From the 1-7 of February, people across the UK are recognising Children’s Mental Health Week, at a time that feels more important than ever.
Around three children in every primary school class has a mental health problem, and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement. With schools being closed due to lockdown, children are missing crucial socialisation and education, all while trying to process and understand the changes in society over the past year.
This year’s theme for #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek is expressing yourself. Place2Be, the charity who organises the awareness week, said, ‘being able to express yourself is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, and how that can help you to 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 (Place2Be, 2021).
If you would like to promote ways to improve children’s mental health within your own circle, Place 2 Be have a page of resources for adults. FHT members could also share research on other ways to improve mental health such as exercise, diet and sleep – we have listed a few resources below.
- Mary Atkinson, MFHT, shares a series of story massage videos for children.
- Dr Chatterjee discusses ways to support teenage mental health during the pandemic in his latest podcast with Rich Roll.
- In your latest issue of International Therapist we share research by Sheffield Hallam University which found that physically active children reported improvements in their schoolwork. In this research, 91% of students reported that physical activity can improve their mental and physical health.
- A government-led peer learning programme in 2019 shared a series of ways that adults can champion children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Search our reading room for our published research on the impact of nutrition, sleep and exercise on improved mental health.