This week is Children’s Mental Health Week

This week ( 4–10 February) is Children’s Mental Health Week, an opportunity to talk to children and young people about their mental wellbeing.

Credit @Place2Be on Twitter

This year’s theme is Healthy: Inside and Out. It focusses on looking after our mind as well as our physical body and teaching children that both are equally important.

Thinking about your child experiencing mental ill health can be difficult, but starting a conversation surrounding mental health with them is important.

Mental ill health in children can stem from bereavement, bullying, a lack of sleep, feeling like they can’t keep up in school or like they don’t fit in.

Sleep

This Children’s Mental Health Week (CMHW) there is a large focus on the affect of sleep on children’s wellbeing.

New research by the company behind CMHW, Place2Be, has found that getting less than nine hours sleep on a school night can lead children to worry more and focus less of their work.

Credit @Place2Be on Twitter

More than half of children in the survey said they worry all of the time about something from school life, home life or themselves. When getting less than nine hours sleep a night they were more likely to be unsure of what to do when they are worried, and how to stop feelings of worry.

Conversation

Starting a conversation about mental health with your little ones is the first step to making sure they are healthy inside and out.

Talking openly about mental ill health can help them understand that it is normal to worry and there is an open environment to voice their feelings or ask for help.

It will also help them understand why other people suffer with mental ill health and what they can do to be supportive.

Credit @Place2Be on Twitter

As part of CMHW Place2Be has created handy resources for parents and carers. This includes tips on how to talk to your children about mental wellbeing.

If you are worried about your child’s mental health, or are unsure how to start a conversation with them surrounding mental health, you can also speak to your GP or local mental health service for advice.

Mental wellbeing is important all year round not just this week, but it is a great opportunity to get talking about mental health and support your child to be healthy both inside and out.

Have you been speaking to your children about mental health? Let us know what you think on Twitter and Instagram to start a discussion. 

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