Raising awareness this Children’s Mental Health Week

This week (3-9 February) is Children’s Mental Health Week, where we raise awareness of the issues facing young people in society today, and encourage young people to open up about how they’re feeling.

This year’s theme is ‘find your brave’ – how will you get involved?

We all have mental health and looking after it is just important as taking care of our physical health. With the stress of school, homework, clubs, family life and socialising, it’s normal for life to be a bit full-on and a little bit of stress can actually be healthy.

But, what do young people do if it all starts to get a bit too much? Who can they turn to for support?

CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH WEEK

Since 2015, Children’s Mental Health Week has been celebrated to shine a spotlight on young people’s mental health and encourage you to open up about any mental health issues you may be experiencing.

This year, it’s all about finding your brave. Bravery comes in all shapes and forms: for some, it may be auditioning for the school play or trying out for a sports team; for others, it may simply be getting out of bed and heading into school for another day. Everyone’s bravery is different, and this week, it’s all about trying to push yourself out of your comfort zone, for the benefit of your mental health.

Being brave isn’t about keeping things inside or trying to manage on your own by putting on a brave face. It takes real bravery to share your feelings and concerns and ask for help when you need it. Speaking out can do the world of good, after all, a problem shared is a problem halved.

Not only can reaching out for support help improve your confidence and self-belief, it can very often be the first step on the road to recovery.

SUPPORT

If you suspect your child may be struggling with their mental health, there are places you can turn to for support. They may not wish to discuss it with you directly, and if they don’t you should encourage them to approach a friend, family member or teacher, to talk about how they’re feeling and ask for advice and support. Sometimes, talking about how you feel and gaining the perspective of someone else can be all it takes to feel better.

If this doesn’t help, you should approach your GP and find out about the support available to you and your child. They may be able to refer you to a therapist, or speak to you about medication options.

It can also be beneficial to contact charities to find out how they can help. SAMH, Young Minds and Samaritans are just a few of the charities that can provide valuable support, should you need it.

Family Life

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