Dear Parents and Carers

The outbreak of coronavirus disease has raised many difficulties for all of us. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions for adults and children alike. Pupils at SMCC benefit from structure, routine and consistency; factors which we believe not only support them in their learning but also in their mental wellbeing too.

These times of uncertainty are bound to unsettle our young people, as they adapt to the profound changes in their school and home life. We have prepared them by sharing our plans to deliver their lessons via Google Classroom, however it is understandable they many may feel worried and anxious about the times ahead.

Consequently, I wanted to share with you some strategies to support your child’s mental wellbeing while they are working from home, and direct you to some support services which are available if needed.

1.    Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. Remember to regularly assess your social media activity. Are there particular accounts or people that are increasing your worry or anxiety? Consider muting or unfollowing accounts or hashtags that cause you to feel anxious. Plan to have some ‘no screen’ time.

2.    Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.

3.    Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.

4.    Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Remember, being worried or anxious or sad at difficult times like this are a part of being human! These are very normal emotions. You are not alone! We will all get through this together by looking after ourselves and doing our best to take care of each other.

5.    Decide on a routine and try to keep to it. Get up at a certain time, get washed and dressed. Staying in your pyjamas all day may sound great at first, but eventually you’ll feel sluggish and unproductive.

6.    Be organised. Time management is a great way of increasing productivity and reducing pressure. By keeping organised, you will save time looking for things and will have more time to work on important tasks. Try to set up a ‘work station’ if you can.

7.    Write ‘Three Good Things’ that have happened during the day. It could be that you logged on to Google Classrooms for the first time, or you spoke to an elderly relative on the phone. Either record this in a journal or download the ‘Three Good Things’ App. This is a proven strategy to improving wellbeing and positivity.

8.    If you feel anxious, remember to show your breathing down. Try ‘bubble breathing’. https://youtu.be/9tOJZQhO_Uw

9.    Download one of the following recommended Apps. Some offer opportunities for mindfulness and other breathing techniques.

Please take the time to look through the resources on our SMCC Wellbeing site. You will find support and resources linked to Covid-19 but also in regards to mental health and wellbeing in general.

For more specialist advice if you are concerned about your child’s mental health:

CAMHS crisis line: 0300 303 3972

Or alternatively speak to your GP.

You can also email me via the school office (schooloffice@stmaryswallasey.com) and I will be more than happy to advise.

Yours sincerely

SENDCO