This week (1-7 February 2021) is Children’s Mental Health Week. Organised by the charity Place2Be, this year’s theme is Express Yourself.
Throughout the week, the charity is encouraging children and young people to explore different ways of expressing themselves and finding things which make them feel good. Art, drama, music, and poetry are just a few of their suggestions of creative techniques to express thoughts and feelings.
Concerns over mental health have been increasing as a result of the current pandemic. For children in particular, the enforced changes to their everyday lives as a result of lockdown and school closures, may present even greater challenges as they try to understand what is going on in the world around them.
Place2Be are reporting that around three children in every primary school class have a problem with their mental health – this is an issue requiring urgent attention and support.
At OnePlusOne, we understand the important role that healthy relationships play in all our lives. The ways children interact with others, and the examples they witness in the adult relationships around them, have a direct effect on their wellbeing and long-term development.
Supporting Children’s Mental Health week, OnePlusOne co-director Verity Glasgow said: “This week is an opportunity for us all to focus on what we can do to support children and young people as they navigate growing up.
“Parental relationships play an important part in the mental health and development of children. Whether they are together or separated, the way parents behave towards each other can have a direct effect on their children. It’s natural for arguments to happen but when they do, keeping them constructive creates a more positive environment for the whole family. Children learn how to deal with challenging situations, and how to express their feelings, from the adults around them.
“It’s great that mental health issues are being talked about so openly. I hope that people will soon find it easier to talk about issues in their relationships too. Breaking down barriers and being able to express ourselves without facing the fear of stigma is the key to making life better for everyone.”
OnePlusOne has developed several digital resources to support parental relationships. These include:
See it differently – a website developed with digital inclusion charity, Good Things Foundation, featuring short films to help parents see the effects of their arguments on their children, and offer ways of doing things differently.
Getting It Right for Children – a short video-based course that helps separated parents develop good communication skills for the sake of their children.