World Mental Health Day is celebrated annually on the 10th October. This day opens conversations regarding mental health and creates a platform for people to share feelings, ideas and support. There are several ways you can get involved with the day, for example by hosting a ‘Tea and Talk’ fundraising event, or by simply reaching out to someone to find out how they are.
Supporting Children’s Mental Health
Keeping children safe from harm underpins all we do here at One Team Logic. Unfortunately, many people overlook the fact that children are susceptible to mental health problems, in fact, many adults suffering from mental health issues today probably showed signs of this much earlier on in their life that were sadly missed. It is thought that mental health problems affect 1 in 10 children and young people. Schools have reported that 40% or more of students showed mental health or wellbeing issues in the last 12 months. The earlier help or support is given the better the outcomes will be, the sad truth is that up to 70% of children and adolescents don’t get help at a sufficiently early stage.
MyConcern and Children’s Mental Health
We at One Team Logic understand and recognise that emotional wellbeing and mental health is just as important as a child’s physical health in terms of enabling children to make the most of their educational opportunities. We are proud of the way our product, MyConcern, is helping members of staff and safeguarding leads to flag any issues which concern them – including those which allude to children’s mental health. The ease, accuracy, and speed of MyConcern means that issues can be identified and responded to effectively, to reduce the impact of mental health on the child’s future and ensure that support can be given before an issue reaches a critical point.
Kids with good mental health feel better, learn better and are better equipped to handle life’s curve balls.
What Can Promote Good Mental Health In Children And Young People?
- Being in good physical health, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise
- Having time and the freedom to play, indoors and outdoors
- Being part of a family that gets along well most of the time
- Going to a school that looks after the wellbeing of all its pupils
- Taking part in local activities for young people
Other things that can make a difference to children’s mental health are things like feeling loved, trusted and respected, opportunities to learn and feeling safe and valued. These all contribute to a child’s resilience and ability to cope when something is wrong, rather than becoming overwhelmed and controlled by their emotions.
What Can Trigger Children’s Mental Health Issues?
- Changes like moving home or school
- Individual risk factors such as long-term physical illness
- Parental separation
- Living in poverty
- Experiencing discrimination
What Kinds Of Mental Health Issues Are Children Most Likely To Experience?
- Depression and anxiety
- Children and young people can find it especially difficult to express their feelings and open up to others
- If they’re suffering from depression they may feel like there is no hope and find it difficult to imagine ever being happy again
- Or, if they’re highly anxious they may be even more worried about talking to someone about how they feel
- Suicidal thoughts
- Some children may experience feelings of hopelessness or may even think of ending their life
- Even if these thoughts are not acted upon these are clearly indicative that a child is unhappy and in need of support
- These suicidal feelings are often triggered by other things such as being bullied, having low self-worth or living with mental illness
What Can Teachers Look Out For To Identify Issues Early On?
- A child becoming withdrawn from friends and family
- Persistent low mood and unhappiness
- Tearfulness and irritability
- Worries that stop a child from carrying out day to day tasks
- Frequent and sudden outbursts of anger directed at either themselves or others
- Loss of interest in activities that they used to enjoy
- Issues with eating or sleeping.
Hope For The Future of Children’s Mental Health
We hope that with a rise in awareness of mental health in children, problems will be intervened at a sufficiently early stage to minimise the impact on the child. This way, children will be able to learn, thrive and lead happy, fulfilled lives.
Written by Sam Franklin
 Keeping Young People in Mind, ASCL 2016
 Children’s Society (2008) The Good Childhood Inquiry: health research evidence. London: Children’s Society