The following NEPS Handout has been developed by educational psychologists and is based on current knowledge in this area. It is intended as a guide only. Not all the advice here may apply to any one student or situation. Teachers and parents may wish to identify the strategies that will work best for them.
Writing down their thoughts can be a starting point in identifying the negative thoughts. The next step is to challenge these negative thoughts by asking “Is this really true?” and the last step is to replace these negative thoughts with positive, more reassuring ones.
Examples of positive thoughts are:
- I am unique, I can be myself
- I can try harder instead of giving up
- I don’t have to be perfect. I can just try my best
- I have done this before, I know I can do it again
- I am not a fortune teller, I do not know what they are thinking
The NEPS 'Thoughts Log' Resource may prove useful for students in identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with more positive ones.
In November 2018 HSE launched a new mental health campaign specifically targeted at young people. The ‘Mind Monster’ campaign was developed to raise awareness among adolescents and young adults of ways to look after their mental health. Focussing on things that are known to cause stress and anxiety the campaign highlights the benefits that getting enough sleep, taking regular study breaks, spending less time on devices and sharing a problem with someone you trust can have on your mental health.
The HSE website YourMentalHealth.ie may be relevant to young people who access information online every day. They will be able to find personalised support options through a search tool that generates information on online resources, telephone and face-to-face services relevant to a wide range of mental health issues including depression, anxiety and stress.
Information on Anxiety and Stress for Teachers and Guidance Counsellors, for Parents and for Students can be accessed on the School Guidance Handbook HERE.