Mental resilience is a serious issue

Posted 16/11/2018

Mental illness is still not taken as seriously as it should be in Western society, despite many celebrities – and even royals – revealing their personal issues publically.

Children with mental health problems or emotional disorders are more likely to use drugs and alcohol and make poor lifestyle choices. They are more likely to fall behind at school and, ultimately, more likely to experience unemployment later in life. Mental health issues are life threatening and life limiting.

At Apricot one of our priorities is to help vulnerable students build mental resilience and construct a strong foundation for better learning. We do this by:

• Ensuring the student’s curriculum level is set according to his or her ability, not age. This way they won’t become discouraged if they can’t do the work.

• Setting appropriate goals. These must be realistic and represent success in their terms rather than by the outside world. We’re less concerned, in the first of it, about exam results than personal bests, efforts, and incremental improvements. Get those right and good results will come.

• Building trust through nurturing relationships so that when praise is given by our teachers, the student accepts and values it. Soon they begin to express their own pride in their abilities.

• Connecting with a student’s interests and using them in our lessons. For example, if a child is interested in football, we can use examples in scores, percentages, and championship points in Maths. If a child loves skiing or skateboarding, in Science we can relate states of rest and forces of propulsion to their runs.

• Not pushing too hard and being aware when energy levels are flagging. It’s useful to have a fun diversion to hand at these times!

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