Westlake Wellness – Supporting adolescent wellbeing

By Elizabeth Beaumont
TIC Food Technology

Having good physical health is an essential contributor to adolescent mental health and wellbeing, with a number of contributing factors which can support this.

Eating healthily is essential as it provides nutrients for growth and development, the fuel for coping with the demands of the day and resources to do all the extras like sport, music, drama, dance and socialising. Evaluating where food is consumed, when and what types of nutrients are available from the food is a great start to assessing its impact on wellbeing. 

Adolescents need more sleep than adults (8-10 hours), mostly due to the huge growth and hormone changes that occur. Their sleep patterns are also altered and they may be awake later and sleep longer in the morning. Adjusting to allow for catch up sleep on the weekends is perfectly normal.

Being active either inside or outside strengthens bones and muscles, helps to maintain weight and improves brain health. Increase incidental exercise where possible such as walking an extra bus stop on the way home, taking the stairs, walking while meeting up with a friend to chat. Playing social or competitive sport at school is also a great way to build relationships, feel a sense of belonging and get regular exercise.

Having strong and caring relationships with family and friends develops a sense of security and belonging. It provides adolescents with the opportunity to talk, be themselves in a safe and loving environment without the fear of being judged. 

If you or anyone in your family have any concerns please feel free to get in touch with the school form teachers, Dean’s or guidance counsellors. You can find their details on our website