Children's Mental Health Week 5-11 Feb 2024
This week is a national mental health awareness week with the theme of 'My Voice Matters'; empowering young people, giving them the tools to express themselves, and enable them to build their self-esteem and wellbeing.
Please visit Improving children’s and young people's mental health – Place2Be for lots of information and support.
10 Tips for Young People to look after your mental health:
1. Don’t keep it all to yourself and spend too much time in your own head. This can sometimes make it keep piling up, and make you feel worse.
2. Talk to someone you trust and feel comfortable with– a teacher, parent, sibling, cousin, friend... if you can’t think of anyone and need to talk, try talking to someone like Shout by texting SHOUT to 85258 for free.
3. Write your thoughts and feelings down.
4. Keep in contact with people, don’t isolate yourself.
5. Don’t dismiss your feelings because you think they aren’t valid. Everything you feel is valid and important to you.
6. Focus on the good parts of your life and doing what you love, rather than the negative.
7. If you feel like harming yourself then tell someone you trust and distract yourself in the meanwhile.
8. Do something you enjoy to help you relax and have a break – watch a film, play a game, watch your favourite YouTuber, listen to music.
9. Be your own best friend because at the end of the day, you’re stuck with you – so look after yourself!
10. Remember that you’re not alone, even if it sometimes feels like you are.
ASK FOR HELP Let your family, friends, and teachers know if you are struggling so that they can support you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need to talk:
• Text P2B to 85258 for free to speak to Shout
• Call 0800 1111 to speak to Childline, or visit childline.org.uk for their free online chat
• Visit place2be.org.uk/help for more advice CHILDRENSMENTALHEALTHWEEK.ORG.UK *With thanks to students at Steward
10 Tips for Families - talking to your child about mental health
1. We don’t need to have ‘one-off conversations about our mental health’ – sometimes a chat on a journey or at bedtime is enough.
2. I need to know it’s okay to talk to you about any and all of my feelings. Please hear what I have to say, without interrupting me.
3. Please listen to me carefully and acknowledge how I am feeling – it might seem silly to you but what I am going through is important to me.
4. Playing with pets can make me feel better. Same with playing football, basketball or whatever type of sport I am into.
5. Don’t compare my experiences to your own when you were a child.
6. Sometimes I just need you to listen and hear what I’m saying – I don’t always need answers (or lectures).
7. Please don’t worry about trying to fix things for me – I often just need to know you are there for me and understand what I am going through.
8. If you are open with me about your feelings, this can help me to be more open about mine.
9. Sometimes I don’t want to talk. Please trust that I will come to you (or another grown-up or someone my own age) when I’m ready. Sometimes it’s easier for me to talk to someone nearer my own age – my siblings, cousins, friends, younger teachers at school - because they ‘get it’.
10. Sometimes a hug is all it takes to make me feel supported.