SCHOOLCHILDREN are being encouraged to talk about their feelings.
Stratford mentoring charity Lifespace has been working with children at The Willows Primary School to ensure they feel happy at school.
Lifespace officer Mike Gibbs said: “Research and our own experience working with young people confirms that, for most of them, the first time that they didn’t feel great about themselves or their lives was at primary school.”
He added the charity had seen a huge difference in talking to children early on in their school life as they were more receptive to changing how they thought or behaved.
Headteacher Jo Howell added: “We are excited to work with Lifespace to give our students the confidence and emotional fluency to talk about their feelings and to ask for help if they need it. It is a great privilege to work with such an organisation.
“Seeing a child change how they behave in a situation, staying calm where previously they might have been sad or angry, inspires their classmates to react in a similar way, having conversations about how an action made them think or feel and what would have made it better so just one student being mentored has a positive impact on a whole class.
“It is no surprise that children who feel good about themselves achieve better in school.”
And the charity recently celebrated a £20,000 grant from Stratford Town Trust to extend its support to primary and secondary schools across the region.
The charity has also launched a new training project called Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) for schools and colleges, encouraging staff to take the same approach to mental health as they do to physical health. The training aims to ensure staff feel better equipped to assess the young people they work with and provide the help they need.
Visit www.lifespace.org.uk for more information.