Children's Mental Health Blog Post

Children's Mental Health: Suffering in Silence

I think we can all agree that the conversation of mental health over recent years has definitely become more prominent than ever before, and it is incredibly heartwarming to see. Increased awareness of mental illness itself is so important, and it is fantastic to see schools have started to incorporate the discussion within the classroom.

Although this is a great step forward, it poses the question - is children's mental health talked about enough or are we simply ticking a box? When mental health is discussed, it is usually related and catered to young adults who are struggling, but what about children who struggle with these issues? What guidance can they find to help them with their struggles?

As it is such a complex issue, children need to first understand the concept of mental health to truly gauge how it works and how it can affect people uniquely.

It wasn't so long ago that I was a young student myself, funnily enough. Infact, I only left secondary school five years ago, and in that time I've had a lot to reflect on in some of my most pivotal years.

I genuinely cannot recall any serious mental health discussions or prompts for if we needed help during my time at secondary school, which just seems wrong in hindsight, right? Children's feelings are often institutionally invalidated due to immaturity, but is this the correct way to go about it? Safe spaces need to be established in schools as children need to be recognised as being in their most vulnerable state.

This definitely isn't to say some schools are not fantastic in their way of dealing with mental health issues amongst their students, I'm sure that there were some schools that were doing a fantastic job at recognising mental health issues in the schoolplace... but overall, the attention for mental health of young students needs to be made more prominent, especially after the dreadful couple of years we have had with the pandemic.

Inspiring positive mental health needs to be at the forefront of any educational success. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year - a concerning rise from years prior.

If that doesn't highlight how important it is to acknowledge children's mental health in our current climate, I don't know what will. Children should not have to suffer in silence, so it is our jobs as practitioners, teachers, parents, guardians and more to make sure our children feel like they can use their voice to speak up.

Mental Health has been a recognised area of needing support following the Coronavirus pandemic, which is a real positive coming out of such a tragic couple of years. As attention has swayed towards this topic, hopefully we can see some improvements of not just attitudes of the public, but also institutional changes that take action.

YoungMinds is an absolutely fantastic charity that is on a journey to raise awareness and fight for children and young people's mental health. Charities like themselves is what inspired us at 1decision to provide free mental health resources to young people, which you can find here.These ressources can be used by schools, parents, carers and children to help support the PSHE curriculum.

Mental Health Awareness week has just passed (10th-16th May), but don't let that mean we can't keep the conversation of mental health afloat. Make sure to check up on your loved ones, and try and include your child in the conversation.

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