Children’s Mental Health Week 2019

Children’s Mental Health Week 2019

Today marks the beginning of Children’s Mental Health Week. This initiative is ran by Place2Be, who are a children’s mental health charity. Though Children’s Mental Health Week began in 2015, this is the first year I’ve known about it (thanks to Rachael and her fantastic list of notable dates in 2019).

I learnt about Place2Be at Christmas, when I purchased some charity cards in Paperchase. They offer support services for pupils, parents and teachers, as well as conducting research into children’s mental health. In one of their recent studies of over 1000 young people, 56% of participants said they worry all the time about something.

Several of us look back at childhood fondly. It was an easier time, with far less responsibilities. Personally, I loved my childhood. There were some hard situations in the mix, though – the most prevalent being my Grandma’s death when I was eight years old.

To refer back to the aforementioned study, I certainly don’t recall worrying all the time. That’s not what I associate my childhood with, and it makes me sad to think that such a vast number of children do. It feels wrong to me. We spend so much of our adult lives worrying – about work, about bills, about all sorts. Childhood should be more or less free of such a strain.

The challenges of childhood

Thinking about it, though, children have a great deal to contend with. For me, one of the biggest issues was the pressures I faced because I was smart, but there are so many hurdles a child can face.

Some are victims are of bullying. Others are full time carers for their parents. Some may experience bereavement, just as I did. There is pressure from tests and exams. Several may be experiencing abuse at home. And most, I imagine, have access to the internet which brings along its own problems.

Social media and the internet are not solely to blame. However, I am always grateful of the fact it wasn’t such a huge deal during my childhood. As an adult, I find social media hard to navigate at times. I know to step away when it starts to feel like a burden, butย I dread to think of the effect it has on children and teenagers.

They are at a stage in their life when they could be easily influenced. They are inundated with images and videos – many of which will be harmful to their self-esteem. The sheer amount of information available at their fingertips has the potential to be dangerous.

In the context of bullying, it makes it so much easier for that problem to follow a child home. They have no escape; no relief. It’s relentless. The impact that must have is heartbreaking to consider. When I was bullied in secondary school, there was always comfort in knowing I’d go home and have a safe place. The same can’t be said of many young individuals today.

This tends to open up a new debate about parents letting their children on the internet. Let’s face it: it’s everywhere. A parent could try their hardest, but, in this day and age, it’s near impossible to avoid it altogether.

Children’s Mental Health Week 2019

The theme of Children’s Mental Health Week 2019 is “Healthy: Inside and Out”. Previous themes include “Being Ourselves” in 2018, and “Spread A Little Kindness” in 2017.

This year, it will highlight the close relationship between physical and mental wellbeing. The aim is to encourage children (and the rest of us) to take care of both. It provides support for the fact that mental health is just as important as physical health. This is a great thing to teach children, whether they are currently struggling or not.

I love the fact Children’s Mental Health week seems to be tackling two issues simultaneously: childhood obesity, and children’s mental health. I think this is a brilliant way to encourage children to be more active, and bring attention to the external and internal benefits. Though physical activity isn’t the only way to look after your brain, it does have plenty of plus points.

I wish Children’s Mental Health Week existed when I was younger. I’m glad it’s in place for children now. Many people assume that mental health and mental illness are only important as you get older. The truth is, they matter throughout our lives. The sooner we begin to learn that, the better.

Children's Mental Health Week

Why Children's Mental Health Week Is Necessary
Healthy Inside And Out
Mental Health Matters At All Ages

14 Comments

  1. 4th February 2019 / 11:53 am

    Such an important topic and definitely one that should be talked about and discussed more often.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th February 2019 / 8:51 am

      Absolutely – this feels like a good start.

  2. 4th February 2019 / 3:46 pm

    Great post, Ruth! I’m excited to see the conversation about children’s mental health this week. You made a good point about social media allowing bullying to follow children home now. The idea that a child’s safe place can be taken away because social media is accessible at all time is concerning. Children today have so much to contend with, it’s important for us to support their mental health in any way we can.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th February 2019 / 8:53 am

      Honestly, it breaks my heart to think of children not having an escape from it, because it raises questions for me about the acts of desperation it could lead to. Like you, though, I’m glad to see people talking about it this week and I hope Place2Be are able to educate a lot of people on the importance.

  3. 4th February 2019 / 6:15 pm

    I didn’t realize that they had a week for children mental health, but I’m glad they do! I was also fortunate to have a good upbringing, but it’s hard to think that some children do have more issues to worry about during the years that are supposed to be more carefree.
    I’m also glad that social media wasn’t as popular growing up; I think it can certainly cause problems and give bullies the opportunity to easily continue their bullying outside of school. IT can also add other issues as well-I know I had a Facebook later in high school and ended up deactivating it for a bit because I felt like my friends were always posting pictures hanging out at events I wasn’t invited to while I felt alone.
    Thanks for sharing this post! Children’s mental health is certainly something that needs more attention!

    Melissa // https://castlesandhurricanes.wordpress.com/

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      5th February 2019 / 8:58 am

      That’s a very good point about Facebook, actually. It can definitely be difficult to see your friends doing things together and wondering why you weren’t invited, and can make you feel very alone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 5th February 2019 / 1:10 pm

    Another wonderful post, Ruth. Social media can be a force for good but I do worry about what Flora is going to take from it as she grows up. Like you, I’m concerned about the huge amount of information that’s so freely available out there. One of my friends works for Chicks Charity, which organises respite breaks for young carers and their families so I’ve been finding out a little more about what’s available. It’s such an important topic though, thank you for bringing the debate to your followers’ attention xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      11th February 2019 / 9:59 am

      Thank you, Lisa! It is definitely concerning, but I’m sure you’ll do a great job of raising Flora to know to be sensible when it comes to life online. That’s all anyone can really do.

  5. 5th February 2019 / 1:19 pm

    Discussing mental health is so important and should be treated as serious as physical health. I think itโ€™s important for children to learn about mental health, what and where they can get support and to learn about thoughts and feelings. By doing that with children will hopefully stop the stigma attached to it. Thank you for sharing your post Ruth! โค๏ธ

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      11th February 2019 / 10:01 am

      I couldn’t agree more! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 5th February 2019 / 2:13 pm

    I’m so glad they have this! I hope that it brings about more awareness and I hope it affects both adults and children. Adults need to stop looking at children as these little robots who have to perform a certain way, and look at them as little humans who are trying to find their place in this world. They have feelings and struggles, just like adults.

    Thanks for bringing attention to this! Also thanks for mentioning Paperchase. They sound like they’re doing a lot of good in the world.

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      11th February 2019 / 10:04 am

      Exactly! I do tend to think of childhood as carefree and forget they have their own stuff to go through, especially between 11 and 18. Thanks for reading and commenting! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. 5th February 2019 / 3:55 pm

    As much as I love the internet, I am so glad I grew up without it. Life did feel so much more simple and carefree back then, I have lots of memories playing outside, making up games with my sister and doing arty and crafty things. I imagine things would have been a lot different if social media was around back then. I’m glad that there is now a mental health week for children, it sounds like it is much needed in this generation with all the new challenges young people face. Place2Be sounds like a wonderful charity and their work is such a positive step in the right direction. Thanks for sharing, Ruth, and raising more awareness on this important topic <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • ruthinrevolt
      Author
      11th February 2019 / 10:08 am

      It makes me sad to think of children missing out on those things because they’re sitting in front of a screen. It was such a good opportunity to use your imagination and explore your own little worlds! Children’s Mental Health Week is definitely needed – there are so many complex issues that children can be involved in that they don’t know how to handle. Thank you for reading and commenting, Bexa! ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *