Cheshire East Council worked with schools, youth groups, organisations and individuals, encouraging them to take part in this year’s children’s mental health week.
The event, which ran from 1st-7th February, was organised by the national charity Place2Be and was in its seventh year. It aimed to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health.
This year’s theme was Express Yourself, and the week’s activities encouraged children and young people to explore the creative ways that they can share their feelings, thoughts and ideas.
Cheshire East and its partners had been providing services to support children and young people’s mental health for some years, when in 2015 the emotionally healthy schools programme was piloted. The pilot was shown to improve confidence in schools when responding to the emotional needs and mental health of children and young people.
Ruben Barrow, Cheshire East member of youth parliament, said: “For the last three years, young people across Cheshire East have voted mental health as one of their top issues as part of the annual UK Youth Parliament Make your Mark ballot. This ballot provides a voice for young people and helps to establish the biggest issues they face.”
Amelia Oldroyd, Cheshire East member of youth parliament, said: “As someone who struggled with mental health issues during high school, I know how important it is to stop the stigma, and create an open culture in schools where we can talk about these issues and make people aware that support is available for those that need it.”
Coun Kathryn Flavell, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for children, said: “The last 12 months, with disruption to education and lockdown restrictions, have been particularly difficult for children and young people right across the borough.
“Our aim for some time now has been that children and young people are happy and experience good mental health and wellbeing. Schools play an important role and we have been working together for many years to improve the confidence of staff to signpost to local services.”