From the Counsellor’s Chair

Children’s Mental Health Week.

Mrs R Good, our School Counsellor, here writes about an issue which is of concern to us all, and focusses on Children’s Mental Health Week, which is from 1st – 7th February 2021.

‘The concept of Children’s Mental Health Week was initially launched in 2015 by children’s charity Place2Be.  This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is taking place from 1st – 7th February with the theme, ‘Express Yourself.’  The organisation has defined ‘Express Yourself,’ as being ‘about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity.’

Creativity can be found in a range of activities to suit different participants.  Activates such as art, writing and poetry, sewing and embroidery, baking and cooking, gardening, music, dance and drama, puppetry, photography and film, thinking up games, or setting goals on walks offer the potential for creativity and expressing ourselves.  It’s doing those activities that makes us feel good.

Finding ways to express yourself is not about putting on a performance for others or being the best.  It is about finding ways to show who you are and how you view the world that can help make you feel good about yourself.  Now, more than ever, as social connections and friendships in school have been interrupted, landmark events in the lives of young people are being lost, and the financial demands on families are growing, the need to take care of ourselves and show self-compassion is crucial.  Whether drawing on existing interests or passions, or taking the opportunity to find a creative outlet, the opening to be creative is there.

The beauty of being creative is that you don’t have to necessarily buy new things.  Recyclable materials and preloved items can be the source of amazing inspiration.   And if you don’t think you are creative, focus on the process rather than the end product, taking solace from trying rather than being judged for doing something well. It just needs imagination, willingness and sometimes a bit of encouragement.  And in the course of being creative, expressing yourself gives you a breather from the strain of online activity such as shopping or being on social media platforms.’