2nd February 2021
'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 seventh year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word.' - https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/
Mental health disorders are increasing in children and families as One in six children is diagnosed with a mental health disorder. As children continually go through challenging life circumstances, seeking out support is highly effective.
As we know schools will not reopen until 8th March 2021 at the earliest. According to the Prime Minister opening schools is a “National Priority”. The government is working together to open schools with a safe and protected approach. It is likely that parents and children are feeling deflated from the current lockdown, many of us finding this one the hardest. Although, times are tough with juggling homeschooling and working from home, this week we want to encourage you to do something that makes you feel good! Take the time this week to look into what activities you enjoy doing to EXPRESS YOURSELF and improve yours and the young people in your lives' mental wellbeing, even if it's only for 10 mins a day.
Children use multiple different forms of tools to handle their difficulties and struggles. As it states talking is not enough. Children use creativity to process and understand their experiences. Creativity is seen as a healing tool that can not only help children but also adults.
“Express Yourself” means finding creative ways for anyone to share their feelings, thoughts, or ideas. Being able to express yourself, allows you to feel good, relax, connected, which can help and benefit your mental health, especially in these tough and difficult times.
Some Activity Ideas
• Dressing up
• Journal writing
• Sport activities
We asked our Executive officer Team what activities they do to 'Express themselves' and improve their mental wellbeing:
Kirstie Pope, Disabled Students' Officer
"I've been making positive, signing TikToks to spread a little bit of support. It's also a good place to vent your frustrations at the government and you can find some funny ones about life as well. I have also been making Hama bead designs. I used to really enjoy it, then decided it was too childish, but actually, it doesn't matter if they're for children. If you enjoy it and it gives you a break from the world for a bit, do it!"
Charlotte Spalding, Societies Officer
"Hi, my name is Charlotte and I'm currently the Societies Officer for the SU, I've found that during lockdown planning out my day in the morning, checking in with friends and family has really helped my mental well-being."
Travis Thompson, Sports Officer
"Hi, my name is Travis and I'm the Sports Officer for the SU. Some activities I enjoy to help my mental health are going on walks, taking time out to play my Xbox, listening to music, and also making sure I get enough sleep."
Anthony Stepniak, Postgraduate Research Officer
"Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic and following lockdown restrictions, I have ensured that I go out and walk at least once a day and usually speak to friends while doing this. I also ensure that I walk different routes as this keeps my mind stimulated from being In the same surrounding and provides me with an event to anchor my thoughts, otherwise my days feel very similar. With us all spending so much time indoors, when possible, it is nice to remind yourself there is a great big world out there!"
Genine Taylor, Mature Students' Officer
"My name is Genine Taylor, I am the Mature Students' Officer. I make sure that I have a constant connection with my family, talking to them at least twice a week, so they know, and I know how we are all feeling. Hearing about their days helps me get through mine. I’m defiantly into movies and T.V shows, watching things outside my comfort zone. I also enjoy baking and each day I find a quote to promote positive emotions and thoughts."
Yuanting Jiang, Vice-President Welfare & Activities
"Hi, my name is Yuanting and I'm the VP Welfare Officer. I make sure that I eat a well-balanced diet, eating more vegetables and a good amount of protein to keep me focused throughout the day. I also exercise regularly, get enough sleep and do a 10-minute meditation every morning".
Expressing yourself is not about doing something great for others, it’s about putting yourself first, and expressing yourself as you!
To find more information and lots of helpful resources: https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/
If you feel that you need further support, then there are several services available at the University and Students’ Union that you can access;
Welfare, Advice, and Support; a team of independent advisors based within your Students Union; [email protected]
Student Support & Advice Team who provide initial and ongoing support to enable you to make the best of your studies with us. You can contact either the Student Support Officers or Academic Advisers; [email protected] or [email protected]
Financial Guidance Team offers information and guidance on financial matters; [email protected]