Mental Health Awareness Week (15th-21st May 2023) is recognised every year to support and give advice to those who may be struggling with their mental health, and to raise awareness with others about ways that they can help. This blog explores how we ensure to prioritise the children, families and teams’ individual mental health.
Mental Health Awareness Week (15th-21st May 2023) is recognised every year to support and give advice to those who may be struggling with their mental health, and to raise awareness with others about ways that they can help. Created by the Mental Health Foundation, this year’s theme focuses on anxiety to increase people’s understanding of it and by providing information on the things that can help prevent or manage it.
Across The Old Station Nursery Group, we value how each child feels, responds, and develops in their environment.
How do our nurseries support Mental Health and Wellbeing for Our Children?
- Creating a safe and supportive environment: we make sure to create a warm, welcoming, and inclusive environment where children feel valued, respected, and heard.
- Encouraging self-expression: we provide opportunities for children to express themselves through art, music, movement, and play allowing them to process their emotions and experiences.
- Building positive relationships: we promote positive relationships between children and the team and encourage children to form supportive friendships with their peers.
- Encouraging physical activity: regular physical activity is shown to have a positive impact on mental health, so we encourage children to be active both indoors and outdoors.
- Providing a routine: having a routine can provide a sense of stability and security for children, so we maintain a consistent and familiar routine to support children know what to expect throughout the day at the nursery.
- Supporting families: we work closely with families to understand their needs and provide additional support when necessary.
As well as the wellbeing of the children in our care, it is also important to us as a nursery group to recognise and prioritise the mental health of all Our People. By fostering a supportive and nurturing atmosphere for our teams, we can ensure they are equipped to provide the best care for the children.
How do our nurseries support the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Our People?
- Promoting a positive work environment: we ensure we create a positive work culture that values and supports mental health, encouraging open communication, active listening, and regular check-ins to ensure that team members feel heard, valued, and supported. This helps to establish mutual respect and collaboration, promoting a healthy work environment.
- Recognising and addressing potential stress: working in a nursery can be both physically and emotionally demanding. It is vital to acknowledge the unique stressors faced by the nursery team and provide resources and support to manage them effectively. This may include one to one meetings with the nursery manager, access to professional services or advice, and helping to provide strategies for self-care. This can contribute to reducing stress levels and improving mental well-being.
- Training and professional development: investing in training and professional development opportunities for the nursery team benefits both their personal growth and the quality of care they provide. Offering training on topics such as mental health awareness, stress management techniques, and effective communication equips team members with valuable skills to support their own mental health and that of the children.
- Encouraging work-life balance: maintaining a healthy work-life balance is vital for the well-being of our nursery team members.
- Building a supportive network: we ensure to encourage teamwork and foster a supportive network among the nursery team, such as creating opportunities for team bonding, team-building activities, and regular team meetings. This can enhance cohesion and provide a platform for sharing experiences, challenges, and successes. Peer support can go a long way in maintaining positive mental health within the team.
Across all our nurseries, we make sure to prioritise all our children’s and all our teams’ individual mental health, so that we can help to build resilience, promote positive outcomes for our next generation, and #CreateBrighterFuturesTogether.
Blog checked by: Kat Learner (Training & Professional Development Manager)