This week marks Children’s Mental Health Week in the UK, dedicated to raising awareness about children and young people's mental health. The initiative, launched by Place2Be—a children's mental health charity providing counselling, mental health support, and training in UK schools—celebrates its 10th year. This year's theme, ‘My Voice Matters,’ encourages children and young people to express themselves confidently and believe that their voices are heard.
Here are some tips on supporting your child’s mental health and making their voices feel valued:
Listen to Them
While it may sound obvious, simply listening to your child can be profoundly helpful. Ensure you hear and understand what they are saying, avoiding interruptions, and acknowledging their thoughts. This fosters open communication and reassures them that their opinions matter.
Model Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Children often learn by observing their parents. Demonstrating healthy coping mechanisms is crucial for encouraging your children to adopt similar strategies. If you openly communicate about your feelings, it creates a supportive environment for them to share their emotions.
Tailor Solutions to Them
Every child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Collaborate with your child to discover effective coping mechanisms, whether through conversations, outdoor activities, or expressing themselves creatively.
Take Their Words Seriously
Even if something seems trivial to you, it holds significance for them. Valuing your child's feelings reinforces their sense of importance and encourages them to open up about their emotions.
Stay Involved and Interested
Show genuine interest in your child's life and priorities. This not only helps them appreciate their identity but also enables you to identify potential issues and offer support. Encourage them to pursue their interests, contributing to their overall mental well-being.
Seek Professional Help
Recognise when your child may need professional assistance beyond what you can provide. You can find services that offer support online or local in person services through your doctors.
At Eton Academy, we understand the importance of supporting our students' mental health. Our dedicated Wellbeing Officer, Sam, is available to provide guidance and support. Students can also request one-on-one sessions with teachers to address specific concerns. We prioritise mental health education through regular PSHE classes, ensuring that students receive comprehensive and age-appropriate information. Importantly, we embed mental health understanding into our curriculum, fostering an environment where students not only excel academically but also thrive emotionally and mentally.