference to you.

As always, you or your parents can contact me by email if you need to.

Stay Safe,

Ms Tranmer

 

18.1.21

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and have had a nice week. Maybe this week has been a bit more difficult than last week? I’ve found this week quite tough, but I have been trying really hard to do things that I know help my wellbeing, so I’ve been out running, I’ve been listening to music and I’ve made time to read. Everybody has days where they feel sad or angry and it’s understandable to feel like that sometimes, but it doesn’t feel very nice, which is why it’s really important to know what activities you can do to help your happiness.

Don’t forget, in school before lockdown we were looking at the five ways to wellbeing. Your grown-ups can find information about it here:

 

Summarised it is:

  • Connect (Ring, write or text somebody. They’d love to hear from you)
  • Move (Dance to your favourite song, go for a walk, have a go at PE with Joe)
  • Learn (You guys are great at this! I bet your grown-ups have learnt a lot helping you at home too!)
  • Give (Maybe you can help your grown up with a job in the house?)
  • Be present (Take time to notice what is around you. The rain can feel cold and refreshing. The birds sound happy.)

I found a really lovely guided meditation on YouTube this week. It is only eight minutes long and will help you to be present. You may even find that you actually feel happier afterwards (I did!)

The YouTube link is here: https://youtu.be/HtYIQiXyrsE

I hope you enjoy it. If you do try it, I’d love to know how you get on.

Lastly, I’d like to share with you a link to a song that I’ve listened to. This song reminds me of all of you. It’s called ‘Search for the hero’. You are all making sacrifices by staying home instead of coming to school. The grown-ups in school know it might be difficult for you and we know you might be missing your friends. You are all heroes right now and we are so proud of you.

The song, with lyrics, is here: https://youtu.be/pphYHt9gw4s 

I hope you all have a good week. If you need any help or support from me, you can ask your grown-up to email and I’ll be in touch.

Stay Safe,

Ms T 😊

 

 

11.01.2021

Hello everyone,

Happy new year! It feels strange to be saying that when so much has happened already this year. I hope you are all safe and well and that you and your grown-ups are ready for another week of home-learning.

I know that some of you will be very sad to be missing school. All the staff feel sad about it too. We miss you and can’t wait for you all to come back.

A positive way of thinking about it is that you are not stuck at home, you are safe at home.

I’ve found this really nice resource free to download on Twinkl.co.uk, which has been put together by the Mind charity. It is quite colourful, so you might not be able to print it out, but it has some great ideas in it to help with your wellbeing and happiness and you could write it down instead of printing it. I’m going to fill it in this week, and I’ll show you how I did next week.

This week, to help with my own wellbeing, I am planning todo some gardening. I have some leek and cauliflower seeds to plant. If any of you are growing anything or doing something you really enjoy to help you feel happy, I’d love to hear about it.

I hope it is a good week for everyone.

Stay safe,

Ms. T

😊

Wellbeing during the lockdown

Hi everyone,

As we head back into another lockdown, we know that this can impact upon children’s mental health and wellbeing. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s mood or happiness, I can try to help. I am contactable at: [email protected]

Below are some suggestions of apps and websites that you may like to look at for/with your child.

This list of activities from resilient Rutland has something for everyone: https://resilientrutland.co.uk/resources/activities/ 

This link to MindEd for families has a lot of information for parents and carers regarding children’s mental health and wellbeing and how to best support them. https://mindedforfamilies.org.uk/young-people/ 

‘Catch It’ is an app endorsed by the NHS that gives the child the chance to log their mood, understand why the feeling is there, and change it for a more positive mood. It is free to download.

Chill Panda is another free app that is good for children. It helps with relaxation and mindfulness.

Three Good Things is a daily gratitude journal. Focusing on positive experiences has been proven to improve mental health and may be beneficial to both parents and children.  It is also free to download.

I will still be running ELSA sessions on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and more information will follow regarding support for individual children whilst away from school.

Please also contact me if you come across other useful resources that can be shared with parents to help support our children’s well being and mental health during this challenging time.

Kind regards,

Alex Tranmer ELSA

 

How to help your child’s mental health at this time:

Covid 19:

Every child will know that they are not going to school and they will all probably know why. It is quite likely that your child is worried or scared by what they have heard or seen, either in the television or from listening to adult conversation in the home. It is important that if your child does feel this way, their fears and worries are acknowledged. As parents we often inadvertently tell children that their worries are trivial, by telling them there is nothing to worry about/not to be scared. If an adult can say “yes, I understand how that would be scary/worrying…” it validates the child’s feelings. The adult can then extend the conversation and providere assurance by listing the things that the family/household is doing to keep safe. A guide to coronavirus for children is here

https://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/publication/childrens-guide-to-coronavirus/ 

 

And a great book for helping a child to deal with worries is ‘The huge bag of worries’ by Victoria Ironside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDrnuPj7xfs 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Huge-Bag-Worries-Virginia-Ironside/dp/0340903171

 

Gratitude:

It may be helpful for your child (and you) to start a gratitude journal. Whether this is a physical thing, or even just a mental exercise, with practice it does become easier to see the positives in every day. I’d suggest starting off looking for three things, however small, just before bedtime.

 

Example:

1. I saw two birds sitting on the fence in my garden and it made me happy

2. I had my favourite sandwich for lunch, and it was delicious

3. My family are all safe at home with me today

Keeping a gratitude journal will also help your child with turning tricky ‘red’ thoughts into helpful ‘green’ thoughts.

 

Turning red thoughts into green thoughts:

All children within school will have accessed part of our route to resilience, whether they are aware of it or not, as it is part of our whole school approach. It’s probable that some children are struggling with missing their families, friends or activities they used to attend. A helpful way for them to deal with this is to turn their ‘red’ thoughts (self-limiting thoughts) into ‘green’ thoughts (self-help thoughts). It does take practice but gets easier the more you do it!

Examples:

-Red-I really miss Grandma. I can’t see her for ages.

 Green-But I can write her a letter and draw her a picture. Maybe I can phone or videochat with her. I can make a list of   all the fun things we can do together when we see each other again.

- Red-I can’t go to the park to play anymore.

 Green-But I can go for a walk/bike ride with my parent. I can look for rainbows in windows. I can create an obstacle course in my garden/house for my parent to do.

 

Some really helpful websites/pages I have found to help with child mental health and wellbeing are below:

Instagram:

  • helping_little_minds
  • elsa_support

If you have any worries about your child’s emotional wellbeing, please email me on [email protected] and I will do my best to help.

ELSA activity Week 6

Hello everyone 😊

I hope you are all well and have had a nice week. Some children will be coming back to school this week-HOORAY! I know your teachers are very excited to see you.

But some children will not be returning just yet. If you are not coming back to school yet, I hope it isn’t making you too sad. Before all of this started, I don’t think any of us expected it to go on this long. I remember talking to my friend about how the schools were going to be closed for three weeks, but we are at nearly twelve weeks now and some of you are still not back. Lockdown might have felt quite lonely for you because we haven’t been allowed out to see our friends. Hopefully, now that restrictions are easing, you will be able to meet up for a socially-distanced walk or chat. If you can’t do that, how about you write your friend a letter? I love getting letters from my friends.

This week I thought it would be nice for you to ‘count your blessings’ every day. Last thing at night, when you are tucked up in bed, try to think of three things that have been positive about your day. Sometimes it might feel that there haven’t been any positives, but there always are! If you have had a very difficult day, you might have to take a negative and turn it into a positive, like this:

The cat has been sick on the floor and I must clean it up-Yuck! >>> The cat has been sick on the floor and I must clean it up…BUT at least it was not on the rug, which is harder to clean!

I fell on the floor and hurt my knees >>> I fell on the floor and hurt my knees BUT my grown up gave me a lovely cuddle to make me feel better.

Give it a try, I’d love to know how you get on!

 

Another thing I’d like to share with you is that Resilient Rutland have made a nice calendar with an activity to do every day. They have some great ideas on their website that you might like to try. The link to the calendar is here:

https://resilientrutland.co.uk/june-rm-calendar-2020

My favourite activity from this calendar is to listen to relaxing music with my eyes closed. What is your favourite thing to do from here?

I hope you all have a nice week and have lots of positive things to think about 😊

Ms T

 

ELSA activity Week 5

Hello everyone

I hope you have had a nice half term. It has felt a bit strange for me because now we are not at school, every day feels like half term! I much prefer it when school is running normally and then I can look forward to the holidays again.

Some of you will be coming back into school on the 8th of June. I hope this is a positive thing for you. Maybe now might be the time to start thinking about changing your routine a little bit so you are not too tired when you come back to school. Perhaps, if you have been having a later bedtime, you could start to gradually move it back to your earlier bedtime instead. Or if you’ve not managed to do much reading, you could start reading a couple of pages to your grown up every day (tip: if your grown up is busy you could sit out of the way and read to them while they are making your dinner!)

This week I’ve been thinking about relaxation. It feels strange to talk about that currently, when most of us are at home and have more time than ever. But sometimes, even though you have the time there, it can actually take a bit of practise to properly relax yourself. I found these nice activities online at www.partnershipforchildren.org that you might want to try.

https://www.partnershipforchildren.org.uk/uploads/images/What%20we%20do/Relaxation%20Activities.pdf

I like doing the bubble breaths. It really helps me to clear my mind. There are lots of other great activities on this website you can look at too.

Something else I’ve decided to do this week is not take my phone (or any screen) into my bedroom anymore. It means I’m not up too late looking at websites or playing games and I have also found that I sleep much better too. Because I'm sleeping better, I feel a bit happier in the day, and because I’m feeling happier, I am more patient with and kinder to everyone in my house. It has made such a difference to me! If you do usually have screen time in your bedroom, maybe you could try not to do it for the last hour before you go to sleep this week and see if it makes a difference to you. I would love to know if it does 😊

 

ELSA activity Week 4

Hello everyone 😊

I hope you have all had a nice week. It’s been very sunny but so cold! Have you all managed to find things to be happy about this week? The potatoes I planted in my garden have started growing this week, and that made me really happy.

We were told by the government this week that some of you might be returning to school in a few weeks. You might be really excited about this and see it as a good thing, you might be a bit fed up about it because you like being at home (or perhaps you are not in one of the year groups who will be returning first, and you want to be!), or you might be a bit worried about it because of all the things that have been written in the news. However you feel, it’s OK to feel that way. Everyone will feel differently about it, and the way you feel might change all the time. All the grown-ups in school are working really hard to find ways to keep you every one of you safe and happy when you return.

Because the lockdown rules have been relaxed a little bit this week, I thought it might be nice for you to write down your favourite memories of having to stay at home. I’ve really enjoyed having lots of time to bake things with my children, I enjoyed doing some gardening too and I have also liked that I can stay in my pyjamas a bit longer in the morning! I've attached a memories page that you can print off and fill in if you want to, or you could make your own memory page.

I hope you have a good week and you find some time to do things that make you smile.

Stay safe,

Love Ms T 😊

ELSA activity Week 3

Hello everyone. I hope you’ve all had a nice week. It hasn’t been raining all week, but sometimes it has certainly felt that way! Did you manage to get out in the fresh air when it stopped raining?

I’d like to suggest two things for you this week. This first one is this calendar from actionforhappiness.org available to download for free here: https://www.actionforhappiness.org/calendars

I love the idea of this calendar, and I think it would make a lot of us feel happier doing some of the actions it suggests. I wonder how many days you manage to complete an activity…I’m going to try to do at least five this week.

The second thing I thought we could do is to try to think about looking after ourselves and what keeps us happy. I found this great resource on elsa-support.co.uk available to download for free here https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/mindfulmonday-week-12-self-care/

I know that although exercise is good for my body and keeps my heart healthy, it also makes me feel happy when I’ve done it. This activity asks you what you have done this week to keep your body healthy (did you go for a walk? Do PE with Joe? Run up and down the stairs 92 times?) and also what you have done to keep your mind healthy (did you have a nice relaxing bath? Read your favourite book? Listen to some lovely music?). I am going to try really hard to practice some of the ideas the activity suggests this week and next week I’ll let you all know how I got on!

I hope everyone has a nice week. Stay safe. 😊

Ms T

ELSA activity Week 2

Hello everyone. I hope you have all had a nice week and have been enjoying the sunshine. Lots of birds have been coming into my garden and that makes me feel happy. I hope that this week you have also found something that makes you feel happy.

The optional activity this week is to make one or two jars. You can do it with real jars or containers if you have them, or I have found a picture of a jar that you can print off and write inside. You could even draw your own jar if you like.

The first jar is a jar of good things. I’d like you to write down all the things you have now that make you feel happy and put them into your jar. Some of the things I’ve put in my jar of good things are:

• The family who I live with

• The weather is nice and sunny so I can sit in the garden

• The radio played my favourite song this morning

Are you able to fill your jar up? If you can, try to find at least two things every day to put into your jar.

The second jar is a jar of wishes. In this jar you can write all the things you are looking forward to doing that you are unable to do now. In my jar I have written:

• Visit family who I haven’t been able to see during lockdown

• Go for a picnic at Rutland Water

• Go to the park

You will then have some lovely ideas of things to do when we can all go outside again.

Have a lovely week and stay safe.

Ms T 😊

 

ELSA Activity Week 1

Hello everyone. I hope you are keeping safe and not finding it too boring having to stay indoors. It may not feel like it now, but although feels scary and you might be worried, we are actually living through a very interesting time-your generation are the first children to experience lockdown like this and not even your parents or teachers have done it before!

I thought that this week it would be nice for you to interview your grown-ups who you live with. You can keep their answers and will be able to look at it and remind yourself of this time in years to come. Maybe your grown-up can interview you too.

Sometimes it can be hard to find positives when everything seems quite difficult, but these interview questions focus on all the good things you are experiencing right now. Then, if you are feeling sad or worried, you can go and look at your answers to remind you about the enjoyable things too and that will help you to feel happier again.