Children's Mental Health Week
Monday 7th February marks the beginning of a week known as Children’s Mental Health Week. Launched in 2015 by Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity. Its aims are to raise awareness of and highlight the importance of the mental health of children and young people.
Research suggests 1 in 6 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health problem and many more struggle with issues arising from bullying and bereavement. Since the start of the pandemic there has been a startling 77% increase in the number of children requiring specialist treatment for severe mental health crisis, according to research conducted by the BBC.
Furthermore, a record 409,347 under-18s were referred to the NHS in England for specialist care for issues including suicidal thoughts and self harm in the 6 month period April to October 2021.
The theme for this year’s campaign is Growing Together. This is about growing emotionally and finding ways to help each other grow.
Some practical tips to help achieve this and enable children to manage their mental health and articulate their emotions are:
• Share your feelings to encourage self-awareness.
• Focus on articulating feelings “I am happy” “I am sad” “I am angry.
• Recognise toxic stress events.
• Set aside time for low stress or solo activities.
• Encourage journaling and diaries.
• Cultivate interests and hobbies.
• Focus on the moment.
• Find social groups that help your child feel a sense of belonging.
• Model and practice self care for yourself to set the standard for your child.
• Encourage a self care routine for your child.
If you believe your child is having mental health problems, please seek help and support.
• Ring 999 if someone’s life is in immediate danger.
• Your doctor.
• The Place2Be staff member at your child’s school OR a similar support service if the school doesn’t have Place2Be.
• The Young Minds Parents Helpline, which you can call for free on 0808 802 5544 (9.30am-4pm, Monday-Friday, UK.)
Finally to find out more about the campaign for Children’s Mental Health Week and Place2Be, there is a link to their website and other useful links.