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HRH The Duchess of Cambridge launches Children’s Mental Health Week

Tagged In:  Mental Health

HRH The Duchess of Cambridge has urged schools across the UK to “prioritise the emotional wellbeing of students” in a special video message released to mark the launch of the 2016 Children’s Mental Health Week (8-14 February).

As patron of Place2B, the charity behind the initiative, the Duchess has drawn attention to the impact of mental health issues amongst children and young people. Using the campaign theme of “building resilience”, the week aims to encourage schools to prioritise the emotional wellbeing of children to enable them to learn the skills required to cope with problems in life.

In her video message, which was posted onto the charity’s website, the Duchess stated “Every child deserves to grow up knowing their potential and feeling confident that they won’t fall at the first hurdle. Our ability to deal with stressful situations is something we learn in childhood...For some children, learning to cope with life’s challenges can be a struggle...With early support, they can learn to manage their emotions and feelings and know when to seek help.”

The Duchess also said that her work with other charities such as Action on Addiction has helped her to understand that “the roots of poor mental health in adulthood frequently stem from unresolved childhood issues. This needs to change.” 
As part of their plea for schools to prioritise emotional wellbeing as a key concern on par with academic abilities, Place2Be has commissioned a research report in conjunction with the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT). The report has shown that despite the fact that one in five children will experience a mental health difficulty at least once before the age of 11, only a third of primary schools report that their pupils have access to a school-based counsellor, who is often only available one day a week or less. 

The biggest barrier to providing more in-depth mental health resources within schools is funding; 78% of schools say that financial constraints prevent them from offering more services, with 84% of those offering mental health services stating that school based counsellors are fully or partly funded by pupil premium funding. 

At Sanctuary, we think that any initiative which highlights mental health is a good thing, and we look forward to hearing more about the work undertaken by Place2Be. 

Will you be supporting Children’s Mental Health Week? Let us know what you will be doing by tweeting us @SanctuaryMH using #ChildrensMHW

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