Jess works in Lancashire Mind’s Community Development Team delivering school projects (Whole School Approach, Wellbeing Challenge and Happier Lancashire). Within this, she coordinates the delivery of our wellbeing projects in schools across Lancashire, and this includes interventions for school pupils, school staff members, and parents/carers.
'Through my work in this role, I have seen how educating young people and their surrounding school communities about positive mental health has motivated the entire school community to improve the culture of talking about their own mental health, and we have seen young people flourish through our resilience-based interventions.
Over the last few months, we have all seen how the pandemic has had a huge impact on the way in which we view our own mental health.
Whilst this is a positive step towards recognising that we all have mental health and the importance of looking after our own wellbeing, we have also seen how young people’s (and adult’s) mental health has been negatively affected during lockdown.
From working with schools on our projects, teachers have told us that they’re increasingly worried about pupil’s mental health deteriorating during this time away from the school environment, and almost every school we work with has asked us for more information and support on topics such as anxiety, stress and low mood.
Parents have told us that their children are struggling with home learning, and feel stressed about the news and uncertainty towards the future, as well as not being able to see their friends and family.
Although many families are looking forward to schools going back in September (and us too!), we know that these struggles won’t suddenly disappear.
That’s why we have been working hard during lockdown to create resources for supporting pupils, staff and parents in the present moment, which can all be found on the Coronavirus and Mental Health tab on our website.
School’s across Lancashire are also receiving our Weekly Wellbeing Newsletter, which includes support and information for both pupils, staff and parents on different topics to help look after individual wellbeing (if you would like your school be added to the mailing list for these newsletters, please email [email protected]).
We can’t wait to be able to return to schools and we are missing working with staff, students, parents and carers. It’s important for myself and the team to continue to look after each other in the present, and plan towards the future, when we can return to the ‘new normal’ we keep hearing about.
We should all remember that being kind to and patient with ourselves and others is critical during these strange times. As is focusing on taking one day at a time.
This has helped me to remain more positive during lockdown, but that doesn’t stop us itching to get back to doing what we love doing, getting out into communities and spreading the message of mental wellbeing for all.
The Community Development Team look forward to seeing you again soon!'
Want to see what Lancashire Mind do for children and young people? Check out our booklet here