children's mental health week 1st-7th february
Article 24 the right to the best possible health.
1-7 February 2021 is Children’s Mental Health Week. The week is run by children’s mental health charity Place2Be to focus on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year’s theme is Express Yourself.
What's it all about?
When children are able to find creative ways to share their feelings, thoughts or ideas it can help them feel good about themselves and who they are. Children can do this through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that they enjoy.
It’s really important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself. Given that the past year will have left many of us feeling out of control and helpless, supporting children and young people to express themselves is arguably more important than ever.
To launch this week there will be a power point assembly but there is also a live assembly which will be available to all schools and families at 9am on Monday 1 February – and will feature pupils and well-known faces discussing the theme of Children’s Mental Health Week, as well as ways that children and young people can get involved at home. It will be hosted by Blue Peter’s Lindsey Russell and CBBC Presenter and Place2Be Champion Rhys Stephenson. We would like to encourage you all to visit the Place Be website to take part in the Virtual assembly on Monday morning at 9am. If you cannot access this please have a look on your child's Google Classroom page where you will have access to a PowerPoint.
For Children's Mental Health Week 2021, we will be encouraging children (and adults feel free to get involved) to explore the different ways we can express ourselves, and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas. Please feel free to send, upload and videos into your teachers. We would love to see the different ways you can express yourselves.
On Friday 5th February we will hold ' Dress to express Day' and encourage the children to express themselves through their clothes, hair etc. Children can wear their favourite colour or choose a range of colours that express how they’re feeling. Colour can be very personal and mean different things to different people, so this is a great opportunity to encourage self-expression and celebrate a diverse range of emotions. Please send any pictures into your child's Year group email.
If you like to help to raise some vital funds for children's mental health, please feel free to make a donation here https://bit.ly/3mliHwR)
Download our Fundraising Kit packed full of great resources like decorations, posters, a conversation starter activity and fundraising tips and ideas.
What can you do?
Here are a few simple ways you can encourage your child to express themselves.
- Could you build on existing interests or passions? Think about what has helped them get through the past year. A love of dancing? Baking? Drawing? Fashion? Encourage your child by noticing their unique interests and praising their efforts.
- Trying new things can be a great way to find a new creative outlet. There are lots of online tutorials and video demos that you and your child could be inspired by… could you try out something new together? Or perhaps ask someone you know to share their creative hobbies and give them a go.
- Some children may not think of themselves as being creative. Try to focus on the importance of the process and the way it can make them feel, rather than the end result. Try not to judge their efforts and remember to give encouragement for trying rather than for doing something well.
- Listening carefully can help children feel more comfortable and confident when expressing themselves. Try to minimise distractions and give your child your full attention when you’re spending time together, being aware of your own body language and eye contact. You might want to try summarising what they’ve shared and acknowledging their feelings.
- Children are expressing themselves all the time but not necessarily with words. ‘Listen’ to everything they are trying to tell you with their behaviour, or with their play and creativity or with their silence. It’s all self-expression.
- Remember – you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to get creative at home. Recyclable materials or older items you no longer have a use for can provide amazing inspiration, and of course, there’s no limit to your imagination!
Let your child know that if they are worried about something, they should always talk to an adult they trust. It could be you, someone in your family, a teacher or someone else in their school. If you’re worried about your child’s mental health you can talk to your GP or someone a member of the staff at school. You can also find a list of organisations that provide support and advice on our school website and the place2Be website: place2be.org.uk/help