Blog: ‘Getting connected is truly one of the best things we can do to boost our wellbeing’
This week is Children’s Mental Health Week (6 – 12 February) and this year’s theme is all about connecting. Advanced Public Health Practitioner for Mental Health, Jayne Cook explains how encouraging children, young people (and the adults around them) to make meaningful connections is essential to supporting mental health and wellbeing.
“Children and Young People’s mental health and wellbeing is really important, because what happens in infancy, childhood and adolescence impacts the rest of their life.
This includes their physical health, life expectancy, developing healthy relationships and future success in education and employment.
Mental distress impacts whole families. It can influence future outcomes and the resilience of children from the very beginning – this is why the period during pregnancy and up to the second year of life, is known as the critical first 1001 days.
Mental health needs are high in Liverpool for people of all ages. The impact of the pandemic and more recently the cost-of-living crisis has driven up these needs and children, young people and their families are amongst the most heavily impacted.
A recent survey of Liverpool school pupils showed that around 1 in 5 show signs of anxiety and depression – and with Liverpool at the higher end of the scale when it comes to the numbers of children living with social, emotional and mental health needs, services are struggling to cope with current demand.
The number of children and young people requiring mental health services has increased by 142% since the pandemic – but the positive in all of this is that there is a great network of services out there.
It’s essential that we share information about this support, so it’s easier to know where to go and how to work together, to break down the stigma that still surrounds asking for mental health help.
One thing we can all do (which will make a big difference) is to acknowledge how mental health impacts on every aspect of our lives and to connect and support each other.
The theme of Children’s Mental Health Week is about connecting and enjoying time with others.
In a vibrant city like Liverpool, known for its community spirit – it’s not difficult to get involved in activities, meet new people and make friends.
Getting connected is truly one of the best things we can all do to boost our wellbeing and is a wonderful way to mark this Children’s Mental Health Week.”