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Mental Health for Pupils – are we teaching them to manage it for themselves ?

Before teaching well being, consider how you understand your own well being and mental health. Pupils learn easily from a calm space.

We are born with inner well being, it is always present. You see the simple fact lies in our design from birth. New - born babies aren't moody or sulky, depressed or sad. They don't have that kind of thinking! As we grow older and learn about judgement, we tune out of this naturally healthy place inside. We forget it is there and having tuned out of our true nature, we begin looking for external things to make us feel better, or even to blame.

We may imagine our well being comes from a sense of security, or from food, drink, friends, the latest footwear. They seemingly makes us feel better. And for a while they are distracting, though it doesn't usually last. You see the simple fact lies in our design.

Knowing just how we stay in that place of well being means having a simple understanding of who we are in the moment. AND, also understanding that this well being, fluctuates for every human on the planet.

Growing a Culture of 'REAL LIFE' Well Being

Well being will be different in every school, although there will be strong key similarities. Well being in the moment is really about your own clarity of mind, an understanding of what is happening when we are anxious or worried, stressed or feeling isolated, bullied, it is created through our insecure thinking initially.

Whole school approaches to well being are in the resources section of my website. There will also be a half termly well being forum for members of my site. There are many resources on this website for you to explore this further. www.hlsgroup.net

Teaching single classes or small groups might look like this sample below. Ideally it links with your ethos and your knowledge of the pupils, though the ideas point towards UNDERSTANDING our true nature.

Exploring our well- being over a half term or more, might begin like this:

  • Amazing me? My relationships with friends and family 3 fundamental principles to know mind state

  • The listening game How to really listen to each other and how this supports well being

  • Who is the judge today? When someone judges us, how that can create an unpleasant feeling Judgement thinking- why we react to. The confidence to be resilient no matter what.

  • Moods masks and madness Young children and teenagers and how to understand mood swings

  • The psychology of me! What have we learned so far? MY STATE OF MIND

  • Real life worries Fluctuating thinking

  • When my body feels blue Basement thinking where we can't see the full picture

  • Review the understanding of mind state There's ALWAYS hope, always.

Before you share or teach well- being, have you been learning about your own state of well- being?

This can be a sky/zoom training call with Anni to start you off, or watching this video and beginning to understand your own emotional landscape

Teaching and Sharing Well Being


You can begin by watching this short video and by beginning to understand your own emotional landscape.


ARC amazing resilient communities

Key teaching Ideas

When we are beginning to explore confidential topics together, it is easy if we establish simple rules for respecting each others privacy. It is also good to have a less formal teaching layout if possible.

Week One. Making a well being connection with friends and family.

Teach this first topic in small groups initially to explore different thoughts. We have 60 000 - 80 000 thoughts a day passing through our minds. When they flow, we naturally feel OK, this is our TRUE NATURE. If thoughts get stuck, we begin to feel uneasy, heavy, sad, anxious.

Use a scenario or photographs to explore the thought feeling connection for example :

Feeling supported and cared for

Feeling lonely or anxious

Here is a 3 minute video to help you begin to explore the nature of thought..

Pupil video:

Pupil Sheet

Week One Thought facts I already know

Whole class prompt questions …

Do we think the same as when we are babies?

Do we think the same as each other?

Of the 60-80 000 thoughts a day, which 2 do you remember most?

Thought- feeling Connection THOUGHT is made of energy (we can’t see it). How do we know it is there? Answer. WE FEEL IT!

SHARE 2-3 thoughts about yourself from your partner here.

DISCUSS Do hurtful thoughts grow too?

Describe a hurtful experience you had in the past and if you still have it, or has it gone? How did it FEEL?

Describe a good experience - how did that feel?

Thought is made up in the moment. Thought is only energy and it often feels SO REAL. This is the ILLUSION of thought!

Key learning

Connection to other people

We make friendships and connect to others through our feeling state.

When we feel ok (neutral) we accept life as it is. Our thoughts flow through, our feelings are also neutral. This is when friends and family seem ok.

However, often we think someone dislikes us – or may say something (judge us) we have SO MUCH more thinking that we build up worries and fears, we try to disconnect, walk away or push someone away with words.

WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT THOUGHTS we all see the world differently. Let's find out more!

Week 2 The listening game

How good are we at listening, not fixing the person speaking, not judging them, or wanting their agreement with ourselves. It is simply listening without anything on our minds.

Exploring Judgement (and some reasons we disconnect from friends and family)

Do babies judge? (No!)

Who is judging?

Explore photo of twins of any age (the idea of identical twins making judgements about their smile/hair/mom seems ludicrous.)

It emphasizes that idea that judgement is made up thought.

We do not have to accept another persons 'stinking' thinking or judgement. It is only the receiver of that made up thought - the judgement, who can give it POWER or not.

We do not have to believe it, we dont even need to give it anymore thought.

This emphasizes the carelessness of judgements. HOWEVER it also leads on from last weeks thought feeling connection


Exploring times when we do not feel heard compared with a deep listening together, without judgement.

Have one listener and one speaker telling something about their weekend or day so far, and then swap the roles over .

Each speaker talks for a minute.

Each listener does the same

  1. Not really listening. Listening in a distracted way

As the speaker tells their personal story, the listener looks up and down / writes something/ plays with their phone/ pretending to listen but looking anywhere but at the speaker.

After one minute change over, so that both of you experience someone not really listening to you. Share how it felt.

  1. Listening with eye contact

This time, telling an event or story, the listener makes eye contact and listens as deeply as possible, without speaking or nodding, without distraction or anything on their mind. You are listening for a feeling. A deep connection.

Usually there is a quietness and a slowing down in the room.

After one minute change over. Share how different it felt to be really listened to this time.

Introduction for teachers, parents and carers.

Lesson shares are designed to simply guide us, what really occurs is a space for becoming aware of our thinking in the moment.

This is designed to be delivered in groups of children and can be adapted to youth group situations. (There is an option to purchase mentoring and further training as an extra to this course).

Activities, games and video or power point additions are designed to support all active learning styles and to have great fun.

A R C Resiliency Coaching. A way of learning through the heart. OR SimplyBeing ME for whole school approaches.

What do we learn?

We begin to learn about our innate (inner) well – being

We begin to understand ourselves from the inside out. (This is key)

We learn how we show up in our classrooms and at home and out into the world.

We explore relationships through safe role play.

We UNDERSTAND our own psychology or mind state and this always brings hope.

Further topics in the ARC workbook are:

Moods, masks and madness

The psychology of me

Real life worries

When my body feels blue

Some further resources for you to browse: