Do you ever feel stuck in a toxic environment, trying to manage your colleagues or kids behaviour, while also navigating your own anxiety?!
While it can feel utterly overwhelming, you are not alone. And one woman is determined to remind people of this, reaching out to anyone struggling with practical advice.
Meet Lynn How, mental health extraordinaire who has launched Positive Young Minds, a site sprinkled with tips and tricks for educators, parents and children to boost wellbeing.
Lynn is a big believer in prevention over cure, hoping to nurture mental health from a young age instead of how society typically reacts often too late when someone is already in crisis.
Through her thought-provoking blogs and insightful infographics, Lynn shares ideas that will help you going in (and out) of the workplace sane.
We caught up with Lynn to hear a little more about Positive Young Minds, and why she decided to offer an olive branch to people who might be finding life a challenge right now.
Lynn said: “My background has a strong pull to SEMH [Social, Emotional, Mental Health]. Through roles of SENCO [Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator], Assistant Head, mentor, and teacher, I have always been an advocate for the mental health of staff and students.
“I had been considering starting a SEMH blog for a while due to the high need for resources in this area but had never had the time to plan it properly. It wasn’t until the pandemic started that my time could be used more flexibly, and I was able to focus on getting started.”
Having previously flirted with putting pen to paper (or rather, finger to keyboard) for leading education blog Teacher Toolkit, Lynn picked up snippets on how to edit and use WordPress.
It was this experience that gave her the confidence to launch a personal site, where Lynn now posts pieces such as, ‘Tackling Negativity’, ‘2021: The Year of You’, and her most popular blog to date, ‘10 De-Escalation Techniques with Social Distancing in Mind’.
While Lynn hopes to reach as many people as possible in far-flung corners of the world, she also says that if her blogs help just one person, then her work is done.
Lynn said: “When you are struggling, it can be very lonely, particularly if you don’t feel comfortable talking about any difficulties you are experiencing.
“I hope that through my blog, people can find their voice if they are struggling. I can also signpost readers to other helpful agencies that offer support.”
In particular, Lynn aims to support all adults and students in educational settings with their mental health and to provide practical, cost-effective solutions for SEMH related issues that are currently experienced in schools, such as preventing teacher burnout.
She also hopes to shine a light on early intervention, as well as change at government level to improve working conditions for staff and amendments to the curriculum to ensure SEMH is central so that the building blocks of learning can be built upon firm mental health foundations.
While those at No10 may be taking their time to implement change, there is a clear thirst for Lynn’s message as her blogs have gone global, with clicks from people in 117 different countries.
Speaking about her first year online, Lynn said she is only just scratching the surface.
She concluded: “I am starting to welcome guest bloggers, who bring a wealth of experience, and I also have plans for a book and further resources to support SEMH in the pipeline.
“My blog is one of the silver linings that the pandemic has provided. Out of the ashes of the pandemic your phoenix can rise. The world is full of new beginnings and you will be too.”
For mental health advice, click here: Positive Young Minds.