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Emotional Health and Wellbeing

This page focusses on emotional wellbeing and is provided in addition to our Safeguarding page. 

If you're worried about your own, or about someone else’s safety,

please contact the MASH Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub on 0345 155 1071 or email mashsecure@devon.gov.uk

If you feel there is an emergency, please call 999.

If you have concerns about your child's mental health, please talk to your child's teacher. 

We encourage you to watch the videos on this page to help you with understanding children's mental health needs. They offer lots of information and ideas on how you can help your child. Please try the suggested strategies.  

Please scroll down for a comprehensive list of local and national organisations who can offer different types of wellbeing support for your family.  

Remember to look out for our free Parent Support Groups which run in the spring and summer term.

If your child's teacher thinks further support may help, our specialist TA Mrs Louise Jones supports specific children whose mental wellbeing is affecting their school experience and learning.

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Click here for the Place2Be website with a range of resources to tie in with
Mental Health Week, 5-11th February 2024


We regularly revisit our Pick & Mix for Mental Health initiative

and we have some posters around the school as reminders.
If your family would like to create your own Pick & Mix puzzle pieces,
you can download the template here:

Many parents find the rush of the morning before school hectic and sometimes stressful. Our children may feel this stress too, particularly when having a busy morning routine again after a school break.

Some children may feel anxious about attending school

and not want to leave their parents/carers. 

For some children this is called separation anxiety.

So, how can we start the day in a calm way and reduce our child’s anxiety?

It starts with the night before! Review your child’s bedtime routine. Is it as calm as it could be?

Predictable activities help - tea, talking time, bath, story, bed.

Plan ahead. Prepare as much as possible the night before eg. get uniform ready, pack lunch done, breakfast laid out for the morning - anything to reduce the busyness of the morning.

Create a visual timetable or checklist. Children function best with a predictable routine. Create a checklist together with your child about what needs to happen next - get dressed, have breakfast, brush teeth, toilet, get bag ready, put shoes on, out the door. 

Using pictures can help young children. 

Reward reluctant or anxious children when they are fully ready to leave the house. Keep rewards simple, cheap and short – a 5-minute cartoon or read a short story to them. 

Be positive yourself. Talk about all the good things that your child enjoys at school, no matter how small. Keep conversation light, short and upbeat. If your child sees that you are ok with their anxiety, they may feel more confident. Look happy and smiley yourself!

Manage anxious talk. Children may want to talk about school worries in the morning, but doing this may only increase their anxiety. Encourage them to talk about their worries the day before. Create a Talking/Worry Time for your child each day after school. Choose a time when they are not hungry or tired, perhaps after tea. Keep the time short - 15 minutes at most. Use paper and pens if your child likes writing or drawing. Tell them this is a time to chat about anything but also to talk about any worries for the next day.

Distract, Distract, Distract! On your journey to school, help distract your child’s worry thoughts. Play I-spy, use songs or rhymes, use your senses (tell me 5 things you see, hear, smell, touch), use exercise if you walk (do 5 hops, 4 jumps, 3 skips etc). 

Use transition objects. Give something to your child to help them know you are thinking of them when they separate from you to go into school - something they can keep safely in their bag just to know it is there. A picture of you, a piece of soft material that you have both cuddled or a little note to say you love them. If your child has packed lunch you could put a different note in their box each day saying something lovely about them.

Create a quick and positive good-bye ritual together with your child. ‘One kiss, one hug, one fist bump’ do a ‘high-five’ etc. 

Remind your child that you will see them very soon and if you have something to look forward to after school, remind them of that. Prolonging the good-bye will only serve to increase anxiety. Keep it short and sweet. 

Stories can help – We recommend ‘The Invisible String’ by Patrice Karst. You can find this story read for free on YouTube. It looks at how a child is always connected with their parent/carer, even if they are not together.

Download the Family Lives 'How to build resilience and emotional health in children' PDF, as seen in the weekly newsletter, here.

To view in full screen, please click the '4 arrows' icon.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please view the PDF transcript of Anxiety Part 1 video/slide show.

 PDF transcript of Anxiety Part 2 video/slide show.

PDF transcript of Anxiety Part 3 video/slide show.

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Start the Day in a Calm Way
Watch our videos to learn more about anxiety and ways to manage it
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Here are some useful resources to support your family.

Please use the arrows to navigate the slides at your own speed.

Here are some resources that your family may find useful.

'You're never too young to talk about mental health' PDF leaflet download.

Some downloads/resources and links you might find helpful

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Are you in need of help and support?

If you are in any doubt where to turn, please speak with us so we can help you to find the right support for your issues.

Local Organisations:

Logo:
Organisation:
What do they offer:
Web link:
Tel No:
Citizens Advice East Devon
A charity, part of the national Citizens Advice network, providing free, confidential & impartial advice.
https://citizensadviceeastdevon.org
01395 265070
Exmouth Food Bank
To help individuals and families in crisis by providing free emergency food help.
https://exmouthfoodbank.org.uk
Pete's Dragons
Help people living through the suicide of a loved one. Headquarters in Exmouth.
https://www.petesdragons.org.uk
01395 277780
Balloons Charity
Supports bereaved children & young people (aged 5-25) when someone significant in their lives dies. Work alongside families in Devon.
https://www.balloonscharity.co.uk
01392 982570
Edp - Exeter Drug & Alcohol Services
Supports individuals in Devon with substance misuse, mental ill health, and other harmful, addictive and offending behaviours.
https://www.edp.org.uk
0800 233 5444
Heads Up
A free service that works with children & young people, to promote understanding & awareness around mental health.
https://headsupmha.com
Text ‘support’ to 07984 354049
Esteem Team
Supports children, young people and families with bespoke support packages to meet individual needs. Email:esteemteamcic@gmail.com
https://www.esteemteam.co.uk
Open Door
A Christian charity offering ‘Haven’ support groups for Children & Young People, and Parent support eg. on SEND, child behaviour, counselling, benefits. Church Street, Exmouth, EX8 1PE
https://www.opendoorexmouth.org.uk
01395 224218
Health Visitor & School Nursing
Deliver universal child & family health services, offer additional services for vulnerable children & families, & work to safeguard children. Email: easternphnhub@devon.gov.uk
https://www.devon.gov.uk/educationandfamilies/health/public-health-nursing
0333 234 1903
Action for Children
East Devon Children's Centre provides targeted Early Help services to families with children (8 years & under). Moorfield Road, Exmouth, EX8 3QW.
https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk
01395 226789
Talk Works
A free Devon NHS talking therapy service for adults. Can self-refer.
https://www.talkworks.dpt.nhs.uk
0300 555 3344
Young Devon
Offers support on wellbeing, skills, & accommodation needs Promotes the young person’s voice (ages 11-25).
https://www.youngdevon.org
08082 810155

National Organisations:

Logo:
Organisation:
What do they offer?
Web link:
Phone No:
Childline
To help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Free and confidential. Trained counsellors.
https://www.childline.org
0800 1111
Kooth
Offers free, online, anonymous, emotional & mental health support & advice for children & young people aged 11- 24.
https://www.kooth.com/
YoungMinds
YoungMinds are a mental health charity for children, young people (up to 25) and their parents.
https://www.youngminds.org.uk/
Text YM to 85258 for free, 24/7 support.
CAMHS (Child and adolescent mental health services)
Assessment & treatment of young people (up to 18) with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.
https://childrenandfamilyhealthdevon.nhs .uk/camhs/
0330 0245 321
NHS Every mind matters
Advice and tips on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing.
https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/
PAPYRUS
A UK charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide and the promotion of positive mental health & emotional wellbeing in young people. For under 35s. Email: pat@papyrus-uk.org
https://www.papyrus-uk.org/
0800 068 41 41 Text 07786 209697
Stem4
Supports positive mental health in teenagers. Mental health information, apps and education.
https://stem4.org.uk/
07857 388295
Shout
A free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis.
https://giveusashout.org/
Text 85258
Samaritans
Providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress or crisis. Email: jo@samaritans.org
https://www.samaritans.org/
Phone: 116 123
Saneline
A UK charity providing emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness. Age 16+
https://www.sane.org.uk
0300 304 7000
HappyMaps
Mental health resources for parents, carers, & young people.
https://www.happymaps.co.uk
Family Lives
Provides targeted early intervention and crisis support to families. Email: askus@familylives.org.uk
https://www.familylives.org.uk
0808 800 2222
Splitz
Support service, providing support to people who have experienced separation, divorce or domestic abuse. Email: admin.devon@splitz.org
https://www.splitz.org
Tel: 0345 155 1074 (landline call rate)
Refuge
Domestic abuse organisation
https://www.refuge.org.uk
0808 2000 247
Winstons Wish
Supports grieving children & young people after the death of someone important. Email: ask@winstonswish.org
https://www.winstonswish.org
08088 020 021
The Good Grief Trust
Run by bereaved people for bereaved people. Email: hello@thegoodgrieftrust.org
https://www.thegoodgrieftrust.org
Child Bereavement UK
Supports bereaved children & young people
https://www.childbereavementuk.org
0800 02 888 40
Cruse
Bereavement support.
https://www.cruse.org.uk
0808 808 1677
Frank
Confidential information for anyone concerned about their own or someone else's drug misuse.
https://www.talktofrank.com/
0300 123 6600 Text 82111
Al-anon
For anyone whose life is or has been affected by someone else's drinking.
https://www.al-anonuk.org.uk
Helpline 0800 0086 811
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