By Sarah Prasad and Deborah Gillespie
This year Children’s Mental Health week arguably has more importance for us. The Covid pandemic has drastically altered the daily life of almost everyone on the planet. With all of the disruption, including school closures, interrupted exam schedules and not being able to see friends and wider family, the children in our lives have faced challenges, that, for some, regardless of age, are hard to fully comprehend. To support their resilience it is vitally important we help them become more conscious of and take care of their mental wellness and overall sense of wellbeing.
This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week theme is “Express Yourself” and is centred around self-expression through feelings, thoughts or ideas. Place2Be teamed up with BAFTA Kids and Oak National Academy for a live virtual assembly hosted by Blue Peter and CBBC presenters. All the details and some great resources can be found here: https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/
This initiative provides lots of opportunities for children and young people to do something that makes them feel good. As parents and carers we are able to work with them to work out what that is and focus on activities that nourish a sense of positive self-expression.
Across Head Resourcing and the wider Taranata Group, we are working together to support each other and the children in our lives. Once a month we have an open virtual space where parents and carers can come together and chat about anything and everything. We share ideas, resources and continue to be a place where people can raise concerns they have and get support. Just knowing you’re not the only one struggling can be comforting!
To further support this, we have dedicated a section of our Health & Wellbeing intranet to supporting those with children in their lives. Here we share resources, links and advice around supporting children at home throughout the pandemic.
Some of our favourite resources include:
What we’ve found works
What works for one child and/or family might not work for another. We asked our colleagues to share any hints and tips they’ve discovered whilst navigating through this last year with the young people in their lives. Some ideas include:
- PE with Joe in the morning
- Cosmic Kids Yoga
- Getting out for a walk and play in the fresh air during the day (helps the Vitamin D intake too!)
- Learning about the world around us whilst out for a walk
- Online video calls with extended family members e.g. reading a book together
- Creating safe spaces and opportunities to talk, draw or write about our feelings
- Go at your own pace and don’t compare your situation with others, especially on social media which can often portray quite a difference from reality
- Young people connecting with their friends through video calls
This Children’s Mental Health Week we are focusing on supporting each other to feel confident and better equipped to have open conversations with our children and young people. The wealth of online resources helps us to view the world from a young person’s perspective and consider how we can support them, be it from activities, looking out for behaviour changes or simply feeling that we are not alone – supporting each other shouldn’t be overlooked.
If you’d like to chat further about the topics raised in this blog, please get in touch with me over here for a confidential chat.
The information contained in this article does not constitute advice and should not be acted on as such. This content is based on our understanding in February 2021. Head Medical are not liable for the information contained on any third-party websites linked to this article.