CHILDLINE ADVICE: Children’s concerns over their mental health are increasing
Childline counsellors hear from hundreds of children every day who need to share their worries, thoughts and concerns.
One common topic children raise with us is their mental health concerns – this has increased over the last 18 months, as the pandemic changed their lives and routines.
Yesterday marked World Mental Health Day, and I felt this would be a good opportunity to highlight one of the more popular areas of the Childline website that’s really useful for anyone in need of a little guidance or a few tips.
The Calm Zone offers activities, tools, games, videos and breathing exercises that are easy to understand and can help improve a child’s mental health.
As with all mental health issues, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ remedy, so our experts have included a huge variety of techniques and tips for children and young people to experiment with and see what works best for them.
One great tip is for young people to write a letter or note to themselves on a day they’re feeling happy, and save it to look back at when they’re feeling low or anxious – it reminds them that they do have better days, and can include details of what they can do to feel that way again.
Other advice can be as simple as changing your surroundings to change the way you feel – whether that’s moving from one room to look out of the window in another, or going for a walk in the fresh air, even just a few minutes in another space can be enough to improve their mood.
It’s important to remember that children and young people might feel the same worries as adults, but may not be able to express them as well, and that’s why it’s vital that we’re here to listen to and support them.
If you’re worried about a young person, the first step is asking if you can help.
If they’re happy to talk to you, that’s great, but you can always explore the Childline website and Calm Zone with them, and our Childline counsellors are always here to support.