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 Published On: 02 Feb, 2024

Children's Mental Health Week

Monday 5th February 2024 marks the beginning of this year’s Nationally recognised, Children's Mental Health Week; now in its 10th Year of raising awareness, 2024’s theme is ‘My Voice Matters’. 

This years theme is sure to create a positive and empowering movement for young people to really lean into and express their thoughts and feelings to their teachers, guardians and surrounding supportive adults. ‘My Voice Matters’ is designed to equip children with various positive tools and methods, enabling them to speak up for their beliefs and to take a stand proudly and diligently against unwanted feelings of negativity in their lives.

Some of the resources created by the Place 2 Be organisation have been designed to be presented to Primary & Secondary Schools in classroom and assembly format. The resources for primary school classes can be seen to include the ‘Letter of Gratitude’ whereby students are able to write down all of the things they are grateful for and present it to themselves as a reflecting tool of all the positivity they have surrounding them. Positive reinforcement is seen as really important in primary schools and segways nicely into the ‘Feeling Proud’ task, where students are able to present to their class something they have achieved or indeed feel proud of.

Going into schools and teaching PPA Cover can be a significant gateway into instilling confidence into young people’s lives, through the various activities taught by Junior Jam Staff. Pupils being involved in our activities, such as Music, Languages and Sports, can lead into students gaining a passion and interest for the subject naturally leading them into taking up hobbies of the same subjects. Hobbies are a huge part of developing children’s mental health and can be a drastically important part of a routine in a child’s life. A study was conducted at the University of Reading in 2021, detailing that individuals who have a hobby is linked to lower levels of depression.

“When we take part in a hobby that we enjoy, chemical messengers in the brain (known as neurotransmitters) are released – such as dopamine, a chemical which helps us feel pleasure. These feel-good chemicals can then make us want to do the hobby again, and feel more motivated to do so.”

-Dr Ciara McCabe, an associate Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology.

With this in mind and the positive impact that learning new skills and maintaining them has on young people, what better way to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week than to encourage students to get more involved in extracurricular activities and really lean into the PPA Subjects being taught in schools.

Some of our schools will be getting involved in the activities that Place 2 Be have produced and we look forward to seeing what students learn and what positive effective changes they will make as part of Children’s Mental Health Week 2024!

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