The 1st of February marked the start of Children’s Mental Health Week, a week designed to shine the spotlight on children and young people’s mental health. In a recent survey that We are Futures undertook in October 2020, 83% of Teachers were concerned about the mental health of their students. Moreover, according to Young Minds 32% of young people say that the Covid-19 pandemic has made their mental health much worse. So whilst this is always an important week, this year it is particularly vital that we continue to keep the conversation around mental health and well-being wide open.
Young People and children need to feel heard and supported during this time of uncertainty. One of the easiest ways to do this is by creating a conversation around mental health and providing the necessary resources to educate people about how they are feeling. In doing so, this will hopefully allow children and young people to feel more confident when it comes to speaking up about their own mental health.
So this begs the question, what can brands and organisations do in order to support young people’s mental health?
We are particularly proud to work with The Dove Self-Esteem Project, which has acted to build up young people’s self-esteem since 2004. We worked with them to reach an additional 465,000 lives through our National Schools Partnership and Parent Zone, working with the PSHE Association to provide free resources and support teachers as they continue to engage with their students.
We were also honoured to have the opportunity to work with P&G to build upon their About You franchise, creating world-class content to build confidence in young people. As part of this, we reached over 600,000 girls aged 11-14 and their families with our Puberty Education Programme. Going through puberty can be a very confusing and daunting time of your life, and About You wanted to show girls and boys that they are they not alone, encouraging them to talk about any worries or uncertainties they may have, and helping to build confidence and resilience.
We also hugely admire the work of This Girl Can. According to Sport England, ‘39% of women aged 16 and over are not active enough to get the full health benefits of sport and physical activity, compared to 36% of men’. This Girl Can aims to rewrite the stereotypical view often presented by society as to what exercise should look like and to encourage girls to exercise without fear of judgement. With the ongoing lockdown, it is hugely important that young people and children still find time to get outdoors and exercise when they can.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is one that will be felt for years to come, and we all need to come together to help in whatever way we can. It is clear that young people need help, and by creating an environment whereby children and young people feel comfortable to talk about how they are feeling, and ensuing that we take the time to listen, show young people that they do not need to suffer alone.
For more information on this week, and to access free resources, follow this link: https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/schools-and-youth-groups/
Below are some useful contacts:
0808 801 0711 (youthline)
0808 801 0811 (studentline)
Under 18s helpline, webchat and online support groups for people with eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia.
Rethink Mental Illness
0300 5000 927
Provides support and information for anyone affected by mental health problems, including local support groups.