The Church of Scotland
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Children and Youth Ministry
October 2020
Mental and Emotional Health
This month's newsletter is focusing on mental and emotional health. All of us have been affected in some way by this pandemic and are facing increased restrictions and uncertainty. COVID-19 has had catastrophic consequences and created a massive impact on emotional and mental wellbeing for many people. Young people are facing ongoing isolation, loss of routine, anxiety about the future, a disruption to their education, and in some cases, difficult or traumatic experiences at home.

How can we, from our churches, understand and walk alongside children, young people and families who are struggling with emotional and mental wellbeing?

There may be opportunities to support young people directly or in groups, share information for families or for use in schools. We have heard of churches offering mentoring support, wellbeing bags for young people or families, individual support and messages on social media, prayer support and referral.

This month, we'll share some useful resources and information that may be helpful to you to support people in this area. Please get in touch if you want to discuss anything or need support.

Suzi and Isobel
Get in touch
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
Isaiah 43:2
Health and Wellbeing Resources
Scripture Union's Mental Health and Wellbeing Suite explores various aspects of emotional wellbeing. Animations, stories, session plans and discussions and videos, with a biblical perspective, help children or young people to work through with an adult, in a group or one-to-one. This is endorsed by the Mental Health Foundation.

Youthscape has a wide range of resources available for young people, leaders and parents on the area of mental and emotional health.

Young Minds has information and support for young people.

Fischy Music songs have a particular focus on emotional health.
Health Wellbeing Suite 
Emotional Health in Families 
"Jesus and Emotions" - This creative journal could help families and people of all ages explore what it means to be emotionally healthy, in the company of Jesus. It features stories, activities, prayer ideas and lots of space to draw, doodle and make your own.

Together at Home have Emotion Cards to help children unpack their emotions with God.

The Inside Out Disney film is a great tool to explore feelings and emotions.
For Young People
Headstrong is an online space aimed exclusively at young people to promote positive mental wellbeing. There is advice and insights from doctors and youth workers and space for young people to post vlogs and content. Lots of humour and fun, competitions and quizzes.

Shuffle:Mindset! is a card-based activity with a challenge and Bible verse to help reinforce mental health and increase wellbeing. Pick and ‘play' one card each day.
Read more
In Schools 
Thrive is a comprehensive ready-to-use programme designed for classroom work in lessons or tutor times to support young people's mental wellbeing through the coronavirus pandemic. The curriculum explores three themes to enable students to learn:
  • about stress as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • about different emotions experienced by many during the pandemic.
  • healthy ways to promote mental wellbeing in the coming year.
A number of churches and chaplains have trained to be able to offer Seasons for Growth training to strengthen the building of personal resilience, coping and social skills.

Talk to your schools about setting up a Prayer Space where young people can go to process feelings and emotions.
More on Thrive
Paid Workers Book Club
This month, our book club sees us delving into Dr Sarah Vohra's book 'Mental Health in Children and Young People'.

Please join us on Friday 30 October at 2pm.  
Request joining instructions
Paid Worker Conversations
This month, our series of conversations for paid children, youth and family workers aim to help us navigate the changes we are facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in relation to mental health.

Each online conversation begins at 2pm on a Friday and lasts between one hour and 90 minutes. Please join us whenever you are able.

We'll be talking about:
  • The CAMHS journey on Friday 9 October
  • Working with families and schools in supporting people with mental ill health on Friday 16 October
  • Opening up conversations in churches around mental health on Friday 23 October.
Request joining instructions
Join the Now You're Talking Facebook Group to be kept up to date with resources, ideas and other support.
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