Posted: 18 February 2015

Join us in supporting Children’s Mental Health Week

This week we are delighted to support Place2Be as they launch the first Children’s Mental Health Week. The week coincides with half term for many children and so may provide parents with the perfect opportunity to take Place2Be advice and start a conversation with your children about their feelings and what they might do if they ever feel like they need help with them.

We have been working to improve children’s well-being for many years and so we know what an important issue children’s mental health is. 

What do we know?

Our annual Good Childhood Reports deliver powerful messages and underline the need for us all to fight the stigma still attached to talking about mental health and bring this problem out into the open. 

Some of our key findings include:

  • Compared to their peers across the world, English children are not very happy. England’s children rank behind South Africa and Brazil in measures of their subjective well-being
  • 13% of 10 to 13 year olds are unhappy with the way they look, with girls (18%) faring much worse  than boys (9%)
  • Poverty has a real impact. Children who feel less well off than other children are twice as likely to say they are unhappy and almost three times more likely to say they have low life satisfaction.

Talking openly and intervening early

The two themes of Children’s Mental Health Week are talking openly and early intervention. 

We all need to talk more openly about mental health but this week we are encouraged to talk with children about our feelings. We must lead by example so children grow up feeling comfortable with conversations about their mental health.

Early intervention is a proactive approach focussing on early action to deal with problems. Place2Be define it as doing ’our best to ensure that small problems don't grow with the child, and become more serious when they are adults.’

In the run up to the general election, we are working with other major children’s charities to call for a stronger commitment to early intervention from our politicians. We know early intervention is particularly important in the area of mental health. 

For example, half of those with lifetime mental health issues first experience symptoms by the age of 14.

If we can address these symptoms early we can improve lives and save money. You can learn more about this early intervention campaign by reading the report, A stitch in time.

What can you do?

Start talking to the children in your life today.  If you are not sure how to start talking about mental health, download our useful guide.

By Richard Crellin - Policy team
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