Campaign to mark Children's Mental Health Week
Published on Friday, February 2, 2018
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to help encourage children and young people to talk about their mental health.
The campaign is part of Time To Change Leicester, which aims to combat the stigma around mental health. It has been organised to coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week, which runs from 5-11 February.
Posters have been produced and resource packs sent to schools in the city, focusing on the fact that a child you know will have a mental health problem. One in 10 young people experiences a mental health problem in any year.
Pledge cards have also been sent to schools, encouraging teachers and pupils to think of one thing they could do, either individually or as a group, to help end the stigma surrounding mental health.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on public health, said: “We need to challenge attitudes towards mental health across our communities and kick-start conversations about mental health.
“This pack will help teachers to start age-appropriate conversations with children about their mental health. We know that children are already finding it difficult to speak out – 30 per cent of 11-15 year olds in Leicester say they never feel comfortable talking about their feelings.
“Encouraging conversations will help to normalise talking about difficult emotions, and encourage children to seek help without fear of judgement.”
Cllr Sarah Russell, deputy city mayor for children, young people and schools, said: “We need to engage with children and young people as soon as we possibly can to help prevent mental health problems. Protecting children’s mental wellbeing is vitally important, so that they can go on to learn and achieve to their full potential, and participate fully in society.”
The children’s campaign was first launched at a safeguarding summit held by the Young People’s Council in November. Primary and secondary schools across Leicester were invited to pledge their support for the campaign.
These pledges included making a commitment to learn more about mental health, and taking time to ask friends how they are feeling.
For more information or to get involved with the campaign, visit the Time to Change Leicester webpage at leicester.gov.uk/mentalhealth.