Supporting Children’s Mental Health - World Mental Health Day 2021
Sunday 10th October is World Mental Health Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on people’s mental health around the globe and has particularly affected children who have had both their everyday lives and education disrupted.
The NHS estimates that 1 in 8 children experience some form of mental health problems growing up. Sometimes, these can resolve on their own but some kids may need professional support to help them work through it.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health, also known as emotional health or mental wellbeing, is as important as physical health. If you’re in good mental health you’re able to: cope with life, reach your potential and play a part in your family, community, workplace and friendships.
Mental health can fluctuate due to life events and circumstances as you move through different life stages. People also respond to things differently - someone may bounce back from a setback whereas another person may be affected by it for a long time.
Signs Kids May Be Suffering
Sometimes, it can be tricky to tell if something’s up with a child. But, there are several ways to spot when something is wrong. Look out for:
- Big changes in behaviour
- Difficulty sleeping
- Losing interest in social situations
- Disliking things they normally like
- Self-harm or neglecting themselves
10 Tips For Children’s Mental Health & Wellbeing
- Encourage kids to get outside for lots of fresh air. Walking to school is a great way to exercise and socialise with friends, too
- Give them lots of fruit and vegetables
- Make sure they have regular meals to keep up their energy levels as well as lots of water
- Give children some time out if they’re feeling angry, sad or stressed - cheer them up with an activity they love
- Make sure they aren’t watching too much negative TV or consuming negative digital content online
- Structure their day with things they can realistically achieve - such as tidying their room or doing some reading
- Encourage them to talk to family and friends and stay connected with loved ones via phone calls or texts
- Get a good sleep routine going - a good night’s sleep makes all the difference.
- Empower kids to be kind to not only themselves but their friends. Give them a challenge of giving compliments to their friends at school
- Talk with them about their emotions and work through a solution to help overcome them in the future. Something like emotional puppets can help children talk about their feelings through play
To get children in a more positive headspace, positive affirmations can help build their self-esteem and confidence. Here are some positive affirmations suitable for children in KS1 and KS2.
- I am kind and make people happy
- I am special
- I am a good listener
- I will learn to do things I find difficult
- I have a good thinking brain
- I choose to be positive
- I learn and grow every day
- I show empathy to others
- I embrace challenges that are sent my way
- I can reach for the stars
The positive thinking doesn’t stop there! We’ve teamed up with The Positive Planner to give away a Positive Planner for Mum or Dad and a Doodle Diary for your little one to one lucky winner. Fancy your chances? To enter, head over to our Instagram!