The fifth annual Children’s Mental Health Week was launched on Monday, with this year’s topic being ‘Healthy: Inside and Out’
Children’s charity Place2Be, which provides support and training in schools, organise the week every year. The aim is to raise awareness of child mental health issues.
Whilst some schools around the country took to social media to show how they had been taking part, there was little contribution from Sheffield schools.
Lizzie Parsons, 36, runs a pop-up café to encourage people to talk about their mental health. After being diagnosed with depression aged nine, Lizzie noticed how it affected her school work and communication, and led to her being bullied.
She said “whilst mental health services are better than they were five years ago, the support for mental wellbeing in children is extremely limited, if there at all.”
She added that “in order to improve mental health services for children, subjects like cognitive behavioural therapy, basic psychology, and mindfulness need to be taught in schools.”
Freddie Cocker, 24, is the founder of Vent, a platform that provides a safe space for men to talk about their mental health issues.
After being bullied and sexually assaulted as a child, Freddie suffered from a number of mental health issues, including anxiety.
He believes that if people were more aware of mental health issues in children, his situation would have been different.
He said “my parents told me to handle it own my own, from an emotional perspective. Maybe if they´d known I was suicidal or had severe mental health issues even at seven, things might have been different for me.”
Whilst he does believe things are improving, he said that “if schools aren´t given the funding to employ on-site mental health counsellors, more children like me will get lost in the system.”