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Parent/Guardian Support Numbers
- Samaritans Call 116 123, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Women’s Aid 1800 341 900, womensaid.ie
- Aware https://www.aware.ie/support/, 1800 80 48 48, email@example.com
- Parentline 1890927277 or 01 8733500, parentline.ie
ADVICE FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
- Schools have not ‘shut down’ – Although most children will not be physically attending school you will still be able to communicate with senior leaders or, in some instances, teachers.
- Don’t try to replicate a full school timetable – It won’t be possible to replicate a full school timetable for a variety of reasons. Giving yourself and your children permission to accept this can be a big weight lifted.
- Expect stress – This is an uncertain and unpredictable situation, stress and anxiety are normal.
- Reassure children – Children can sometimes believe they are responsible for things that are clearly beyond their control. Reassure children that it is the adult’s job to make sure things are OK and to keep them safe.
- Help children stay connected to their friends – Friendships are a key resiliency factor for children and young people. Most children see their friends nearly every day of the week and so not being in contact with them for some time might be upsetting. Is it possible for children to talk to their friends on the phone? Perhaps establish a group Skype or WhatsApp call? Perhaps they could write letters to each other.
- Normalise the experience – Normalising the experience is likely to reduce anxiety for many children. Reassure children that lots of adults and other children are in the same situation.
- Have a routine and structure – Having a plan and a predictable routine for the day can be very reassuring. As adults we like to know what is going to happen, and children like this too. A consistent routine lets everyone be secure about the plans for the day. It is often useful to involve children in creating this routine, so that they feel part of the plan, rather than the plan being imposed on them. You could display the routine using a timeline, or maybe pictures and visuals. Encourage children to develop independence by referring to their own routine/plan themselves.
- Don’t worry if the routine isn’t perfect – Remember, this isn’t a normal situation. If you find that planning and sticking to the routine is causing more stress, friction or conflict, then it’s OK to be more ‘free-flow’. Perhaps be guided by the activities that children want to do.
- Avoid putting too much pressure on academic work – Most parents and carers aren’t teachers and so it’s OK not to be doing ‘school work’ for six hours a day. It might be more important to be spending time together, building relationships, enjoying shared activities and reassuring children, as opposed to replicating the school timetable.
- Try to keep work in one place – If children are doing school work or project work at home, try to keep it all in one place so that it doesn’t spread out over the house. This can help to maintain a work/home boundary. We know that people live in different circumstances that might mean this isn’t always possible, so perhaps there might be other ways to ‘signal’ the end of working e.g. putting away the work and then enjoying a favourite song or shared dance!
- Reduce access to rolling news – It is important to keep up to date with new developments and announcements, but it can be hard to switch off from the constant stream of news from media outlets and social media. Reduce the time spent hearing, reading or watching news – at the moment it might be overwhelming for adults and children. Try to protect children from distressing media coverage.
- Supervise children with screens – It is likely that children and young people will be using screens more often over the coming weeks e.g. phones, tablets, gaming consoles and the internet. If this is the case make sure they are supervised. Ensure appropriate content filters are active and try to ensure all children have a balanced range of activities each day. Involve children and young people in these discussions so that they feel part of the plan.
- Provide reassurance about exams being cancelled – Young people may now be concerned that the exams later this year may not be going ahead as planned. They may feel like all their hard work has been for nothing. Acknowledge that is a bit uncertain right now and reassure young people that the government and Department for Education are working on a plan.
- Play – Play is fundamental to children’s wellbeing and development – children of all ages! It’s also a great way to reduce stress in adults.
Adapted from document published by the Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP) British Psychological Society (BPS)
Student Support Numbers
- Childline Freephone 1800 66 66 66, Free Text 50101, Live Messaging Also Available at childline.ie
Jigsaw Online Group Chats – which are happening daily and are focused around issues related to mental health and the impact from Covid19. This is an anonymous form so young people can engage in a confidential way as facilitated by Jigsaw clinician. This link can be checked daily and you need to register three hours before the chat.
Ask Jigsaw – Ask here and have your queries answered by Jigsaw Clinicians. These are trained mental health professionals who have lots of experience supporting young people and their families with their mental health.
Jigsaw Instagram – Young people, parents and those that work/volunteer with young people should keep an eye on our Insta page where we are posting daily new videos/group chats/live mindfulness sessions/service updates to support young people at this challenging time.
- Pieta House 1800 247 247 Pieta provides free therapy to those engaging in self-harm, with suicidal ideation, or bereaved by suicide.
- ie (for students 16 and above) They provide information on a range of different topics broken down into sections; education, employment, health, life and opinion.
- National Centre for Guidance and Education
Anxiety – A Resource for Students https://www.ncge.ie/sites/default/files/20190704%20WSG-Anxiety-Stress-Student-Resource-Sheet-EN.pdf
Anxiety – A Resource for Parents https://www.ncge.ie/sites/default/files/20190704%20WSG-Anxiety-Stress-Parent-Resource-Sheet-EN.pdf
Further resources on anxiety and stress https://www.ncge.ie/wsg/anxiety-stress-further-resources
- Relaxation Techniques
5 Senses (when you are trying to quiet your mind) – Focus on 5 things you can see, 5 things you can hear and 5 things you can touch.
The 6th year students, accompanied by our guidance department teachers, took the opportunity to explore the many options for further education when they attended the Higher Options conference in the RDS on September 12th.
The students’ feedback on the day was hugely positive, particularly as they approach decision time with their CAO choices over the coming months.
We thank Ms Brooks, Ms O’Gara and Ms McManus for organising this informative day for our 6th year students.
Our Mental Health Week is taking place from Monday 8th – Fri 12th Feb. The main objective of the week is to get every student to reflect on how they manage their emotional wellbeing and to provide students with information on supports available. We are very excited this year to have four transition year students who have completed peer education training with Jigsaw Clondalkin. They have been visiting 2nd and 3rd year classes delivering a presentation to students about Mental Health. Other activities and competitions have been taking place for other year groups throughout the week. Student feedback has been very positive. The main message of the week is that we all need to look after our Mental Health and it is very helpful to keep in mind the 5 things we should all do every day to mind our Mental Health.
2. Be Active
3. Take Notice
4. Keep Learning
Thanks to our guidance team for organising this week.
To find out more about positive mental health click here.
Supporting Positive Mental Health in Teens
A talk for parents given by Jigsaw
7.30-9pm on Monday 23rd March
For Parents/Guardians of Lucan Community College
Organised by Guidance Department
in partnership with parent volunteers
as part of Mental Health Week
in Lucan CC Dining Hall