Children and well-being

Hello all! Hope you all have had a fantastic week. For this week’s post I decided that we have looked at many things for adults and well-being and my experience of mental illness, but I have yet to speak about children and young people and their well-being. It is just as important, if not more vital, that a child’s well-being is prosperous. Here are some statistics around mental health and well-being:
  • Recent government research indicates that 1 in 8 children and young people will suffer from a mental health problem.
  • According to the Mental Health Foundation, 70% of these young people will not receive successful intervention at the right age.
  • The average age for an anxiety disorder is now 10 years old.
These statistics alone hit me hard, because this is my life being represented. At 7 years old, I suffered with hallucinations and delusions that can still scare me today, it was brushed off by the psychiatrist and I was labelled as a clingy, sensitive child who just needed more attention. At 11 years old, I started having panic attacks. It wasn’t until I was 15 and suffering from major depression and hallucinating that I finally got the help I needed. But that was 10 years ago, times are changing. There is now far more awareness around positive mental well-being. For instance, last year Mental Health UK started their UK-wide programme Bloom, training teachers tools and resources on emotional resilience and mental well-being to be delivered to young people which has seen success. There are also many programmes ongoing teaching children as young as 6 years old Mindfulness as a way to better regulate emotions which has much science behind it. Fantastic progress is being made and it is wonderful to see action as well as awareness. I have spent 4 years talking to students, teachers and health professionals about stigma and discrimination, but actions and tools that can actually be used to help develop resilience and being able to cope with change is just as important as awareness. There are many possible triggers that children and young people can face such as transitioning schools, exams and changing friendships. Having guidance on how to cope is immensely useful. But evidence has shown, the earlier we can help children develop more resilience the less likely they are to face mental health problems in a world where more and more children and young people are developing ill-health. There are many ways we can help our own children at home. There are many self-care and happiness journals available online that explore emotions and resilience. We can ask children what went well in their day, we can help them do short meditations, or practicing gratitude. Even most basic things of a balanced diet, exercise, good sleep and a routine can help a child. For some, having a journal to write their thoughts and feelings in can also help. Most importantly, we must show children and young people that we care about them, support them and want to see them flourish. I hope you found this interesting. Let me know if you have found any strategies interesting or helpful. Much love to you, L x

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s