Children’s Mental Health week, an annual event dedicated to raising awareness of the mental health challenges faced by young people takes place from the 5th to 11th February.
This year’s theme, ‘My Voice Matters,’ aims to shine a spotlight on the importance of empowering children and young people to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns, helping to provide a supportive environment for their mental well-being.
Somerset Council’s Public Health team are encouraging parents, carers, and anyone who works with children and young people to empower them to recognise the value of their voices and provide them with the tools they need to express themselves.
In 2023, about 1 in 5 children and young people aged 8 to 25 years old had a problem with their mental health. Locally through the Somerset Schools Health and Wellbeing survey, more than 3 in 10 school pupils, across all age groups reported being bullied at school. A further 1 in 4 secondary pupils reported not telling someone when they were being bullied.
Somerset Mental Health Support Team (MHST) have resources to help children and young people have a voice in what matters to them, these resources can be found on the Children and Young People website: www.cypsomersethealth.org. There are also Lifehacks resources available – Somerset children & young people : Health & Wellbeing : Lifehacks For Looking After Your Mental Health (cypsomersethealth.org)
Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity at Somerset Council, said:
We believe that every child’s voice is unique and holds immense power in shaping their mental health journey.
This year’s theme, ‘My Voice Matters,’ underscores our commitment to empowering children to speak up, share their experiences, and play an active role in their mental wall-being.
When we feel empowered, this can have a positive impact on our wellbeing. Children and young people who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference have a greater sense of community and self-esteem. This year, we want children of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to be empowered to work together to create a positive change for their mental health and wellbeing.
For anyone who works in schools, colleges, early years setting and care for young people, the Somerset Children & Young People (CYP) Health & Wellbeing website contain information and resources with ideas on how to hear young people’s voice and views. https://bit.ly/CMHW24.
The CYP website also offers resources and local support for parents and carers. https://bit.ly/ParentCarerToolkit.
There is also a series of free online relationship, health, and wellbeing resources #LearnForLove. These learning resources are available for all Somerset residents.
Here are just a few of the resources available:
- Understanding you child’s mental health and wellbeing
- Understanding your child’s feelings
- Understanding your child: from toddler to teenagers
- Understanding your teenager’s brain
To access the online learning visit: bitly/LearnForLove and enter the code ‘dragon’ to find out more.