Children’s Mental Health Week

childrens-mental-health-week

My Voice Matters

Children’s Mental Health Week will take place from 5th-11th February 2024. The theme for this year is ‘My Voice Matters’. ‘My Voice Matters’ aims to highlight the importance of ensuring that young people feel empowered to use their voices to express what matters to them. It emphasises the key role that caregivers and educators play in ensuring young people feel that their voices are heard and valued. 

The Importance of Connection

At Meadows Psychology Service, we recognise that a child/young person who feels safe and connected within their relationships with carers are more likely to feel able to share their experiences and express their thoughts and feelings.  Evidence shows that a positive, nurturing, and responsive relationship with carers (i.e., family, school staff, foster carers, or staff working in residential settings) can play a significant role in a child’s development, self-esteem, learning and overall well being. 

Relationships that allow a young person to feel safe to express themselves are those that have a strong foundation of trust. Finding ways to connect meaningfully with a child allows for trust and security to develop. 

Promoting Connection through Playfulness 

Children learn to forge connections with others and navigate relationships and social challenges through play. Playful interactions and shared activities can provide a fun and effective way for carers and educators to build safe and meaningful connections with young people. 

Simple Ways to Connect:

  • Get creative! – Making puppets or finding some other way to be creative together can encourage young people to use their voice to tell stories and express their thoughts and feelings. Don’t be afraid to get messy!
  • Work together – Games that require us to work together, like trying to keep a balloon in the air for example (balloon toss), are a great way to promote connection with young people. Perhaps you could add a second or third balloon to make the game more interesting.
  • Learn about each other – Simple games like “two truths and a lie” can help to keep exchanges fast-paced, intriguing, and enjoyable whilst also providing opportunity to learn about one another and find common ground.
  • Problem solving activities – Engaging in activities that provide opportunity for young people to feel empowered through considering and making their own choices is a great way to connect. DIY, cooking, baking or walking trails following a map can provide lots of opportunity for a young person to make choices, and importantly, ample opportunity for carers to provide a young person with encouragement and positive reinforcement to boost their self-esteem. 

How can Meadows Psychology Service help?

Meadows Psychology Service has a wealth of experience offering assistance with children’s mental health. We have an extensive team of experienced, qualified, accredited child psychologists who have the expertise to provide individuals with psychological assessments (including specialist assessments such as those involving risk), psychological consultation and individual therapy. Contact us today to find out more.

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