1. Place2Be is running a helpline this week (10am-4pm until Friday 20th Feb) for Mumsnet to answer any general questions that parents or carers may have about their children’s mental health. They are offering help and guidance where it is much needed (0207 923 5595).
Similar to teachers, most parent’s aren’t trained counsellors. In both the home and school settings it is difficult to recognise signs of poor emotional health but more importantly it’s hard to know how to approach the situation once it has been recognised. Luckily, Place2Be is a charity that are fully qualified to answer any questions parents may have which will then mean children are receiving the best care and attention possible.
2. Parent’s are being encouraged to speak to their children about their emotional needs this week.
Emotional wellbeing can often be overlooked when there are so many factors involved with raising and educating children. Remember, nobody gets a manual! However, as the Duchess of Cambridge points out, ‘early action can prevent problems in childhood from turning into larger ones later in life’ (Sky News). Unfortunately, the stigma surrounding mental health can find that parents feel embarrassed about seeking help for a child with emotional struggles. Also, it’s possible that this stigma means that parents are concerned that their child’s problems are a bad reflection of their care. This couldn’t be further from the truth however, so encouraging parents to openly engage in conversation about their children’s feelings could lead to problems being solved long before they become serious issues.
Hosting a week specifically for Children’s Mental Health means that issues surrounding emotional wellbeing in the young are not only being raised, but can be addressed. In the UK we are slowly working towards ending the stigma towards mental health issues of all forms, and the media are participating with this more and more.
It’s important that people understand that they would never ignore a physical health issue such as broken bones, so this should be the case for mental health struggles too. Ignoring these issues can mean that the problem only progresses. Having said that, if children are now learning that they can talk about their emotional problems with a parent, teacher or someone else whom they trust, well then surely we’re doing a little bit better.