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Children's Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Published:

Express Yourself

 

This year the theme of Children's Mental Health Awareness Week is 'Express Yourself'.

Most people think of children as free spirits who are easily able to express what they are feeling but the truth is that our lives are very complex, even more so currently as we are living through a global pandemic, and this leads to children struggling to express their feelings about all sorts of things. 

As many as 3 children in every primary school class has a mental health problem. The issues children are coping with are as diverse as bullying and bereavement. If you are worried about your child's mental health, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

 

The P2B website explains that 'Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good.

It’s important to remember that being able to express yourself is not about being the best at something or putting on a performance for others. It is about finding a way to show who you are, and how you see the world, that can help you feel good about yourself.'

 

What can you do to help your child?

The Children's Mental Health Awareness Week website has lots of ideas to help your child to express themselves. Click here to read more

There are also additional resources to help deal with the pressure of Covid and all that comes with that. 

 

Here are some other idea that might help you to support your children at home*. 

  • Actively listen before offering advice
  • Surround them with healthy adults
  • Teach them how to be safe
  • Use open-ended questions
  • Model forgiveness
  • Be present
  • Be patient
  • Have scheduled family time
  • Respond calmly when their emotions are elevated
  • Share your feelings and validate theirs
  • Limit electronic time for everyone
  • View their behaviour as a window to their needs and feelings
  • Tell the truth
  • Reach out and hug them
  • Make play and exercise a requirement
  • Model healthy behaviour
  • Be consistent and follow through with what promise
  • Believe them and in them
  • Practise relaxation exercises together
  • Recognise positive choices
  • Set and respect boundaries

*taken from https://www.relaxkids.com/

 

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