Let’s connect for Children’s Mental Health Week
It’s never too early to start talking to children about mental health, and this week is all about raising awareness of the support available across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Children’s Mental Health Week is taking place from 6 – 12 February 2023 and this year the theme is “Let’s Connect”. Connecting with others is vital for our wellbeing, and the week encourages children and adults alike to connect with others in healthy, rewarding and meaningful ways.
From birth to primary school age is an important time to teach your child to prioritise their mental wellbeing. There is often a focus on the physical milestones, like a child’s first steps, but emotional growth is just as important, such as gaining confidence and independence. Habits formed early in life will carry through to adulthood.
Coventry and Warwickshire RISE, a family of NHS mental health services for children and young people, provides a range of services from mental health specialists embedded within schools to therapy and crisis support. RISE aims to build resilience and empower children and young people, and the adults in their lives, so they know where to go for support and advice when the going can get tough.
The RISE website provides helpful resources for parents and carers to help them talk to their child, such as 12 powerful phrases to make talking about mental health with children and young people easier and 26 phrases to help calm an angry child or young person. RISE also provides direct support including:
- Group sessions and therapy for young people and their parents or carers.
- Community-based support for parents and carers through RISE Community Partnerships and Coventry Family Hubs.
- 24-hour self-help support and guidance through the Dimensions tool and website.
For anyone under the age of 17 experiencing a mental health crisis, the RISE Crisis Team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (with an advice-only service outside the core hours of 8am-8pm) on Freephone 08081 966798 (select option 2).
RISE is also looking for Ambassadors: young people who are interested in contributing their thoughts, experiences and ideas to improve local mental health services. The opportunity is open to 11- to 25-year-olds. Ambassadors will meet bimonthly and work on creative projects that bring young people’s voices to the forefront. More information is available on the RISE Facebook page.
Kooth, a locally funded mental health support service, is also available for young people aged 11 to 25. Kooth offers access free, safe and anonymous mental wellbeing support 365 days of the year and also fully qualified counsellors and emotional wellbeing practitioners midday to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10pm at weekends. There are also moderated discussion forums, magazines and wellbeing articles with tips from young people and the Kooth team as well as a daily journal which allows young people to track feelings or emotions to help promote positive mental wellbeing.
Sharon Binyon, Medical Director for the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust which includes RISE, said:
"Children's Mental Health Week is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the range of support RISE and its partners offer to children and young people across Coventry and Warwickshire. For us, mental health is everyone's business, and we know that talking to young people about mental health from an early is vitally important for their wellbeing growing up. Whether it's in school or at home, let's get talking about mental health this week.”
“Our message to children, young people and their families is that we are here to support you and we encourage you to seek help as early as possible. Take a look at the resources on our website and our Dimensions tool. If you need additional support, RISE’s door is open not just this week but day in, day out, all year round."
Further information about mental health support for young people in Warwickshire is available here and for Coventry residents here.