This week (3-9th February 2020) is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week and schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals across the UK will take part in Children’s Mental Health Week.
As someone who suffers from anxiety, my own children’s mental health is a huge priority to me. This year’s theme is Find your Brave and I think it’s the perfect child friendly theme to focus on, a very apt theme for our own lives right now.
Bravery isn’t about coping alone or holding things in. It’s about finding positive ways to deal with things that might be difficult, overcoming physical and mental challenges and looking after yourself. We all have times when we need to find our brave.
Life often throws challenges our way, Eva has been struggling over the past few weeks with going into school. She’s cried at nearly every drop off and we’ve been focusing on building her back up. Together as a team we are working our way to finding Eva’s brave again.
Did you know that around three children in every primary school class has a mental health problem, and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement?
Whether you’re someone who works with children, a parent or carer, passionate about spreading the word, or keen to raise vital funds for Place2Be, you can get involved and help to reach as many people as possible. Which is why I’ve decided to share this blog post at the start of the awareness week.
In case you aren’t aware, Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity that provides counselling and mental health support and training in UK schools, using tried and tested methods backed by research.
Children should not have to face mental health problems alone. But what can you do to help the children’s around you?
Here are a few simple ways you can encourage your child to Find their Brave.
- Remind your child that bravery comes in many forms and everyone is different. What’s brave for them might not feel brave to someone else.
- Chat with your child about a time when you’ve had to Find your Brave. It might have been something big or small. Examples help them to understand.
- Praise your child when they Find their Brave. Maybe they’ve kept going at learning a new skill or tried something outside of their comfort zone which boosted their confidence.
- Point out examples of bravery in books and films to your child and talk about how trying out different ways of being brave will help them feel good.
- Reassure your child that not feeling brave is OK too and that there are times when it might be more difficult to be brave.