To celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week, Kaja writes about what the week is, why it is important and what #BeeWell is doing to work towards the theme, “My Voice Matters”.
Children’s Mental Health Week is an annual event focused on raising awareness about the mental health and well-being of children and young people. This year’s theme “My Voice Matters” emphasises the importance of giving children a platform to express their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Acknowledging a child’s voice is crucial because it fosters a sense of empowerment and validation. When children feel heard, it positively impacts their self-esteem, resilience, and mental health. It helps create a supportive environment where they can navigate challenges more effectively.
#BeeWell is a programme that takes a proactive approach to listening and responding to young people’s need, using the Lundy Model of child participation to put young people at the centre of decision-making. Listening to young people involves actively seeking their input, understanding their perspectives, and incorporating their voices into decision-making processes. It’s about respecting their unique experiences and involving them in discussions that impact their lives.
Whether through online platforms, surveys, or community engagement, organisations can gather valuable insights to tailor mental health support to the specific needs of children and adolescents.
The #BeeWell programme conducts an annual wellbeing survey, which takes place in schools and actively involves young people in sharing their experiences. The results are confidentially shared with schools and publicly on neighbourhood dashboards. This transparency enables collective responses to the data, fostering support for the wellbeing of young people.
We want to explore the significance of Children’s Mental Health Week, the “My Voice Matters” theme, and the connection to #BeeWell. Concrete examples from #BeeWell showcase effective strategies for engaging with young people and contributing to the wellbeing of the next generation. Consider reading the “More Than Voice, More Than a Survey” blogs to explore the variety of activities they undertake. Highlighting examples from #BeeWell can illustrate the effective strategies for engaging with young people, ultimately contributing to the well-being of the next generation.
Authored by Kaja, completing work placement with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Over the last three years, we have listened to the voices of more than 80,000 young people to hear what matters to their wellbeing – watch this space for our new headline findings in March 2024!