We appreciate this is an uncertain time, especially for you, our Sixth Formers, who have had everything that you have worked towards dramatically altered in a blink of an eye. With this in mind I have put together a list of wellbeing resources that might be of use during the coming weeks. On top of this, you will be receiving weekly emails from Kaye, to see if there is anything that we can do to help and support you whether that be academically or personally. You all have put a significant amount of hard work into your studies and for year 13 especially, you may feel that there is a vacuum in your academic life that needs to be filled. In the coming days, I will be sending you additional guidance on this too. Also, please rest assured that we will be having a form of prom or celebration of your achievements, even if that is later on in the year (or even the following one!).
If you know of some students who are not receiving any messages from us or cannot access the school's email system, then please can you message Kaye or myself so that we can reset their passwords - it is important that you all check your messages as all school communication will come through this.
As mentioned earlier in this email, the prospect of not being able to leave your house much, if at all, may be upsetting, and can negatively impact your mental health. This is why it is important that you take proactive steps to give yourself a sense of normality, maintain a routine, and do things you enjoy. Some examples of things you can do include:
- Stay in touch - keep in contact with your family and friends, you can still connect from a distance - call your friend, have a video-call catch up with your family or check in with someone on social media.
- Continue the things you enjoy - try reading that book you’ve been meaning to start, watch that new series or try a new skill.
- Get into a daily routine - you might find it helpful to plan out your time in advance and know what you are doing each day, so you have something to look forward to.
- Look after your personal environment - create a space that you are able to enjoy and feel comfortable in.
- Take a break from social media if you need to - if the updates are getting too much it is okay to take a step back.
- Check in with your school and, for year 13, chosen university/chosen university's students’ union - this will help you to understand any changes to your course and assessments, where you can go for support and institution specific updates.
I would also recommend having a look at the resources and support provided by Camhs: https://www.camhs-resources.co.uk/
A number of other valuable resources are below. Please continue to stay safe.
Finally, when I chose to put up quite a few quotes based around Stoic philosophy, I never thought they would be as relevant as they are now. These are difficult times and if you are looking for something to help you navigate through them, then I would highly recommend Viktor Frankl's book "Man's Search for Meaning", which you can get as a kindle book or order online:
"The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way."
—Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and Holocaust survivor, author of Man’s Search for Meaning
Whatever is going on, we have the power to decide how we respond - in the midst of all this chaos, there is opportunity for you to grow.
Head of Sixth Form
Additional Wellbeing resources:
The Children’s Society: Self Isolating and Dealing with Conflict
Self-isolating may mean spending more time with family, carers or friends and this may create difficult situations, especially for those coping with pre-existing family problems. The Children’s Society asked one of their well-being practitioners to share her top tips for dealing with conflict at home.
Heads Together: Resources for Mental Health and Wellbeing
Heads Together have published a free toolkit with resources and tips to help address anxiety arising from these challenging times. The toolkit includes videos to provide practical guidance and tips to parents/carers about coronavirus and mental health, activities to ease anxiety that can be done at home and other helpful advice, helplines and resources for adults and children.
The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Podcast on Coronavirus and Child Mental Health
Dr. Jon Goldin is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who works at Great Ormond Street Hospital. In this podcast he discusses child mental health in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Young Minds: Helpline
If you are concerned about a young person's mental health during this difficult time, you can contact the Young Minds Helplines.
YoungMinds Crisis Messenger: If you are a young person experiencing a mental health crisis you can text YM to 85258 for free 24/7 support
The Young Minds website is: https://youngminds.org.uk/