Share your Lights
Although mental health and emotional well being has always been a complex issue for children and young people, introducing Covid-19 into the mix has made understanding and supporting mental health even more critical.
Many of us will feel familiar with the stereotypical signs of poor mental health; being tearful, withdrawn and tired for example. Yet, mental health is rarely stereotypical and there will be much more subtle indicators of changes in our mental health that are likely to go unnoticed.
Although there is lots we could learn, when it comes to Mental Health, the most effective thing we can do it just ask. Take a piece of paper and create a red, amber and green section and then ask you children questions like, how will I now when you are feeling really happy? What might let me know when you are feeling worried? What type of things do you do when you are feeling angry? How will I know if you are being quiet because you are happy or quiet because you are sad? What type of food do you eat when you are feeling unhappy? What music might you listen to when you are feeling down and what do you listen to when you are happy?
Make notes in your traffic light sections and then stick it on the fridge, a noticeboard or somewhere else that you can easily refer to it and remind yourself of the mental health warning signs your children give you.
Your children might like you to do this with them to help them feel more familiar with your emotions and moods, too. If you are struggling for inspiration, you can download the Individed team's traffic lights here.