Schools urged to access free resource to talk to pupils about loneliness

The Mental Health Foundation is inviting UK schools to download a free resource pack for Mental Health Awareness Week to explore the topic ‘loneliness’.

The new pack for schools is full of ideas on how pupils, school staff, and parents and caregivers can discuss loneliness, the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May).

Created with pupils and staff from participating schools, ‘Loneliness: Finding our connections to feel less lonely’, explores what loneliness is, how it can affect our mental health, and the different ways we can connect with ourselves, others and the world around us to feel less lonely.

Loneliness can lead to poor mental health and is linked to depression, anxiety and stress, and was exacerbated by the pandemic. According to research carried out by the Foundation and Swansea University in 2021, two thirds (66%) of teenagers aged 13-19 said they felt alone “sometimes” or “often.” Meanwhile 64 percent said they “sometimes” or “often” had no-one to talk to.

The pack includes:

  • A lesson plan with PowerPoint slides and a script, as well as accompanying worksheets to encourage individual pupil engagement on the topic of loneliness.
  • An assembly plan with PowerPoint slides and script to support the development of a whole-school approach to loneliness and mental health.
  • Helpful guides for pupils, school staff, and parents or caregivers.
  • A dedicated staff resource, developed with Education Support, to support teachers and school staff with their own feelings of loneliness and mental health.

Last year’s dedicated schools’ resource for Mental Health Awareness Week was downloaded over 6,000 times. The pack helps schools, teachers, and parents and caregivers access tools to inspire activities and events with children and young people.

The pack is available to all schools, free of charge. Download it here.

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