Khulisa marks Children’s Mental Health Week

This week (7th-13th February) is children’s mental health week and we’re running a number of initiatives to support children and young people’s mental health.

Impact of the Pandemic 

The last few years have seen a difficult time for young people, who, coping with the ongoing pandemic, have suffered an increase in mental ill-health. 

The ongoing pandemic has brought on a unique set of challenges for children and young people. As well as the academic difficulties brought on from missing large periods of time at school, young people are losing out on opportunities to develop other crucial skills that school brings. Social isolation has been particularly damaging to children and young people because they are at a period in their lives where they are still developing. Being unable to see peers means that young people are less able to develop social skills, and may withdraw from school and suffer from mental ill-health. 

  • Children and young people surveyed in 2021 reported that it got harder to cope as lockdowns went on, with 83% saying the pandemic had made their mental health worse. (YoungMinds, 2021)
  • One in six children aged five to 16 years in England were identified as having a possible mental disorder in 2020, representing an increase from one in nine in 2017. (NHS Digital, 2020)
  • Between April and June 2021, referrals of children aged 18 and under to children and young people’s mental health services almost doubled from the same period in 2019. (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2021) 
  • In a national survey of secondary leaders and teachers in March 2021, more than three quarters reported increased levels of anxiety and depression among pupils. (National Foundation for Educational Research, 2021)

Furthermore, for some young people who experience trauma and adverse childhood experiences, school provides one of the few places where they can have positive interactions with adults. Losing out on this can provide a huge challenge to their mental health and wellbeing. 

Khulisa provide therapeutic support to young people at risk of offending, exploitation and exclusion, who often struggle with their mental health. This programme provides young people with an understanding of their emotions and teaches them coping mechanisms. We also provide support for parents and professionals helping them to understand the ways in which trauma and adverse childhood experience can influence young people’s behaviours and mental health.

At Khulisa, we understand the difficult times that young people are going through, and have developed a set of resources to help. 

Support for Parents, Carers and Teachers 

The pandemic  has also  created stress for parents and carers, who are having to help their children to cope with difficult changes, whilst dealing with these changes themselves. From our resilience webinars we’ve found that parents and professionals talk of burn out, a disconnection from the children in their care and feeling unable to cope.

If you’re looking for ways to help your child express and manage their emotions safely you can download our toolkit here:

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