Children's Charity Place2Be launched a new campaign this week when they announced the UK's first Children's Mental Health Week. The theme of the week is 'building resilience' and teaching children to 'bounce forward' from challenges they face. Place2Be works with primary and secondary schools and believes that whilst we cannot always change children's circumstances, we can teach them the skills to cope with the difficulties life throws their way.
The Duchess of Cambridge is a Patron of Place2Be and recorded a video message in support of Children's Mental Health Week. In the video she talks about the stigma around mental health and her concerns for the many children that do not get the help that they so badly need, stating that 'things need to change'.
"Both William and I have seen that many young people are struggling to cope with the impact of bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown and more. Without support the effects of these challenges can be traumatic, leading to serious issues such as anxiety, depression addiction and self-harm."
Place2be is asking us all to talk openly this week and to help children and parents understand that it is not a weakness to ask for help.
"A child's mental health is just as important as their physical health and should be treated with the same quality of support... No one would feel embarrassed about seeking help for a child if they broke their arm, and we really should be equally ready to support a child coping with emotional difficulties."
Another aim of Children's Mental Health Week is to support schools to priorities the emotional health of their students alongside academic success. Place2Be believe that by ensuring every child receives the emotional support they need early on, they are being set up with a strong foundation for their futures.
"William and I sincerely believe that early action can prevent problems in childhood from turning into larger ones later in life."
Places2Be is helping children to cope with wide-ranging and often complex social issues including bullying, bereavement, domestic violence, family breakdown neglect and trauma. Kate's call for positive action is something that all teachers, parents, adults and students can help with.
"Together with open conversations and greater understanding we can ensure that attitudes towards mental health change and children receive the support they deserve."