World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on October 10th to raise awareness of mental health issues and to advocate for better mental health care for all. This year's theme is Mental health is a human right, which is a reminder that everyone has the right to the best possible mental health care, regardless of their age, race, gender, income, or social status.
Children and families can be particularly vulnerable to mental health problems, especially in the North East. Around 1 in 10 children in the Tees Valley region have mental health difficulties. Mental health problems can have a significant impact on a child's development, education, and relationships.
There are many factors that can contribute to mental health problems in children and families, including poverty, trauma, and abuse. However, there are also many things that can be done to protect and promote children's mental health.
Here are some tips for supporting children's and families' mental health:
- Create a safe and supportive environment. Children need to feel loved and safe in order to thrive. Make sure that they have a home where they feel loved and respected, and where they know that they can come to you with any problem.
- Talk to your children about their mental health. Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it's important to talk to your children about it openly and honestly. Let them know that it's okay to feel sad, angry, or scared sometimes.
- Set a good example. Children learn by watching the adults in their lives. Make sure that you are taking care of your own mental health. Model healthy coping mechanisms, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, and spending time with loved ones.
- Seek professional help if needed. If you are concerned about your child's mental health, don't hesitate to seek professional help. There are many resources available to help children and families with mental health problems.
Here at CFNE, we are part of the Getting Help Offer alongside Alliance Psychological Services, which aims to provide support for children and families struggling with their mental health and emotional wellbeing. We receive referrals for children and/or families through schools, and then may offer an initial assessment to gather further information. We then may be able to offer various support pathways, such as, Low-Intensity Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Counselling, Parenting Support and Systemic Family Work. If this is something you think you child and/or family would benefit from, have a look at Alliance’s website to see whether we are able to offer any support.
On World Mental Health Day, let's all pledge to support children's and families' mental health. We can all do our part to create a world where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.