This year the theme for Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week is My Voice Matters and children’s voices do matter. It is important as an adult to listen and to make time to listen. We need to find out what children want and how we can help them. It is important to listen to their achievements and support them when the going gets tough.
In their Top Tips for Schools Place2Be have listened to young people to find out what it is that children want. An interesting aspect of this article is that children want to talk about mental health and to understand what it is all about. They don’t want it to sound scary, but to be spoken about in a language that they can appreciate and without pressure. These young people would like their mental health to be acknowledged on a daily basis not just once a year during Children’s Mental Health Week. The article gives the example that when young people are stressed with homework it is important to listen. It is not that they don’t want to do it, but they want the reassurance that someone is there to support them and to take the pressure off them when and if they are feeling overwhelmed or don’t understand what to do.
The Schools’ Resources pages have ideas for assemblies and for training teaching staff to on how to listen effectively. There is also a section for Families with top tips and activities. There is a lovely art activity for primary aged children to share what matters to them through creating a collage of all those important things. There is a document about talking to your child about Mental Health and point 7 really resonated with me – “Please don’t worry about trying to fix things for me – I often need to know that you are there for me and understand what I am going through.” Children need someone to listen to them and listen without giving suggestions so that the child can begin to work things out for themselves but knowing that you have got their back. Point number 10 – “Sometimes a hug is all it takes to make me feel support.” Sometimes this is all that is needed. There are some conversation starters for parents and if you want some more ideas on how to have a conversation then go to our Coffee for Molly resources by using this link:
You may be a teacher, or work in education or you may be a parent looking for ideas to support your child – Click Here to visit the Place2Be website for Children’s Mental Health Week and check out some of the super resources.
You can also order our Bag of Happiness. Click Here to go to our Training page to find out more about this terrific resource for any occasion.
If you’re struggling just text MRF to 85258 so you can speak to a trained volunteer from Shout, the UK’s Crisis Text Line service,