Children's Mental Health Week 2024!
February 6th to February 13th is Children's Mental Health Week, first launched by Place2Be in 2015.
Every year Children’s Mental Health Week sees hundreds of schools, children, parents and carers taking part. Now in its 10th year, we hope to encourage more people than ever to help us reach our goal that no child or young person has to face a mental health problem alone.
This year's theme is 'My Voice Matters'
During Children’s Mental Health Week we want all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, to be able to say – and believe - “My Voice Matters”.
My Voice Matters is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.
When we feel empowered, this can have a positive impact on our wellbeing. Children and young people who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference have a greater sense of community and self-esteem. This year, we want children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to be empowered to work together to create a positive change for their mental health and wellbeing.
When we have healthy connections, to family, friends and others, this can support our mental health and our sense of wellbeing. When our need for social connection is not met, we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely, which can have a negative impact on our mental health.
For Children’s Mental Health Week 2024, we are encouraging people to connect to others in healthy and meaningful ways.
Children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) can especially struggle with their mental health according to government statistics on SEND and may have a difficult time accessing opportunities to connect with others in and out of school.
Where to go for help with Mental Health?
We have provided a short guide below on some things you can do to support your child’s positive mental health and wellbeing. This guide is not exhaustive as there are many national and local organisations, as well as Local Authority and NHS services which can help you or your child with your mental health.
If you are concerned that you or your child has a mental health condition, contact CAMHS or your GP and speak to the school or college. In an emergency, including a mental health emergency, always call 999. The mental health charity Mind has a list of mental health crisis helplines who will be able to listen.
You can use the Local Offer to find organisations that support you and your family's mental health and the Tower Hamlets NHS Talking Therapies Team has a directory of community support and mental health organisations which may be helpful.
If your child with SEND is struggling with their mental health, you can go to the usual places to seek mental health support for a child, and if they are not appropriate, they should refer you to the right place.
On the Local Offer, you can also find organisations and activities which provide opportunities for social connection, exercise and wellbeing – which all promote good mental health. Try searching with different keywords to see what you can find.
Sometimes it can be hard to find inclusive social and leisure activities for some children and young people with SEND. Your local Youth, Community Centres and Parks, and Children and Family Centre should be inclusive to those with SEND. To find activities for children and young people with SEND, try searching SEN, SEND, Disabled, Disability or the name of a specific SEND condition into the Events Section. If you are struggling to find inclusive activities or social opportunities for your child with SEND, you can contact the Inclusion Service.
Advice for Parents
- The Parental Engagement Team are holding an online Platform to Talk Session for parents to learn and discuss how to support their child’s mental health.
- The Healthy Lives Team aim to support children’s health and wellbeing by offering help with; healthy eating, oral health, physical activity, mental health and resilience, personal social health education, active travel to school, risk taking behaviours and advice to schools on safeguarding.
- Place2Be has a Parenting Smart website which provides practical tips for parents, carers and families on how to support children's wellbeing.
- There are a variety of Parenting Programmes happening all year, many of them focus on supporting your child's mental health or SEND condition like autism.
- Social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH) is a category of SEND. If you feel your child's SEMH is affecting their schooling, contact the school's SENCO to see how they can support your child.
Advice for young people
- Kooth provides free, safe and anonymous digital mental health support to young people between 10 and 25 in the form of text-based counselling, peer support and self-help tools. Children and young people can sign-up themselves without needing a referral or having to meet any thresholds or criteria.
- Tower Hamlets Recovery College offer courses to adults and young people to cover a range of topics which support mental health recovery, including tools and strategies to gain an understanding of yourself and your experience and practical life skills. Topics for young people have included the transition to adulthood, work and higher education, Recovery and the Arts, Recovery and Islam/Christianity, LGBTQ+, Domestic Abuse, Family Dynamics and more.
- Our Time All Ability Youth Forum is run for and by young people between 14 and 25 with SEND, although all young people are welcome. Our Time campaigns for positive change locally, including about mental health. Contact them to find out how you can get involved.
- Social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH) is a category of SEND. If you feel your mental health is affecting your education, contact your school or college's SENCO to see how they can help you in your studies.
- Mental Health videos
If you have any questions about mental health and wellbeing support for you or your child or the Local Offer, you can contact us at [email protected] or 020 7364 6495.