My support network

1 hour

Create a safe and positive learning environment by agreeing ground rules for the session.

Download the session My Support Network

In this session we will learn:

  • there are people who can help
  • who to talk to about different kinds of problems
  • no problem is too big or small to deal with
  • support networks change over time
  • support networks are different for different people

 

Resources

 

Digital resources

My story – Grace audio (Youtube, download mp4)

 

Activity

  1. As the students come in to class, ask them who they have talked to today.
  2. Hand out one role card to each student. Tell them that their character has a big problem with a really close friend.
  3. In pairs, think about who that person might talk to about this? Why would they choose this person? How likely are they to talk about their problems? Why? Write down the responses. Feed back for each role.
  4. Discuss as a class. Who is more likely to talk about their problem, and why? Should this be the case? We all need help to cope with things in our lives from time to time. Knowing who and where to go to for help, and how to ask for support, is really important. There is always someone you can talk to.
  5. Draw and write: what do we look for in someone to talk to? Ask students to work in small groups or pairs and draw a picture and label what this person is like. Feed back and share qualities. What else do we need to consider? The person’s time and availability, for example.
  6. Hand out the support network sheets and ask students to think of all the people they can talk to. Ask students to fill in who – and what – is there for them. Make sure all students have someone in school, out of school, in the local community and online. Use the support network slide as an example.
  7. Emphasise that there is always someone you can talk to about a worry, however big or small a problem is. It can help to have different people for different problems which is why we have networks of various friends and family. People change over time so it’s important to revisit this and consider who is available for us at different times, in different ways You can take responsibility for finding the support you need.

 

Extension activity

Ask students to research different support groups, helplines and support websites that are aimed at their age group. Consider what the pros and cons of each are and what they offer. Feed this back to the class and build a list of what’s available for the students to have.

 

Reflection

  • Would I use online support if I needed it?
  • Do I know how to access help in school if I needed it?

 

Links and Learning Journeys

This session links to: all other sessions

It is also part of 4 suggested learning journeys:

Learning journey: stress: What is emotional health | My support network | Let it out | Exam stress (short) | Talking helps: its hard to say (short) | Coping with changes

Learning journey: accessing support: Ups and downs of the day | My support network | Developing listening skills | Barriers to seeking help | Making assumptions (short) | Helping my friends

Learning journey: coping: Ups and downs of the day | My support network | Self-harm myths and facts | Supporting a friend | Open questions (short) | Coping with changes | Who are Samaritans?

Learning journey: coping with stress: Ups and downs of the day | My support network | Developing listening skills | Managing stress: making choices | Aggression | Let it out

Make sure young people know what support is available and how to access this support.