At TriggerHub.org we have had a great week spreading the word and raising awareness for Children’s Mental Health Week! It is important for children to start understanding their emotions and mental health at a young age so they can help themselves and others.
There has been a 77% rise in the number of children needing specialist treatment for severe mental health crises. Between April and October 2021, 409,347 under 18s have been referred to the NHS for help with suicidal thoughts and self-harm.
There are a number of factors causing this, which range from a lack of support in schools, to the stress of exams, to COVID-19 and lockdown taking its toll. This is why it is important – now more than ever – to support children and their mental health. TriggerHub.org have spent the week not only making more people aware of this, but also inspiring children by sharing personal growth stories and advice from some of our amazing authors!
The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week was GROWING TOGETHER, so we have a selection of videos and written words to inspire children (and adults!) to listen, be kind to others, speak out about their emotions and share their stories! Read on to see some of the amazing content we have collected over the week…
Mark Pallis: active listening!
Eleanor Segall: her own growth story and looking out for others!
Eleanor Segall is the author of Bring Me to Light: embracing my bipolar and social anxiety and she has shared her story growing up with important advise about listening and not struggling alone!
One of my best friends and I met at school when we were 11. We were both shy children and we helped each other come out of our shell, by playing together and opening up a little about any worries we had. We are still friends now and i am 33! We have both grown in confidence and our friendship really helped us both with that.
I have found that going through difficult things in my life helped me to grow. I was unwell at a young age and managed to recover- but it helped me to be resilient and learn to overcome lifes challenges. A quote I would say is ‘this too shall pass’- all bad things pass and the dawn often follows the darkness. Keep going even if you feel sad!
Make sure you listen to your friends or people around you who are struggling with their mental health. We all have mental health and some people find it more challenging than others. Always be a kind, non judgemental listening ear and if you are worried, tell a teacher or someone you trust. If its you who is struggling, don’t struggle alone- there is always help out there for you.
Naz Ahsun: the superpower of kindness!
Cheryl Rickman: we are not happy ALL the time and her tips for growth!
Sometimes, when we feel like we don’t measure up to expectations it can get us down and there might be an expectation for us to feel happy all the time, but that’s impossible. I’m an author of books about happiness and even I don’t feel happy ALL the time. Because I’m human. It’s important to accept we might feel sad or angry or frustrated or disappointed too rather than hide those feelings away or ignore them. The best way to do this is to express our feelings by labelling them. Saying, ‘I’m feeling sad,’ helps us move through a feeling and talking about how we’re feeling can help us come out the other side feeling better. We can draw them too – grabbing some crayons or pencils and a piece of paper and doodling our feelings, using colours or pictures to create what our feelings look and feel like, that’s a great way to get our feelings out.
For my next book for Welbeck Balance (Tree Glee – How and Why Trees Make Us Feel Better) which is coming out in October 2022 and available for pre-order now, I explore how getting out amongst nature can really help our mental health. All kinds of scientific research shows that being out in the woods or playing around trees outdoors in green space lifts our mood – it calms us down and restores our energy and concentration levels. The colour green is a calming colour too because it makes us feel safe.
It’s easier to focus our attention on what we don’t have than on what we do have but neuroscientists have found that being thankful by expressing our gratitude is a great way to boost our wellbeing and is really good for our mental health. When we’re feeling down, we can go on a treasure hunt for things in our life that we are grateful for and that can make us feel better. We can write them in a journal, keep a gratitude jar or take photographs to store on phones and we can look at these during difficult times to give ourselves a boost.
Kindness. If you do a few kind acts in a single day you’ll feel amazing because you’ll get something called ‘givers’ glow’ – I once did 43 acts of kindness in one day to honour my mum who sadly died when she was 43. Although it was tiring to do them it turned a tough day (my own 43rd birthday) into a good one. I felt amazing at the end of the day and made lots of other people feel good too.