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Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

2022-05-11T11:19:26+01:00

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Loneliness is something most of us feel at some point in our lives. According to the UK government, the older a person gets, the more likely they are to feel lonely ‘often or always – starting from childhood. This growing feeling of loneliness is something only added to by our increasingly digital world.  

Even after the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easier than ever for children and young people to feel disconnected and isolated from those around them. They might not want to talk about their friends much, or appear sad or quiet for no apparent reason. There may be a loss of appetite or focus. You may even notice increased engagement with social media platforms, without spending time with friends in their offline time.  

It can be difficult to know how to handle this complex subject. That is why this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is focusing on tackling the problem of loneliness “together”. To help you have the best #IveBeenThere conversations with the children and young people in your life, our online safety experts have selected some of our best digital resources for you to use.  

Acts of Kindness Resources

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What Are Your Words Worth

Sometimes, our words can make someone else (or even ourselves) feel lonelier. This activity pack will help prompt young people to think about the words they use online. It will allow them to reflect on comments they make on social media or gaming platforms and consider how their words may impact others. There is also a challenge to spread more #PositivePosts across the social channels they use. 

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Gratitude Journal

A great way to combat the insecurity that loneliness can often make young people feel is by taking stock of the things we are grateful for. This gratitude journal will encourage young people to do just that, helping them to develop a more positive mindset. 

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Emotions Journal

This journal has been designed to build the emotional intelligence and resilience of young people, offering them the opportunity to reflect and process their emotions. Keeping emotions to ourselves can be harmful, and the Emotions Journal provides a healthy way to express these feelings.   

Trusted Adult Resources

Who Are Your Trusted Adults?
Primary Edition

Who Are Your Trusted Adults?
Secondary Edition

Find out more about our Trusted Adult resources here including lesson plans, PowerPoints and more.

Bullying Resources

It is no surprise that a number of children’s offline lives are impacted heavily by their online interactions. In fact, a survey by Ditch the Label found that 27% of children experienced some form of cyberbullying. This can make children and young people feel lonelier than ever, especially if they are unable to escape the reach of bullies at any time. We want to make sure every child or young person feels seen, heard, and helped. Our resources below have been created to help shed light on the many faces of online bullying and include further support. 

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How to Deal with Cyberbullying

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What is Trolling

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When Your Child is the bully

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Bullying Beyond the Classroom

 

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The Online Bullying of Teachers and Professionals

 

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The Random Act of Kindness Shareable

By being kinder, we help push away the stretch of loneliness in the world around us. This shareable is especially designed to inspire young people to make acts of online kindness an everyday action. Feel free to share it with your friends, family, colleagues, and pupils. You can also share it on your social media! 

You can find the shareable text below for those who would prefer to view it in this format.

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The Online World is all about interaction. We game with friends. We watch streams and stories. We like, comment, and share posts from all different apps, platforms, and profiles. 

It’s exciting to share the things we do and the places we explore with close friends and family, as well as people from all over the world. We also spend hours looking at other people’s posts! With every heart, like, and streak, there may also be hurtful or inappropriate comments left. It’s easy to blame this on trolls and cyberbullies. But how often do we look at our own online behaviour? 

Think about it: have you ever posted or commented on something online that you wish you hadn’t? If you have, then you’re not alone.  

 Negative comments seem to be a normal part of our online lives. These are often made without considering how someone might feel. It can become a cycle of arguing, trolling, and cyberbullying.  

 Isn’t it time to stop the cycle and make our online world a kinder place to be? It starts with you!  

Tips for a Kinder Online World  

Stop and think before you post
It sounds simple, but this might be the most difficult step! Try going through this checklist before you post something:
– Is this helpful?
– Is this kind?
– Is there a better way to say this? 

If you can’t answer yes, then it is probably time to…  

Take 10
If you’re feeling angry or upset, put down whatever device you’re using and walk away. Take 10 minutes offline to give yourself a break. This will help give you some space and may stop you from doing something you would regret later. 

Encourage others
Set yourself some online encouragement challenges – how many kind comments can you give today? This could be fun emojis on a friend’s Instagram post, brightening someone’s day through a voice note, or reacting to a livestream 

Check your headspace
With the amount of time we spend online these days, you may find yourself a little less patient. Try talking to someone about how you’re feeling. This might be a friend, a family member, or a teacher. If you’d prefer to stay anonymous, you can speak to Childline by ringing 0800 111. or email.  

Be proactive
If you see something, do something. You might feel bad about reporting a hurtful post or harmful content but you’re actually being kind to yourself and others. There are also options for blocking, unfollowing, and muting other users whose online content is making you struggle. Make sure you familiarise yourself with these settings on all the platforms you use! 

Choose your platforms wisely
If your TikTok ‘For You Page’ shows you videos that target and make fun of others, it’s probably not going to be easy for you to make kinder choices. These posts can have a negative effect on your overall mood. Instead, try following pages and profiles that focus on your interests in a positive way. You’ll find helpful inspiration for your online (and offline) life! 

So, what will you be liking and sharing today? Let’s get #kindness trending! And remember –  in an digital world where you can be anything, choose to be kind. 

Further Support

It’s important to ensure those in your care feel empowered to take action when they need to most. Make sure to teach children and young people how to block and report users. You can find instructions on how to do this and also apply safety and privacy settings for all major social media platforms at Our Safety Centre.

GOV.UK – Making a complaint about bullying

NSPCC – Bullying and Cyberbullying

Internet Matters – Cyberbullying

Anti-Bullying Alliance – Advice for Parents

Bullying UK (Family Lives) – Advice for Parents

DFE – Advice for Parents and Carers on Cyberbullying

Kidscape – Advice for Parents and Carers

Parents/Carers and Safeguarding Professionals can use the NSPCCs child protection helpline for help, advice, and guidance. 

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Pause, Think and Plan

Guidance on how to talk to the children in your care about online risks.

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Visit the Home Learning Hub!

The Home Learning Hub is our free library of resources to support parents and carers who are taking the time to help their children be safer online.

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