For Children’s Mental Health Week 2021, we highlighted the importance of ‘expressing yourself’ and encouraged children (and adults) to explore the different ways we can share our thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Ahead of the week, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge sent a message of support encouraging children and parents to find ways to share their thoughts and feelings.
On Monday 1 February, we launched the week with our virtual assembly with BAFTA Kids and Oak National Academy. The assembly features pupils and well known-faces, including Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker and Harry Potter star Matthew Lewis, discussing the theme of Express Yourself.
To complement the assembly, we released our ‘I Express Myself Through…’ virtual sessions with BAFTA Kids and Oak National Academy. The series features experts and familiar faces across acting, dance, art, content creation and writing sharing their advice and tips on self-expression.
During the week, Place2Be published new research on parents’ attitudes to mental health. In our survey of over 1000 parents, we found that almost a third (29%) of parents admit they would feel embarrassed if their child wanted counselling, and 34% feel other parents would judge them.
Throughout the week we shared blogs from experts, and from children themselves. Place2Be Trustee and leading academic, Professor Stephen Scott, shared his advice on how parents and carers can support their child’s mental health, whilst I CAN children’s communication charity wrote a guest blog on the links between communication difficulties and mental health. We also shared this blog featuring the voices of pupils from two Place2Be partner schools talking about how they like to express themselves.
In a video released during the week, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge spoke one-on-one with teachers from Ribbon Academy in County Durham about the important work they have been doing during the pandemic to support children and families, and thanked them for their efforts.
The week gained support from parliamentarians across England, Scotland and Wales, including Mental Health Ministers, Clare Haughey, Eluned Morgan and Nadine Dorries, and Education Ministers, John Swinney and Gavin Williamson. In Scotland, Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director, took part in a Q&A session with pupils at Oakwood Primary School; answering questions on mental health, self-care and creative expression.
Schools across the UK (and the world!) took part in the week and we loved seeing your photos and videos on social media. From photos of your Dress to Express days, to videos of you expressing yourselves, it was great to see so many of you embracing the theme this year and helping raise vital funds for Place2Be. Thank you to everyone who got involved. If you haven’t already, please add yourself to the Children’s Mental Health Week map!
We want to say a big thank you to players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, and The Beaverbrook Foundation, who supported this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week.
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Each year during Children’s Mental Health Week we shine a spotlight on the importance of children’s mental health, but our work doesn’t end here. Place2Be’s vision is for all young people to have the support they need to build lifelong coping skills and thrive.