Being at home during online learning can be challenging for many. The students can’t socialise daily with their peers, they are sat in one position behind a desk staring at a screen the whole day, and they are often expected to perform just as well online as they do in school. Human beings did not evolve to be able to work in these conditions, let alone thrive. It comes as no surprise that the conversations around maintaining good mental health have started to pick up. Maintaining good mental health is a skill that needs to be developed and encouraged. Just like everyone deserves to be physically healthy, everyone deserves good mental health.
Throughout the month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month, the counsellors, the students, and the teachers have organised a range of activities related to mental health awareness for the students at DCB. The counsellors have taught Key Stage 3 Life Skill lessons where they could learn what it means to have good mental health, how to differentiate between everyday feelings and overwhelming feelings, and how to help themselves or others when needed. If you want to learn more about mental health or have a ‘starter pack’ of resources that can be used during online learning, click here.
The week of 10-16 May was also Mental Health Awareness Week. Every year there is a different theme that the week tries to bring awareness to. This year’s theme was Loneliness. With all students unable to come to school, it seemed a more pertinent theme than ever. To raise awareness for loneliness and to get students connecting again, a handful of Year 12s and Year 13s got together and created a BINGO activity that the Key Stage 3 students did online last week. Artwork credits go to Helena Z.
Additionally, our two Art Prefects, Kylee C and Emma Y, are hosting an online activity to bring more gratitude to students’ lives. Practising gratitude has been linked to improvements in people’s mental health. They have asked students to draw someone or something they are grateful for and to submit it to them. Together, they will then turn it into one big collaborative piece of art to represent what the Senior School students of DCB are grateful for.
Lastly, Universal Accessibility and the Wellbeing Prefects, Audrey W and Tracy L, will be hosting the Wellbeing hour next week with Year 9 and Year 10 and will be continuing the trend of raising awareness and reducing stigma.
But the conversation shouldn’t end there. Talking about our mental health, reaching out for support, and encouraging each other to adopt good mental health strategies should be an ongoing conversation and practice. Similarly, if you know anyone who may be struggling with their mental health, please do reach out for help and support.