Cumbria County Council is joining hundreds of organisations across the country this week to support Children’s Mental Health Week.
This annual event, now in its seventh year, takes place during the first week of February, and schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals across Cumbria are taking part in raising awareness of the national campaign, and highlighting the support available to young people in Cumbria.
The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Express Yourself,’ expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity.
This could be through art, music, writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, and doing activities that make you feel good.
In Cumbria, the county council’s Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service has been asking children and young people to share the ways they express their feelings, and what has helped them to cope or what they have learned during the ongoing COVID pandemic.
The county council is delivering a major programme of support to schools, including training to support teachers to handle difficult conversations with pupils, parents and carers.
The programme also includes the Wellbeing and Resilience in Education Programme, available to all schools and colleges in Cumbria, and which has been delivered to more than 170 schools in the county since November 2020.
Further support from the council’s 5 – 19 Public Health Nurse Practitioner team is also offered as part of the programme.
Feedback from schools so far suggests that the programme is helpful in terms of staff wellbeing, reassurance that support is available, and gives staff greater confidence in talking with pupils about the difficult things that may be affecting them.
Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We know how challenging the last year has been for young people, and we want to reach as many people as possible through the campaign, putting young people and their families in touch with the support and information they need.”
Cllr Sue Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, said: “This week is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the significant challenges facing our young people during these unprecedented times.
“I am pleased that the council is supporting schools to deliver a programme of support and training that will help teachers and school staff respond to the mental health issues young people may be experiencing.”