This week February 3rd – 7th, shines a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. Finding your brave – Bravery comes in all shapes and forms. It can be asking for help, talking to someone, trying something different, doing something social, going outside, going to school. Being brave is different for every child.
Having a child who has had mental health challenges, along with seeing what their friends go through, has made me aware of some of the problems facing our kids today.
How many of you have been watching the Channel 4 documentary – Losing it – Our Mental Health Emergency? The second episode took me back a couple of years and I could recognise my daughter in all 3 of the teenagers shown. It was difficult to watch, and it reminded me of a time I hope never to go back to.
I know a lot of families are dealing with children who have mental health challenges, but what can we all do differently?
I have a lot of thoughts on the way our children are being brought up, but the one main thing I would like to see change is that there be a counsellor working full time in every secondary school.
My daughter was bullied at school and I went in to discuss this with them on a weekly basis, but nothing was ever done. She didn’t want to move schools because she was afraid of losing the few friends she did have. She didn’t know how to communicate all of this or know how to navigate the difficult relationships and emotions. I had got her a private therapist, but I do feel that if she had someone to talk to at school that would just listen it would have made a difference. As time went on, she was afraid to tell the teachers what was going on sometimes due to the repercussions and sometimes because she knew that all they would do was call me.
In hindsight I would have removed her from the school. It was a negative environment for her, and they had no idea how to help manage her, so they gave up. She did complete her GCSEs, although she only went to school for her exams. Her studying and revision she did at home. As soon as her exams were over, she left. She got the qualifications needed for her chosen college course, which she started last September, and she has never looked back.
A counsellor would give these children the knowledge that conversations would be confidential. It would be an outlet, someone who would just listen. It may give them the confidence to have those difficult conversations.
Prevention is better than cure….
If having a counsellor in schools reduced the pressure these kids feel, or if it helps improve their self-esteem and self-confidence, or if it helps them open up to parents, surely this is what is needed.
This is only one way I think children can be helped. There are many more ideas. To show your support for Children’s Mental Health Week go to
There are posts you can put on your social media. There is information for schools and youth groups and parents and carers. Help these children find their brave