Head of Senior School
Five evidence-based ways to develop and maintain mental wellbeing
Developing and maintaining a strong sense of wellbeing is an important part of being healthy and finding contentment in our lives. It helps us to function well in the day-to-day as well as to flourish and utilise the gifts God has given us. Our teenagers manage many challenges as they grow into adults, so developing and maintaining a strong sense of wellbeing is a protective factor against mental illness.
There are five evidence-based ways to develop and maintain mental wellbeing according to the New Economic Foundation (UK). These are simple actions that you, your child and the whole family can do that will have a positive effect on your collective wellbeing. These include:
Connection helps to develop a sense of belonging. We encourage our students to have meaningful connections in our College, the local community and within the family. Also making time for the important people in our lives and having positive relationships with friends, family and peers helps adolescents feel valued and important.
The benefits of exercise for good health are widely known. However, many people don’t realise that regular physical activities also lower rates of depression and anxiety. It is particularly important for teenagers to make time for exercise to relieve stress.
Being aware and taking notice of the little things helps us to be aware of our thoughts and feelings. This is known as mindfulness. A popular way of practising mindfulness is by being grateful. When practised consciously, this has been found to enhance mental wellbeing.
During the teenage years so much learning occurs. Young people are involved in social and emotional learning as much as cognitive learning. Encouraging our children to learn new skills, will enhance their self-esteem, encourage social interaction and help them live a more active and fulfilling life.
At the College we often talk about service to others. Whilst the intention is to help someone else, the act of doing so it is very rewarding too. It can give us a sense of meaning and purpose as well as developing understanding of empathy.