Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

By Sidsel Loyche - 14 May, 2024
6 Minutes Read

Our mental health is such an important topic, no matter our age. It doesn’t always show on the outside, so we all need to practice how to talk about it, and how to be a good listener if someone else wants to share their feelings with us.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week has the topic ‘Movement: moving more for our mental health’.

And whilst we are sure that your classroom will be full of fun activities and lots of healthy movement this week, we wanted to also provide you with some talking points to help your students better understand mental health.

For the youngest, some of these suggestions might be hard to understand, so we have clarified within the text below what you as a teacher or parent can do to help even the younger children understand this important topic.

What does mental health mean?

It’s our feelings, thoughts, and our mood. If you slept badly one night, you might feel very tired and that can make you angry and you might feel as if the whole day is bad. If someone asks you why you are having a bad day, you can say ‘because I didn’t get much sleep’. But what if you wake up feeling angry or sad for no reason? We don’t always know why we feel the way we do, and that can be frustrating!

What do we do about our negative feelings?

Sometimes it helps to write them down. Sometimes it helps to play a game, take a nice bath, or go for a walk. If the feelings get big, and last for a long time, the best thing to do is to talk to someone else about them.

Lesson one – how to talk about feelings

Divide your class into pairs or small groups and let the students take turns in presenting a feeling. Help them get the conversation going by providing them with suggestions such as:

I’m worried that my homework is not correct.

I’m worried that my best friend doesn’t like me anymore.

I’m worried about social media.

Have the other students ask why and see if they can suggest a solution.

Then discuss with the whole class what makes a good listener.

Younger children can benefit from simply listing suggestions of things that can make them feel worried or sad, to better understand that friends and classmates might feel different.

Who makes a good listener?

Talking about big feelings can be scary. We might think that we are the only person in the whole world with our specific thoughts and emotions, so it can feel scary or embarrassing talking to someone else about it. But it shouldn’t be! You are never alone in your feelings, and even if the listener does not share your feelings, they should still listen and suggest an adult to speak to.

Have the class raise their hands and tell you who makes a good listener. Talk about why and help list more if needed:


Family members


Again, for the youngest, the why might be hard to grasp, but identifying that friends, family or a trusted adult makes a good listener is important.

How to be a good listener

When we talked about our feelings in lesson one, did you feel like your friends were listening? It’s important that we all practice how to listen, and how to ask people in our lives how they are.

Someone who is good at listening will focus on you when you are talking, and not be distracted by other people and noise. A good listener will also respect your emotions even if they don’t feel the same way and will show that respect by not interrupting. The person you are talking to might not know what to say to make you feel better, but together you can identify someone else to talk to who might be able to help.

Lesson two – And what if they don’t listen?

Sometimes people are busy with their own problems in life, and they fail to understand that you need to talk. It’s important not to ignore your own big feelings, and still ask for their time!

How can we ask for help when someone seems busy or distracted?

Do you have time to talk for a bit?

I don’t feel good today – Can I talk to you about it?

I’m feeling nervous right now – Can you help?

Ask if the class have more suggestions.

How can we practice being better at listening?

We can all try to observe our friends and family around us and ask them every day how they are doing. Some ways we can support others are by saying ‘How was your day?’, You seem a bit sad today; do you want to talk?’ or ‘I’m here if you want a chat.’

Ask the class for more suggestions on how to start a conversation about their big feelings.

For the youngest this can be tough, and we expect the adults in their lives to ask these important questions. Talking about it can still help, as it’s important to also understand what it looks like when someone is caring and trying to help.

In conclusion, our mental health is a vital aspect of our overall well-being, regardless of age.

While it may not always be evident from the outside, it is essential to cultivate a culture of open communication and active listening when it comes to discussing mental health.

Through structured lessons, we can empower students to articulate their feelings and seek support when needed. Understanding what mental health encompasses and normalising discussions around it are pivotal steps in fostering a supportive environment. Additionally, teaching the skills of active listening and empathetic response not only strengthens relationships but also encourages individuals to reach out for help when faced with challenges.

It’s essential to recognise that everyone, regardless of age, can play a role in supporting mental health. By promoting a culture of openness, empathy, and understanding, we can create communities where individuals feel safe and supported in addressing their mental well-being. Together, we can break down the stigma surrounding mental health and ensure that no one feels alone in their struggles.

Author: Sidsel Loyche

ISO-IEC 27001 certification
Cyber essentials
Microsoft partner

About us

New Era Technology's managed services, cloud, collaboration, data networking, security solutions help more than 20,000 worldwide customers adapt to a rapidly changing digital world, increase productivity and enhance learning experiences.


Stay in touch

Email us to get interesting news and updates delivered to your inbox.

© 2024 New Era Technology  |  Privacy Policy   |  Cookie Policy   |  Modern Slavery Statement