6-12th February is Children’s Mental Health Week with this year’s theme being ‘Let’s Connect.’
Place2be say that ‘Let’s Connect is about making meaningful connections for all, during Children’s Mental Health Week and beyond. People thrive in communities, and this connection is vital for our wellbeing.
When we have healthy connections to our family, friends and others – this can support our mental health and our sense of wellbeing. When our need for social connection is not met, then we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely, which can affect our mental health.’
We are now almost three years on from the start of the pandemic, when we were told to stay home and stay safe, and the one thing that we craved so desperately at that time was connectivity with each other. We all felt the emotional pull to want to bring us back to the ground on a match day, and to enjoy the one thing that we all have in common and connect over – football.
1 in 6 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition and are no different to adults who crave that connectivity and interaction, either face-to face or digitally. In this video with Place2Be https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/schools/how-we-connect-in-conversation-with-josh-smith/how-we-connect-our-mental-health/ children talk about how important it is to them that they are listened to and heard, to be provided with a safe space, to not be written off as their problems being small in comparison to an adult, or having their problems being put down to their age.
For Children’s Mental Health Week, we are encouraging people to connect with others in healthy, rewarding and meaningful ways. Such as:
· Meeting with friends
· Online gaming with friends (please ensure that all safety measures are taken)
· Going to watch the football with friends
· Taking part in sport or activity
· Watching a film together
It is important that when you are feeling isolated, lonely or low, that you talk about how you are feeling to a trusted adult who can support you. This could be for example: a parent, family member, friend, neighbour, teacher, a member of staff in school, or sports coach to name a few. There are also a number of organisations that can help, and are specifically to support children and young people.
Tel: 0800 1111
For children up to the age of 19
The Mix https://www.themix.org.uk/
For young people aged 11-25
Tel: 0808 808 4994
Text the words: THE MIX to 85258
This is a free, safe and anonymous online wellbeing service for children and young people.
Young Minds https://www.youngminds.org.uk/
This is a suicide prevention charity for young people under 35
Hopeline UK tel: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07860 039967 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that your GP will also be able to help and support if you are struggling and can refer for counselling and support.
If a person is at risk of hurting themselves or others, then please call 999 or take them along to the nearest A&E for help and support.