Universe Exploration: Children’s Mental Health Week

The focus of this year is ‘My voice matters!’
The goal is to enable children and youngsters by equipping them with the vital tools for properly expressing themselves. We strive to make them confident enough to share their thoughts, emotions, and life experiences, as well as communicate their desires regarding their learning and growth. They should have a voice.

Significance of Paying Attention to Kids and Adolescents:

  • By lending an ear to children and young individuals, we give importance to their feelings and encounters. Recognizing their emotions helps them depend on their own instincts and sentiments, in turn building their self-assurance and courage.
  • Listening not only assists children but also lends us, adults, a deeper knowledge of their necessities and desires. Since children may struggle with articulating their emotions, it is crucial that we notice and assist them in managing their feelings.
  • Paying attention to them aids in forging trusted bonds with others around them, making them prone to trust and seek help for bigger issues as they age. Ignoring them or not taking them seriously from an early age can hinder that trust.
  • Listening also allows us to identify problems earlier, which could be advantageous for their mental health and overall wellbeing.

Size of the Problem:

Over the past three years, emergency referrals involving children’s mental health issues have spiked by 53% in England alone.
In the 2022-2023 period, there were 32,521 emergency referrals to minors and adolescent mental health services, compared to the 21,242 recorded in the 2019-2022 period.

Many of these emergency cases are kept on standby for an average of five months, with some even lasting up to two years! An emergency situation should not be managed like this. The support they need should be made available immediately, not when it’s already a crisis.

The Solution?

Nearly 398 mental health support teams provided by the NHS are now deployed inside schools and colleges tasked to intervene early with those dealing with mild to moderate mental health issues. This initiative reaches 35% of all students in the country.
An additional 200 teams are currently being trained and are expected to be fully functional by spring 2025. These extra teams would be able to accommodate up to 50% of all students in the nation.

Everyone has a role to play. Parents, older siblings, relatives, teachers… all have a part in listening to our children and youngsters. We can motivate them to talk about their feelings, experiences, and difficulties. We can assist in defeating the pattern of silence. We can aid in creating early changes.
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