With 1 in 10 children and young people aged 5 – 16 estimated to be suffering from a diagnosable mental health disorder (according to leading UK charity YoungMinds), Hampshire County Council is supporting Child Mental Health Week (8-14 February 2016) which aims to raise awareness if mental health issues in young people.
Councillor Patricia Stallard, Executive Member for Health and Public Health said: “Developing resilience amongst our young people is critical to helping them cope with life’s challenges. Parents, carers and those working with children are best placed to help them develop coping skills to improve their emotional health, wellbeing and resilience. As a mental health champion, I am keen to promote MindEd, which is a free resource for anyone working or volunteering regularly with children or young people. It aims to help us better understand children and young people’s mental health and how we can best help a child who may need some support.
“As families we can also follow some simple tips to build resilience in our children. For example: understanding the importance of good mental health and what to look out for – being an emotional role model ourselves, helping children work out how to balance their lives with fun and downtime, letting them learn from their mistakes with support and by getting early advice and support if you think a child needs some help.”
Hampshire County Council, as part the Hampshire Children’s Trust, has been working with partners to implement “Make it Worthwhile, – a Joint Hampshire Strategy for Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health(Children and Young People) 2014 – 2017”.
Research shows that children and young people with good mental health are happier at home; their learning improves and they do better at school; they are able to enjoy friendships and new experiences. They are more likely to grow up to enjoy healthy and fulfilling lives, make a positive contribution to society and to have good mental health as an adult.
Children who are resilient can ‘bounce back’ and recover quickly from difficulties as they grow up and become adults living and working in our local communities. They are more likely to have good physical and mental health. As adults they will cope better with challenges such as the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a job, the death of a friend or family member or coping with serious or long term illness.
If you have serious concerns about your child’s mental health there are a number of services which can be contacted initially for help – your school nurse, health visitor, or GP.