Recent data shows an alarming increase in the number of children in England needing treatment for serious mental health problems. This is a cause for concern for all of us who work with young people, especially teachers. The rise in mental health issues among children is being fuelled by a variety of factors such as the pandemic, social inequality, austerity, and online harm.
As educators, we are in a unique position to help our students who are struggling with their mental health. One way to do this is by promoting physical activity and regular exercise in our classrooms and schools.
Physical activity has been proven to be an effective way to improve mental health and mood. Regular exercise can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve overall well-being. In addition, physical activity can also serve as a positive distraction and an outlet for negative emotions.
One way we can promote physical activity in our classrooms is by incorporating movement breaks throughout the day. These short sessions of physical activity can be as simple as stretching, yoga, or dancing to music. We can also encourage our students to engage in extracurricular activities such as sports teams, or recommend physical activities that they can do at home.
Another important way is to make sure that children have access to safe and comfortable places to play and exercise. We can advocate to our schools or local community to make sure there are opportunities for children to get outside and play.
In conclusion, as educators, we have the power to make a positive impact on the mental health of our students. By promoting physical activity and regular exercise, we can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve overall well-being. We can ensure children have the healthy habits that can help them in the long run