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Our top 5 favourite resources

For supporting Children's Mental Health

Most lifelong mental health issues begin in childhood, according to Mental Health Statistics; ‘50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.’ Childhood is a vital stage for supporting mental health. This year’s Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week is all about expressing yourself. It is encouraging children to find ways to share their feelings, be that through art, photography, music, dance, drama, writing or poetry.

‘10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.’ according to Children’s Society.

This Children’s Mental Health Week, we have compiled our top five favourite free resources, to help you support the children you care about. The pandemic has brought an untold amount of stress, isolation and upset to children, making this even more relevant and important than ever.

1. Children’s Mental Health: a parent’s guide. From Bupa.

Clinical Director of Mental Health at Bupa has created this comprehensive guide to help any parent, carer or guardian who is concerned that their child may be struggling with a mental health condition. It is part of Bupa’s extensive library of free health information and is a great place to start – with a wealth of tips and guidance about how to start an important conversation about mental health and resilience with your children.

2. Finding Support for Young People. From Mind charity.

There is support out there for young people and their mental health. But finding it, or knowing where to start, can be a little overwhelming. Mind charity for mental health have compiled this informative guide of the support available and where to find it. It includes face-to-face options, over the phone and online suggestions, as well as things to try yourself.

3. Feelings Tracker. From Mentally Healthy Schools

This is a simple idea, but something that can be very revealing and helpful for understanding children’s feelings. It is an emotion and activity tracker, designed to help children identify emotional trigger points and moments of positivity in their day. It helps them to connect the increased positive or negative emotions, with things that may trigger them. Identifying specific causes of feelings can be difficult while a child is feeling these heightened emotions, so the process of tracking allows for patterns to emerge and the possibility to build coping strategies.

4. Supporting your child during the coronavirus pandemic. From Young Minds.

For tips, advice and guidance for how to support your child’s mental health, specifically during the coronavirus pandemic, this page from Young Minds is really informative. Full of ideas – from home-schooling advice, to helping your child comply with the restrictions, it will help navigate the many unknowns we are facing.

5. Creative Play Keeping the kids entertained during lockdown. From Save the Children.

This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week theme is Express Yourself, and this resource from Save the Children charity will help children to do just that. It is full of ideas for them to get creative and fire up their imaginations, while stuck at home through lockdown. It has things to make, play, watch and more, from cooking to crafting, there are lots of activities to choose from.

Despite centuries of shame and misrepresentation, the term ‘mental health’ is finally losing its stigma. Our awareness and understanding have made extraordinary leaps, in the past decade alone. The term is no longer pigeon-holed to apply to severe mental illness, but instead encompasses the wider scale of health and wellbeing, to include common conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Whilst awareness is certainly on the increase it is still difficult to understand the intricacies and delicacies of supporting and recognising children struggling with mental health. Physical health will always be easier to diagnose and treat, as it is more tangible by nature. But this only makes it more important that we are educated and informed, and as forearmed as possible, to support the young people we care about.

Health insurance can support prevention, early intervention, and treatment for mental health conditions in adults and children. If you would like to learn more and talk through a policy to suit you, our expert advisers are on the end of the phone to provide free advice and comparison quotes from the UK’s leading insurers. Just hit the button below and fill in the short form.