Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 – Let’s Connect

Children’s Mental Health Week is from 6th - 12th February 2023. This year's theme is "Let's Connect!", but what do we mean by that? Read on to find out more!

What is Children’s Mental Health Week?

Children’s Mental Health Week is a national campaign run by a children’s mental health charity called Place2Be. It takes place once a year, every year and it aims to shine a spotlight on the importance of Children and Young People’s Mental Health.

Understanding the theme – Let’s connect

Connecting with others is a huge part of our day to day lives. Whether that be at school or college, through socialising, during sports or online. It’s crucial that the connections we make are healthy.

The state of our mental health can be heavily influenced by interactions, such as the connections we have in our lives. Our mental health affects the way we think, feel, behave, manage stress and react to situations.  Just like our physical health, our mental health also needs to b

e taken care of. Sometimes, we can have poor mental health because of what is happening in our lives and around us, but a way to experience good mental health again is through connection.

We make connections everyday, sometimes with others but sometimes also with ourselves. Connecting with yourself is just as important as connecting with others to maintain your wellbeing. This kind of self-care might involve meditating, spending time alone to relax, being creative, taking a screen break, exercising, being in nature, or doing anything that you enjoy.

Connecting with others can bring a wealth of happiness to our lives. Creating meaningful connections with people can make us feel safe, loved, listened to and cared for. We can connect regularly with family and friends, in person or online, but the potential for new connection world-wide is now limitless thanks to social media. Opportunity to connect is not only in our daily interactions with one another but also at the end of our fingertips. As the opportunity to connect online becomes more and more prevalent, it is important to remember to stay safe online. We must remember to speak out if you see, hear or read anything that makes you feel unsafe.

Of course, as we think about connection, it’s important to acknowledge disconnection. There are times in our lives when we may feel disconnected from people around us. We may feel isolated, lonely and unhappy. As we recognise those emotions, we can begin to use self-care strategies and healthy communication to build meaningful connections with the people in our lives again.

What can you do?

There will be activities, assemblies, workshops and lessons happening throughout the week at your school or college. However, what you do outside of your school is equally as important. Take time to reflect on the connections you make and who you connect with. Are these connections healthy, meaningful and respectful? Perhaps you could keep a diary of connections that you make within the week and reflect on the most positive connection that you made. Consider how you could connect more during the week, could you try something new this week?

Social activities can be a great way to build connections. This might be something that you have experienced before but may be something that you want to do more of. Children’s Mental Health Week is the ideal opportunity to try something new. This might involve joining a new club, trying a new sport, talking to someone new or going somewhere that you haven’t been before. Although at first it might seem overwhelming, remember to try these things somewhere familiar or with someone that you feel safe with.

Place2Be are also marking the end of Children’s Mental Health week with a ‘Dress to Express Day’ on Friday 10th February. This is where young people all over the country are encouraged to express themselves through the clothes they choose to wear. This is a way for everyone to express their individuality and encourage connection through a sense of acceptance and belonging.

Try something new during Children’s Mental Health week and benefit from creating meaningful, positive, healthy connections.