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Growing Together this Children’s Mental Health Week

by Cathy Sheel

This Children’s Mental Health Week (7 – 14 February) parents and carers are encouraged to follow some top tips to support their child’s mental wellbeing.

Children’s Mental Health Week is run by the charity Place2Be, and focuses on the importance of promoting good mental health and wellbeing for children and young people.

The theme of the week is ‘Growing Together’ and the charity has come up with a few simple ways you can support your child’s emotional growth. These include:

Talk about when your child was younger – Recall stories that highlight how your child has developed and changed over the years. For example, how you enjoyed teaching them to learn to ride a bike, or swim.

Notice when your child has developed and grown – You may have made marks on the walls to recognise how tall your child has grown over the years or looked at old photos together. It is important to also recognise and praise emotional growth, such as how they have learnt to ask others to play when they used to be too shy to do so.

Encourage your child to try new things – This could be new foods, a new activity or a new experience. Praise their willingness to ‘give new things a go’ rather than just the things they are ‘good’ at.

Listen to your child’s hopes and dreams for the future – Encourage your child to see that everything they are doing right now is a tiny step towards who they might want to become in the future. For example, your child helping another child is an important step towards them becoming a counsellor, a doctor, a nurse or a teacher etc.

Support your child to learn from tough situations – Acknowledge the difficult feelings but help your child to see that these situations help us to grow and develop so that we are better able to cope with life’s ups and downs.

Mental health support for young people in Knowsley

Young people in Knowsley aged between 10 and 19 years can access free counselling and wellbeing support with Kooth.

The online support is free, safe and anonymous and provides advice on a range of topics. Young people can chat to the friendly Kooth community or speak to a member of the Kooth team.

Meanwhile, the Young Minds website has some really useful advice for children and young people and parents/ carers.

Knowsley CAMHS Services is a referral service for children and young people in Knowsley whose emotional, behavioural or mental health issues are causing them problems in their school, family or social life. If you are worried about your child, make an appointment to speak to your GP.

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “The pandemic has created a range of mental health challenges for our children and families, so Children’s Mental Health Week gives us an opportunity to recognise some of the simple steps we can take to support the mental health of our children and young people, as well as the support available in the wider community.”