Let’s Connect: Supporting Children’s Mental Health Week
Today marks the start of 2023’s Children’s Mental Health Week.
Now in its 9th year, the annual event created by children’s charity Place2Be aims to highlight the importance of children and young people’s mental health.
Place2be works with pupils, families, and school staff to provide mental health support. The resources they develop and create are based on tried and tested methods and extensive research.
This year’s Theme: Let’s Connect
Every year there is a theme for Children’s Mental Health Day. This year it is ‘Let’s Connect’.
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.
Having healthy connections – to family, friends, and others – can support our mental health and sense of wellbeing. And when our need for rewarding social connections is not met, we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely – which can harm our mental health.
To do this, Place2Be have produced free resources for Primary School-aged children and ideas, guides and activities for older children at Secondary Schools.
All resources are evidence-based and designed for specific age ranges. For example, activities for 4-7-year-olds encourage them to think about the important people they are connected to in their lives, whereas resources for 11-14-year-olds cover topics like connecting safely online or coping with broken connections in relationships.
There are also family resources, including top tips, fun activities, and short videos.
Where else to get support
Many options are available if you or a child or young person you know needs mental health support.
Mental health services are free on the NHS. In some cases, you may need to be referred by your GP to access them.
Launched in November last year, This May Help is a national initiative providing mental health advice to parents and caregivers. NHS professionals, in partnership with parents, develop easy-to-follow advice in the form of downloads and videos.
The NHS’s Every Mind Matters website has tips and resources about looking after the mental health of children and young people.
Newcastle and Gateshead Children and Young People’s Service provide a service to anyone aged up to 18, including assessment, diagnoses, and intervention on various issues.
Kooth is an online counselling and support service for people aged 11 to 18. It’s free, safe, and anonymous.
Talking Helps Newcastle can introduce you to various options, from guided self-help to counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy.