Good mental health provides the foundation for children to achieve their aspirations and it is widely recognised that mental health is just as important as physical health.
We hope to use the money we raise from this project to introduce Mindfulness to the school and couple it with Forest School sessions. This is to provide children with new skills that will enable them to be more aware of their thoughts, feelings and emotions, helping them to develop strategies for managing their own mental health.
Mindfulness is known for allowing children (and adults) to step back from the busyness of continual activity and the relentless chatter of the mind. It offers greater space and clarity to allow you to make choices that better support wellbeing. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – it can improve mental wellbeing whatever the present-moment throws at you.
Last year the school piloted Forest School which helped develop the children’s self-confidence and self-esteem in a less pressured environment through experiences in an outdoor learning setting. Due to its success we would like to continue funding Forest School and at the same time expand the opportunity for the children to be mentally and emotionally healthy by introducing Mindfulness to further promote positive mental wellbeing in the school.
There is a broad spectrum of children attending our small, rural school that range in their mental health needs. Currently some limited support is available that is helping those children with longer term or higher levels of mental health needs. It is felt there is an opportunity to build upon existing approaches by looking at more holistic, preventative strategies such as Mindfulness in conjunction with Forest School that could have longer term benefits for mental wellbeing and resilience for the children in our primary school.
This project will allow us to expand the remit of Forest School to include a specific programme developing the pupils' understanding of, and ability to develop their own, mindfulness and strategies to overcome mental health challenges they may face now or later on in life.
According to recent reports it is estimated that 1 in 8 children aged 5 to 19 experienced a mental health disorder last year. This is a worrying trend that is currently worsening. By supporting our project you will help to make a positive difference in the mental wellbeing of the children in Lamberhurst St Mary's Primary School and help them develop strategies for managing their own mental health.