Tuesday 22 October 2019

Best Practices to Support Mental Health for Children and Youth…Play your way to Positive Mental Health

Part 2 of a 4 Part Series
(Part 1 of the Series can be found as an earlier post on the HPEC blog. Look back at February 14, 2019)
Submitted by: Stacey Hannay, HPEC Comprehensive School Health

Expanding the conversation with Priscilla Asamoah (MEd, RPC) from Alberta Health
Services in our discussion on “best practices” for teachers’. We opened up the first of
our series with Love, Empathy and Connections providing some simple quick tips to navigate resources and tools that would best serve teachers in their quests to promote safe and caring learning environments for students around mental health. Our second series shall take us into the realm of movement, making the meaningful connection between mind and body.

Being physically active is a key part of good health for all school- aged children. Physical activity is not only helpful for the body but also for the mind. Physical activity releases endorphins that often improve mood. Being active can help to reduce depression and anxiety symptoms. Being active can help one to, feel a sense of control, increase energy, increase self-confidence and self-esteem, improve concentration levels, improves sleep patterns and most of all play leads to fun.

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth outlines how
much children and youth need to sweat, step, sleep, and sit each day for optimal health. School-aged children should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. According to ParticipACTION, only nine per cent of children get enough heart-pumping physical activity. These guidelines are relevant to healthy children and youth (aged 5–17 years) irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity, or the socio-economic status of the family. Children and youth are encouraged to live an active lifestyle with a daily balance of sleep, sedentary behaviors, and physical activities that supports their healthy development.

A reminder that healthy habits start to develop early in life and through positive interactions and deliberate learning opportunities, school communities and families can help children and youth to establish routines that enable them to develop in
healthy ways.

The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth

ParticipACTION – Global Matrix 3.0 Canadian Kids need to be more active during the School Day

Mental Health Literacy Series: https://www.cyfcaregivereducation.ca/videos

Play your way to Positive Mental Health Caregiver Handout:

Play your way to Positive Mental Health Video: