By Simon Clarke | Posted: Sunday May 7, 2023
Around the world, May is identified as the month for raising awareness for mental health.
In New Zealand, it is identified as the week of 8-24 September, but whatever the official date is, being aware of one's own and your child's mental health is important every day.
Roddy Scoles, our Deputy Principal, leads the school in this area. Last week he was in Auckland visiting schools and meeting representatives from an organisation called the Resilience Project to see if it is right to roll out in our school next year. We are also pleased to announce in addition to the half-day of counseling the Board currently funds, we have been lucky enough to secure a further day of counseling from a second provider. "Be Heard" are a new provider in town, and we are very grateful for the support they will provide Tahuna Normal Intermediate School.
Should you feel that your child would benefit from counseling, please do not hesitate to reach out to Roddy at [email protected].
As parents, there are several things you can do to support your child's mental health:
Create a safe and supportive home environment: A stable and supportive home environment can have a positive impact on children's mental health. Parents can create a safe and supportive home environment by actively listening to their children, encouraging open communication, and providing emotional support.
Encourage healthy habits: Encouraging healthy habits such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can have a positive impact on children's mental health. Parents can also encourage their children to engage in activities that they enjoy and find fulfilling.
Model healthy coping strategies: Parents can model healthy coping strategies for their children by managing their stress in a healthy way. This can include practicing self-care, seeking support from friends and family, or seeking professional help when needed.
Be aware of warning signs: It's important for parents to be aware of warning signs that may indicate their child is struggling with their mental health. These signs can include changes in behavior, academic performance, or social interactions.
Seek professional help if necessary: If parents suspect their child is struggling with their mental health, it's important to seek professional help. This can include talking to their child's doctor, school counselor, or a mental health professional. Early intervention can make a big difference in a child's mental health outcomes.
Remember that every child is unique and may require different approaches to maintain good mental health. By creating a safe and supportive environment, encouraging healthy habits, modeling healthy coping strategies, being aware of warning signs, and seeking professional help when necessary, parents can help their children build resilience and thrive.
Ka mihi nui