This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year the aim is to raise awareness of the impact that loneliness can have on our mental health and the practical steps we can take to address it.
The term ‘loneliness’ can provoke a variety of thoughts and emotions for people. The last couple of years have certainly demonstrated a form of loneliness - the absence of physical human connection. However loneliness can manifest itself in different ways. For example, we could feel alone in a classroom or the playground if we don’t feel accepted, included or valued within a group. Loneliness isn’t just the absence of social connections, but any aspect of our lives that can cause us to feel alone in some way; be it grief, shame, anxiety or low mood.
What is amazing about awareness weeks is the sharing of resources, signposting to support and hearing shared experiences. If you would like to gain some more information or if you have any concerns about your child, please do not hesitate to get in touch. email@example.com
If a friend says “I’m fine” they might not be. “Are you sure you’re ok?” can make a world of difference (Time to Change, 2022).
Below is a picture that was created by one of our students at TN which depicts loneliness.
At Terra Nova School we have a Pastoral Team who are dedicated to the mental wellbeing of our children. Pupils are able to find our School Counsellor Celina in the Pastoral Hub, a safe and welcoming space where they feel calm and able to chat freely. Posters are pinned all around the school highlighting members of our Pastoral Team and when and where is the best place to find them, so that pupils are aware there is always someone who they can talk to. Additionally we have our ‘Listening Tree’ that extends beyond the Pastoral Team and highlights to pupils the people in their lives who they could try talking to.
The Mental Health Foundation has created some brilliant resources on the website, sharing stories of loneliness and a multitude of ways to combat it.