Topic 4 Dealing with challenges during group discussions

After a traumatic situation or a disaster students may be struggling, ensure the below:

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Tips for talking to preschool children 0–5 years after a disaster or traumatic event

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Tips for talking to children and adolescents 6–19 years after a disaster or traumatic event

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Tips for starting a conversation about mental health with children 6-11 years old:

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    When protecting & supporting children, there are always limits to confidentiality. Make sure the child knows you may speak to parents or experts if needed.
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    Conversation starters: You don’t seem your usual self today. Would you like to talk about anything? You look sad/worried today. Do you want to have a chat about it/is there anything I can do to help?
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    If a child discloses in class, invite them to talk in a safer, more private setting
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    Drawing or playing with toys during discussion can be helpful.
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    Sit on a low chair if you can – so there is less height difference and you will be more approachable.
Be calm and acknowledge their feelings
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    Check if there are trusted adults (parents, the wider family, teachers) or friends they could talk to.
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    Listen carefully, be patient and friendly and give your full attention
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    Check your body language so that the child knows you are focusing on them.
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    Children with SEND (special educational needs & disability) may struggle to articulate feelings & thoughts & may need extra support.
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    Empathy & understanding rather than solutions. When a child receives empathy they begin to develop trust.

Tips for starting a conversation about mental health with school children 11-16 years old:

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    Secondary school students should initiate any conversation on their mental health. You can organise activities such as: worry boxes, ‘time to talk’ sessions, or information with sources of support in classrooms or hallways.
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    If a young person discloses in class, offer empathy, invite them to talk in a safer, more private setting
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    If you are asked ‘not to tell anyone’ you will need to make it clear that this won’t be possible, and that you will need to speak to their parents if needed
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    Check if there are other trusted adults or peers they could talk to
Be calm and acknowledge their feelings
  • Picture123
    Listen carefully, be patient and friendly and give your full attention.
  • Picture124
    Check your body language so that the young person knows you are focusing on them.
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    Children with SEND (special educational needs & disability) may struggle to articulate feelings & thoughts & may need extra support.
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    Refer to other sources of support e.g. counselling or helplines.