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04 Feb 2019

Children's Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

Today marks the start of Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 with the aim of shining a light on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. 

Organised by Place2Be, this year’s theme is ‘Healthy: inside and out’ which sets out to encourage young people to look after their mental wellbeing. When we think of healthy living, the focus tends to be on looking after our bodies through being active and eating the right food. However, it’s important to remember that in order to be healthy overall, we need to look after our minds as well.  

The growing issue 

It’s no secret that the pressures of being a young person in today’s online world have been a major contributor to the recent rise in mental health issues. The reality is users are constantly connected to social media meaning there’s no hiding or escaping unwanted content. This can cause it to be a very overwhelming and pressuring place, and consequently have a significant impact on a person’s self-worth and self-esteem. New research released from Place2Be today emphasises the scale of the issue “at least three children in every class have a diagnosable mental health issue, and many more worry about everyday concerns from exams to family life”. So, what can be done to tackle this growing concern? 

Spotting the signs early

Emotional and physical changes amongst children can often be attributed to mental health and an indication that a child is struggling. Teachers and parents need to be switched on and aware of the key signs to look out for when identifying the early signs of mental health concerns. These include:   

  • Becoming irritated very quickly and a short attention span 
  • Lack of interest in activities that do not involve the internet 
  • Little or no interaction in the real-time world 
  • Loss of appetite and even weight loss 
  • Becoming anxious and sometimes aggressive when unable to use their desired device. 

Just as teachers should be given the right training to tackle mental health issues, the school should have appropriate filtering and smart monitoring solutions in place to identify problems as and when they happen. Teachers themselves don’t have the resources to do all the work, they need software in place to help detect any signs of online bullying, offensive language or inappropriate content being shared internally. All of which could ultimately influence a child’s mental wellbeing. 

Despite this, many schools are still unclear about how active monitoring solutions work and the role they play within a school’s safeguarding strategy. Smoothwall’s Online Safety Experts recognise these challenges and so have written a document to help. Entitled ‘A Complete Guide to Active Monitoring’ it addresses these factors, and helps you answer questions such as: 

  • What is monitoring and what does Ofsted require from you 
  • How to get compliant - easy reference checklist 
  • How to integrate monitoring into your safeguarding strategy 
  • 8 illustrative scenarios to help you get it right 
  • 10 most commonly asked questions 

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY  

If you have any questions or queries about Active Monitoring or your School’s safeguarding in general please contact our Online Safety Experts. We’d be delighted to help. Submit your enquiry here or call us on +44 (0)870 1999 500. 

Further Reading
Smoothwall to attend Practical Strategies for Safeguarding in Education Conference
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Smoothwall to attend Practical Strategies for Safeguarding in Education Conference

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Safer Internet Day 2019
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