From Place 2 Be:
From 1-7 February 2021 schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals across the UK will take part in Children’s Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is Express Yourself.
Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good.
It’s important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.
For Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 we will be encouraging children (and adults) to explore the different ways we can express ourselves, and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas.
Around three children in every primary school class has a mental health problem, and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement. Whether you’re someone who works with children, a parent or carer, passionate about spreading the word, or keen to raise vital funds for Place2Be, you can help us reach as many people as possible.
Watch the Duchess of Cambridge talk about Place 2 Be
The NSPCC also offers help for those children struggling at the moment:
This last year has been a tough one for children and young people. They have faced disruption to their school lives, the enormity of global events happening all around them, and the uncertainty of what the future will bring.
Mental health and emotional wellbeing has been the biggest concern raised by young people contacting Childline during the pandemic and we’ve delivered more than 50,000 counselling sessions to children since restrictions were first introduced last March.
Concerns and worry have included loneliness, apprehension about the future, anxiety, depression and a whole host of complex mental health conditions.
One young person told us: “It’s been a very hard year and I was wondering if it’s just me who has so many ups and downs. I can feel so happy, but then so sad again.
“This pandemic has taken so much from people and I’m really scared about leaving my house now. It’s so stressful. The fact that I’m not going to school now takes the normality of my life away and it’s frustrating and annoying.”
Our counsellors know there are many children feeling this way because we talk about it frequently with those who contact us. A lot of these children will feel like they’re alone in the worries and anxieties they have, or that they’re not doing as well as their friends.
This is why we should all use Children’s Mental Health Week as a way to prompt a discussion about how the children and young people in our lives are feeling – their worries, fears and concerns about what is happening now, and what the future holds.
If your child is struggling, make sure they know they can talk to you about their feelings and what makes them anxious about the future. Let them know they can trust you to listen, and give them a space to share their worries.
And of course, we’re still here for children, so they can also get in contact with our Childline counsellors, or connect with other young people on our message boards – on Children’s Mental Health Week and always.
Childline: 0800 11 11 or www.childline.org.uk