Children’s Mental Health Week
Here at Beautiful New Beginnings we aim to create generations of holistically well children. In an age where technological advances have been huge, where instant gratification is the norm and where children are busier than ever with classes and courses, it is vital that we know and understand how to protect our children and babies little minds.
Children’s Mental Health matters. In order to create generations of holistically well children, we must look at the development of the whole child. Emotionally, physically and mentally, and educationally. Whilst schools apply more and more pressure on children to achieve and meet milestones and targets, often, our children’s mental health is damaged. Challenges in life are paramount. Teaching children to persevere and complete tasks to the best of their ability is a skill we must teach and learn in order to become a successful adult. However, loading our children with unattainable targets and expectation, increasing the demands on their little brains when they have not fully understood or consolidated the work gone before, means more and more children at an increasingly young age are experiencing stress, anxiety and depression.
The Mental Health Foundation highlights the rise in children experiencing mental health issues stating
The last survey, conducted in 2004, found that 1 in 10 children aged 5-15 had a mental health disorder (either emotional, behavioural, hyperactive, or other). In the newly released 2017 figures, this has risen to 1 in 9.
When we include older children and look across all children and young people aged 5-19, we find that 1 in 8 (12.8%) have at least one mental disorder.
This change was largely driven by an increase in emotional disorders (including anxiety and depression), which for 5-15-year-olds rose from 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017.
Across the whole group of 5-19-year olds, around 1 in 12 (8.1%) reported an emotional disorder.
Children’s Mental Health is something we all need to discuss, raise and address. As parents it is our responsibility to support those with anxiety, emotional disorders and behavioural disorders. There are many ways we can do this.
- Visit your GP, School Nurse or Health Visitor for initial advice, guidance r support. The child’s class teacher or SENDCo should also be able to provide some information on local services
- At home, limit screen time and put some practices into place which can encourage relaxation.
- Family meditation and mindfulness
- Family Yoga sessions or Cosmic Yoga for younger children online is great
- Breathing exercises may help, the 7-11 technique or star breathing can help
- Grounding exercises which support children in being present are helpful
- Gratitude journals switch mindset from negative to positive. This releases dopamine which counteracts the stress hormone cortisol
- Family Exercise, joining our monthly community walks if you can will support yours and your child’s mental health.
It is very easy to believe that you are alone in this, if your child is struggling, seek help early and ask for support in finding services in your local community that can help. CAMHS and YPAS website are a good place to start. You will need support in this too, don’t neglect yourself.
Children’s Mental Health is something we must continue to raise the profile of and to encourage more conversation around. Our children live in an age where information is readily available at the touch of a button. We must ensure the information they are receiving is helpful, supportive and truthful. By taking the time to talk each day to your children, by putting strategies in place to help them relax, calm down and engage, we can begin to support our children in protecting their own mental health and it is then, we will begin to see our aim of creating generations of holistically well children come to fruition.
For further support, please do feel free to message or comment on this post.
Cal Founder of Beautiful New Beginnings