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Talking to children about mental health- advice please :)

(3 Posts)
Ilikeyoursleeves Mon 20-Oct-14 19:52:12

Hi I'm looking for some advice please. Posted this in a few pages since I'm not sure where to post! I'm a clinical psychologist and I've been asked by my daughters teacher to speak to the class for their 'people who help us' topic. I've to speak to a primary 1 class of 4 and 5 year olds about what a psychologist is / does for about twenty minutes! Not too sure what to talk about or how to pitch it so I would appreciate any suggestions. I am going to describe it as having a 'happy / healthy head' rather than 'mental health' as that may be easier to understand at their age plus reduce the stigma that is unfortunately often attached to mental health issues. I'm thinking about talking about basic emotions and what to do if you feel sad, worried etc. I want to keep it fairly light and interactive, just wondering if anyone has any thoughts about what would / wouldn't be helpful? Many thanks x

TheysayIamparanoid Mon 20-Oct-14 20:13:48

Hi, I worked as a TA in reception class for a few years and I found that using the 'emotions' faces easy for the children to understand.
So maybe use them with the class to help them understand some people are 'sad' too much and talking to someone can make them feel ok or happy?

I hope thats what you meant!

Brambleberrylove Mon 03-Nov-14 13:48:45

Hi, i would be temper to start with a very basic anatomy/physiology lesson about where the brain is and that it produces little cells called neurotransmitters and hormones which work to keep us feeling content and like we belong, and we're loved. It's normal to feel sad/angry/scared and nobody is happy all the time, but people who have healthy heads don't stay in these States for long and do lots of things that make them feel good with people who love them and that they love (hopefully! )

how about highlighting the difference between "I am angry/sad" and "I feel sad", that all emotions come and go like cars driving by your house. Explain that you help people who may be stuck with their emotions in a sad way, s sometimes when something bad has happened, or they have difficult experiences, or just big emotions or because the bits of the brain that make the neurotransmitters aren't working properly, just like when a broken leg doesn't work properly.

I dint think you should shy away from big words like neurotransmitters, just keep the explanation simple. I'm always surprised when my ds comes home with a complicated grammar rule that I've never heard of! Good luck, they'll love you!
Be interested to hear how it went.

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