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Find Your Brave

What does bravery mean to you?

This week is Charity Place2Be’s Childrens’ Mental Health Week (Monday 3rd February – Sunday 9th February), and the theme for this year is ‘Find Your Brave’. It got us thinking in the office about what this means, and here are some of the responses people gave:

“Bravery is finding the mental strength to challenge difficulties”

“Doing what you know is right even if it scares you or is not popular. Fear isn’t a choice … courage is. As Nelson Mandela so famously said, “I learned that courage is not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave person is not who does not feel fear, but who conquers that fear.”

“Being brave to me means overcoming what might be your worst fears, and standing up for what you believe in”

“For me bravery is about mental and moral strength in the face of adversity.”

“Being brave is about facing life’s challenges and responsibilities head on.”

Bravery is a behaviour, and it comes from within. It could be the courage to stand up for something you believe in, or finding the resilience to overcome difficult situations. Being brave also challenges our emotional and physical response to a situation, helping us to learn, develop and adapt. Around 3 pupils in every primary class has a mental health problem. As educational professionals, we support those who need us. We’re on the front line, we see those who need help.

How can we support those who need us?

According to a recent survey of 653 primary and secondary schools, conducted by both NAHT and Place2Be, 79% have a whole school approach to positive mental health. Furthermore, 78% of schools have a designated staff member responsible for wellbeing and, 67% staff have undertaken mental health training. (taken from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/feb/03/english-schools-buying-in-mental-health-support-has-almost-doubled-in-three-years)

With a much greater emphasis on positive mental health, most schools and colleges have their own designated wellbeing leads. During day to day school life, we aim to regulate behaviour in our classrooms and school gates. When a crisis does occur, remind the individual that it’s ok to feel different emotions, and that everyone reacts differently. Be consistent in your follow up and sanctions (if needed) and model the behaviour you want to see. Consistency creates certainty, ultimately leading to trust. Be brave enough for pupils to share their issues with you- to build that trust, and make talking become a positive experience. Assist those who need support to help themselves.

Ask yourself, how do you find your brave? 

Recently we released a podcast with Dame Benita Refson from Charity Place2Be. Didn’t manage to listen to it? You can find it here: http://www.pivotalpodcast.com/why-we-should-get-our-heads-together-in-aplace2be-to-tackle-child-mental-health-issues-with-dame-benita-refson-dbe-pp248/

For resources and more information about the week, click here:

https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/about-the-week/

https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/schools-and-youth-groups/

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/feb/03/english-schools-buying-in-mental-health-support-has-almost-doubled-in-three-years

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