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Information and advice on children and young people’s mental health is being promoted by experts from ²gether NHS Foundation Trust during Children’s Mental Health Week.

The Trust is sharing 10 top tips to help children and young people cope with ups and downs on their journey to adulthood.

This year’s Children’s Mental Health Week, promoted by national charity Place2B, runs from Monday 5th February to Sunday 11th February and the theme is ‘being ourselves’.

Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Rosemary Richards, ²gether’s Clinical Director for Children and Young People, said: “Mental health issues among young people are very common. Evidence suggests that 1 in 10 young people experience mental health problems – that’s 3 in the average classroom.

“Many children and young people experience low self-esteem but having a positive view of ourselves is a vital tool for safeguarding our mental health and wellbeing as we steer our way through life’s challenges.

“It’s also important to acknowledge other people’s different qualities so that we can build better connections.  Forging strong relationships with others can be a valuable tool for looking after our mental health and wellbeing.

“We can all help raise awareness of the steps young people, and their parents and carers, can take to help young people with their mental wellbeing and this week is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

During Children’s Mental Health Week, ²gether will be using its social media channels to reach out to people and spread the word, using the hashtag #beingourselves.

Our 10 top tips for looking after your mental health during Children’s Mental Health Week and beyond are:

  1. Eat well – eating regularly (every three hours) helps make sure your mood stays balanced. Levels of ‘good sugar’ in your blood can play a big part in determining how you feel.
  2. Get moving – doing exercise (anything from trampolining to a walk in the park) releases feel good chemicals into your brain.
  3. Get enough sleep – going to bed at a regular time and getting up at a similar time each day can help improve sleep.
  4. Technology time – connecting with people on social media is a positive thing, but remember that screen time can also interfere with sleep so avoid this before bed.
  5. Meet new people – talking to others can boost our mood. You can do this online or on the phone but doing this face to face is even better.
  6. Help others – lending a helping hand could mean volunteering, talking over someone’s problems or even offering to pop to the shops for a neighbour.  Helping can make you feel good about yourself.
  7. Learn new things – learning is a great way of increasing our sense of achievement and self-worth.  School isn’t the only route. It could be taking up a new hobby like photography or learning a language through an online course.
  8. Boost your own confidence – write a list of all the things you are good at and look at your positive notes when you feel fed up.
  9. Relax – take time out to be quiet and calm. Take deep breaths, have a walk where you look at your surroundings or have a nice warm bath.
  10. Talk to someone – it can help to share your thoughts and feelings if you’re feeling down.  Choose someone you trust and know quite well.

Children’s Mental Health Week is being organised by children’s mental health charity Place2Be. The charity has come up with its own ideas for boosting self-esteem at:   https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/

²gether provides a specialist mental health service for children and young people up to their 18th birthday who are finding it hard to cope with their feelings and mental health.  In Herefordshire the service is called CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service) and in Gloucestershire it’s called CYPS (Children and Young People Service). This service has a dedicated website cayp.ghc.nhs.uk which offers information and support for children and young people and their families.