Children’s Mental Health Week to focus on ‘Growing Together’

Published Monday 7 February 2022 at 10:24

This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is running from February 7th to 13th and is encouraging children and adults to look at how they have grown and how they can help others.

It is being organised by leading children’s health charity Place2Be and this year’s theme is ‘Growing Together’,

In Blackburn with Darwen, the week is being supported by our very own team of supportive young people – the Wellbeing Champions.

The borough now has eleven young people aged 12-18 serving as ‘Wellbeing Champions’ offering peer support, mentoring in emotional health, and pointing young people to wellbeing resources and services.

The Wellbeing Champions project was started, co-designed and delivered by our Youth Forum, Young People’s Services (YPS), Public Health and Re-Align Futures in response to ongoing reports of the negative impact the pandemic restrictions were having on young people’s mental health.

Public Health successfully secured national funding from the Better Mental Health grant last summer to recruit, train and supervise school based youth Wellbeing Champions in our secondary schools.

The Wellbeing Champions are now well supported by their school senior leadership and pastoral teams, from Blackburn Central, Our Lady and St John, and Tauheedul Girls, with ongoing wrap around support from ReAlign Futures to ensure they thrive in their new roles.

They will be holding an advice session in The Mall in Blackburn on Saturday, February 12th from 11am to 3pm, where young people can pop down and ask about all aspects of Children’s Mental Health Week and the services the Wellbeing Champions offer. They will be at the Ask me Point near Boots.

The theme of Growing Together was chosen for this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week to focus on growing emotionally and finding ways to help each other grow.

Challenges and setbacks can help us to grow and adapt and trying new things can help us to move beyond our comfort zone into a new realm of possibility and potential. However, emotional growth is often a gradual process that happens over time, and sometimes we might feel a bit ‘stuck’ – so supporting each other is important.

Place2Be launched the first ever Children’s Mental Health Week in 2015 to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. Now in its eighth year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word.

Councillor Julie Gunn, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

Right now, taking care of our children’s mental health has never been more relevant. The effects felt by our young people during the Covid-19 pandemic and the periods of remote learning from schools, which were unfortunately necessary, have had a real impact on some children’s mental well-being.

This campaign is wonderful in raising awareness of this issue and I know there will be lots going on in our schools during the week to highlight the help and support that is out there.

The Children’s Mental Health Week campaign has some excellent resources for parents and children and I hope that you will take a look if you feel you need some support. The theme of ‘Growing Together’ is such an important one – absolutely everyone gets ‘stuck’ sometimes, and you are never alone in this. The more we can come together to help each other the better.”

Councillor Brian Taylor, a mental health advocate for the Council, said:

These last two years have been a challenging time for everybody and our young people have faced a lot of adversity due to the pandemic and the effects of that.    I’m very pleased that we’re marking Children’s Mental Health Week again and this is a great campaign that gets young people promoting positivity and supporting one another.

This is also about making sure every young person knows the importance of mental health, the basic ways to look after themselves, and if needed, how to seek out help and support. Childhood is such a formative time for mental health, so we need to make sure our young people are getting help if and when they need it.

The Wellbeing Champions are doing a great job and I hope any young people or parents and carers with any queries will pop down to The Mall on Saturday, February 12th to find out more from our great young team of champions.”

You can find out more about Children’s Mental Health Week here:

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