School children create superpower cards to help mental well-being

Mental health awareness in schools

Our anti-stigma work took us into schools to encourage children to talk about mental health. Louisa Hernandez is pictured with Thomas A Becket pupils

Pupils create new superpowers game for better mental well-being

School children in Littlehampton and Worthing are developing a new superpowers game in a new mental health initiative led by West Sussex Mind.

The idea builds on the success of a previous well-being boxes campaign, ‘talking coins’ and well-being lunch clubs that West Sussex Mind, River Beach Primary School and Thomas A Becket Junior School developed.

The superpowers game will have a set of cards that children can use to kick-start a conversation about feelings and to get them talking about mental health.

West Sussex Mind’s anti-stigma manager Louisa Hernandez said: “A superpower is a skill such as talking, asking a friend how they are, or practical things children can do to help themselves and each other. The children have created superpowers for all types of situations, from loneliness to feelings of sadness and instances of unkindness or anxiousness.”

‘Blue Smoke Power’ is a card that reminds you what to do if someone is unkind, to help a child feel calmer. ‘Mindosaurs’ make sadness go away by blowing out the sadness into the air and ‘Confeedence’ helps to cheer someone on so that they can feel happy and excited because they did something new.

Thomas A Becket Junior’s Charlotte Jameson said: “The children have responded really well to the activities that got them talking freely and loved the talking coins. The success of that led us to try the more ambitious project of creating a game from scratch.

“The children have really engaged with the idea and immediately started talking about what kinds of powers they might create.”

Louisa Hernandez said: “The idea is that we have enough funds to create four professionally printed ‘hero’ superpowers that the children have designed. We will also be creating a short video and a book that shares all the contributions. We want the children to feel that what they have created is really special.”

River Beach Primary School’s Nancy Kirby added: “It’s sometimes hard for anyone to open up about big feelings they might have or to talk about what is going on for  them. We know that if children develop these skills early in their life, it has a very positive impact on their well-being and mental health. That’s why ideas like this are so important. In our school I’ve seen children that really struggle to talk about what’s going on for them get excited and engaged with the idea.”

She said the aim was for all children to understand they have mental health and that there were steps they could take to look after their well-being. The game was a fun way to promote that.

(Pupils at River Beach Primary School, pictured here)

Thomas A Becket pupil Nina said: “It’s awesome to be a part of a community that is helping people. It helps me and it helps others.”

The game is a timely resource as schools this year will include well-being in the curriculum for the first time.

This is a pilot with the two schools but West Sussex Mind is exploring how it could work with other schools in the future.

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Pupils at River Beach Primary School

Pupils at Thomas A Becket lower junior school

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