This week is Children’s Mental Health Week.
Now in its fifth year, the theme for this year’s Mental Health Week is Healthy: Inside and Out.
When we think about healthy living, we tend to focus on looking after our bodies but in order to be healthy overall, it’s important that we look after our minds – our mental wellbeing – too.
The importance of Children’s Mental Week is brought into focus by some shocking statistics. During 2017, 226 schoolchildren took their life while the number of youngsters feeling like life is not worth living doubled in 10 years – from nine per cent to 18 per cent.
In a welcome initiative, as of Monday 4th February, 370 schools in England began a scheme to boost support of mental health and wellbeing. Children will learn mindfulness exercises and be taught how to regulate emotions.
One test will use mindfulness, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help pupils to regulate their emotions. In a second, mental health specialists or trained teachers will offer classes for pupils and teachers to understand mental health and disorders.
Separately, nine areas will try out new mental health assessments for children entering care, who are likely to have endured abuse or neglect, to help them to receive any support they need.