The government is launching a host of new sessions to support children’s mental health and wellbeing in primary and secondary schools as part of one of the largest mental health trials in the world.
Under the scheme, 370 schools in the country will participate, teaching children mindfulness exercises, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help them control their emotions.
The initiative will run until 2021, with the resulting study hoping to provide evidence of what works best for students in terms of improving and maintaining their general mental health and wellbeing.
Education secretary Damian Hinds said that the government has launched the trial to help better understand the “special role” teachers can play in supporting young people’s mental health.
“These trials are key to improving our understanding of how practical, simple advice can help young people cope with the pressures they face,” he asserted.
In addition, Mr Hinds announced that the government is introducing compulsory health education, which includes talking about the issues surrounding mental health, wellbeing and happiness with children of primary age and older.
If you’re looking for au pair jobs in the UK, you may want to consider how you could introduce a mindfulness practice to the children you’re looking after.
Last month the South Wales Argus shared some simple mindfulness exercises you can try with kids.
One suggestion is a technique known as balloon breathing. In this example, you get your child to place their hands on their abdomen and imagine they have a small balloon in their stomach. Each time they breathe in, tell them to imagine it’s inflating, and as they exhale, to imagine that it’s deflating.
You don’t need to do this for long; 30 seconds to three minutes is the recommended duration.