This week in the academy we have been discussing mental health, loneliness, and the importance of connecting with others in meaningful ways as part of supporting Place2Be’s #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek.

Children’s mental health week was launched by Place2Be as a bid to ‘shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.’

On Tuesday we welcomed our regular guests, Holly and Lydia, from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s mental health support team (MHST) back into the academy for workshops on sleep, the sleep cycle and healthy sleep routines.

They spoke about what could be causing loss of sleep, as well as tactics to create a healthy sleep routine and ways to unwind in the evening and dispel anxiety around bedtime. One of their excellent strategies included creating a self-soothe box filled with scents and textures that our students find calming for them to explore using before bed.

At break times this week we hosted inter-house fooball competitions which linked to this year’s theme of ‘let’s connect’. Our students had a great time working together and competing to win the football competition for their house.

On Friday our regular ‘young minds matter’ group met in the LRC for their weekly group therapy session. The students talked about how their week had been, any anxieties they had been dealing with, and anything else they wanted to get off their minds.

Also on Friday a small group of our students enjoyed taking part in the NottAlone Live event at Nottingham Racecourse prior to half term. NottAlone Live was a free event as part of children’s mental health week where students took part in a wide range of wellbeing workshops throughout the day, visited a wellbeing art gallery, took time out in a wellbeing hub and enjoyed music performances in and around the venue.

Our students especially enjoyed collaborating on creating a bespoke mural expressing support for mental health and acts of self care.

We have found children’s mental health week to be a very insightful time in the academy and all of our students have enjoyed being involved in new activities.