John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, shares his thoughts for Children’s Mental Health Week.
Children’s Mental Health Week is an important opportunity to shine a spotlight on children’s mental wellbeing, and it’s never been more important than in these challenging times. This year, the theme of the week is Express Yourself - the initiative is organised by mental health charity, Place2Be. and I’d encourage everyone to get involved with the positive activities and events that are taking place during the week.
The COVID pandemic has placed considerable pressures on our education workforces, which is why it is important we work together to help us get through this difficult time. I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who is supporting the mental health and wellbeing of school communities across Scotland.
In September, 2020, I announced a £1.5 million Scottish Government-funded package of support for school staff as part of the Government’s wider Covid-19 education recovery response. It is being delivered by Education Scotland, GTCS, Place2Be, Barnardo’s Scotland and Columba 1400.
This funding is enabling vital support to reach school leaders, teachers and school staff across Scotland. Supporting the emotional wellbeing of teachers and other education staff is of paramount importance, both for their own personal mental health, but also for supporting the mental health of children and young people.
Through this Scottish Government funded partnership, Place2Be is delivering a range of support that is enabling us to create the foundations for mentally-healthy school communities that are needed now more than ever.
Place2Think – consists of online support sessions facilitated by Place2Be clinicians experienced in school settings. The sessions provide a supportive forum for education professionals to reflect on the mental health challenges of their school community. School staff can sign up to the programme here.
Webinars – Place2Be is delivering a series of mental health webinars and upcoming themes include sessions on anxiety and uncertainty, and bereavement and loss. I strongly encourage school staff to sign up.