Children's Mental Health and Wellbeing
Ruma, one of our key workers in Jeffers Room offers her thoughts on children's mental health and offers some ideas on what we can do to help support our children and young people.
Children’s mental health week was the 3-9th February 2020; schools, youth clubs, organisations, groups or individuals were focusing on mental health week to raise awareness to everyone in the community.
There are many different kinds of mental health problems and as such there are also a variety of ways to make sure we can also tackle this. Place2Be have announced children’s mental health week and the theme of this year’s mental health awareness is called “Find the Brave”. “Find the Brave” is be aiming for children to be the best they can be and also be very brave, to identify their strengths and what makes them brave.
The general idea is to build enough confidence in children that could help encourage them with learning and getting them to feel happy within themselves. Many times when it comes to mental health a lot of children are never aware of how to be encouraged or what is making them feel sad or even angry. They can be misunderstood and troubled, which could cause a negative impact on their work, school and home lives. Our job is to make sure they get all the help they can and get the support they need emotionally and physically in order to maintain their happiness.
Anxiety within children is one type of mental health issue which needs to be tackled. When children are anxious it could be due to bullying, stress over the expectations of school and home life or even bereavement. There are a lot of factors that can cause mental health and when a child doesn’t have the support network to speak out about their problems, this could cause them to be worried and is silently affecting them.
Mental health is so vast now and it’s affecting so many children. This is why it’s good to start intervention for the emotional wellbeing of the children so children can start to see the signs themselves and have some strategies in order to help deal with and alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
One way we can help keep young people and children mentally well, is by making sure their physical health is in good shape. This is by making sure they are eating well in school and at home, they are being fed regularly and they have a balanced diet. We need to make sure that children also have time to be free, freedom to play inside and outside of school or home and by getting fresh air; these are good ways to release any tension or stress they have accumulated.
Another way to help children or young people would be to make sure the family unit is all connected with each other; that they are talking and engaging well and are supporting the children in and out of school.
Having an open and honest relationship with your child’s school is another way we can all look out for children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Our roles are huge, whether we are a teacher, nurse, parent or carer. We must ensure we are looking after everyone’s wellbeing and mental health. We must make sure that we make children feel loved, trusted, secure and safe and that they have a voice and the support they need. It is important we engage in activities with the children, being interested in their life gives us a chance to bond and build relationship and this is where trust falls into place, and that way they can be open. By encouraging and motivating their strengths and helping them with their weakness and building their confidence is another form of making sure they are mentally and physically well.
Most children don’t like change; it is important that we tray to maintain as much consistency in their lives as possible so they can build secure relationships and foster their attachments. Especially the most vulnerable children can feel anxious but with good friends, great support from family and also help from teachers could help build their confidence.
To conclude with mental health week for children, our goal and aim is to be brave; to tackle insecurities, to tackle anxiety, to tackle our weakness and to be bold. To be the best we can be and make sure it makes the children confident. To be able to identify our strengths and improve on them, to be able to understand and empathise with others and help them gain their spark. Being kind and honest and giving support to whoever needs it the most. Mental health week is a good week to raise all the awareness for everyone who is suffering in silence.
It’s our time to shine and be brave!