Mental Health-Why it is important to talk!
Currently, 10% of young people have experience poor mental health. The statistics below are worrying and they do not, as yet, reflect the impact Covid-19 has had on our children and young people.
When we think about the following how does that make us feel?
- 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year.1
- 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.2
- 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem3, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.4
As an advocate for children, it breaks my heart to read such worrying statistics, but it also makes me wonder what we can do differently?
I think for many grown ups our childhood experiences could not have been further away from the life our children experience on a daily basis. I don’t remember having to worry about “fashion” or “diets” until I inflicted it on myself as a young adult. I remember that mobile phones became a ‘thing’ when I was maybe 16 and they didn’t have cameras or social media and they hadn’t, at the time, become permanently stuck in our human hands!
I remember ringing a friend meant dialling a landline and we often spent much of our time outside, making dens, riding our bikes and causing minor mischief before returning home for tea, bath and bed.
Granted, I would not want to stand in the way of progress and Mr Nickson is a complete Tech Whizz so I have a house full of gadgets and gizmos a plenty but I also have a strong urge to connect with nature and that allows me to limit my brain frazzle by doing the simple things in life, like walking Tilly the fur baby.
So what is the solution? What can we do to make a difference to the mental health and wellbeing needs of our children? I wish I knew all the answers but I have a few suggestions about the things we try to do in school.
We talk, talk and talk some more. Our HEART ROOM (https://www.ramjs.lancs.sch.uk/the-heart-room/) is a hive for talking because we recognise that through talking we gain answers and insights. These insights help us form relationships and help us work out solutions to problems. The old saying ‘A worry shared is a worry halved’ is so true and the more we talk the better.
We also try to factor in time to simply be and therefore the reason we are developing our Outdoor Curriculum in the hope that by building a LOVE for the great outdoors, we are showing how much enjoyment can be gained from the simpler things in life…nature!
At RAMJS we fully recognise that in some cases, we need professional support and that is why we work closely with CAHMS, our School Nursing Team and other professionals including our in-school counsellor and our Church in a bid to make our space a safe, supportive environment for all.
On Friday 08.10.2021 we will be wearing Yellow in support of YoungMinds charity. This simple act is about raising awareness so that our children know that how they are feeling is important and talking about it is OK!
At RAMJS we believe in doing All We Can, All I Can, All You Can and we hope you will continue to support us in our quest for happy, healthy children! We know that for our children, it takes COURAGE (one of our school values) to speak out about how you are feeling! As an adult it also takes courage to ask those difficult questions but if we are courageous together, we could really make an impact!
For more information about supporting the mental health needs of young children, the NHS have included a wealth of advice and guidance for parents and carers and as always, if there is anything you need our help with, please do not hesitate to contact us.