LibLink: Nick Clegg: Children’s Mental Health Week: Nearly two thirds of children feel worried all the time

Nick Clegg has written an article for the Huffington Post to mark Children’s Mental Health Week, highlighting a study which found that nearly two thirds of children feel worried all the time.

As he says, stress and worry are part of life but it’s important that people have the right support when they need it or that stress and worry could develop into mental ill health.

Stress and worry are a part of every walk of life. No job, no task, is without its stresses and strains. During my time as deputy Prime Minister I would have numerous decisions to juggle which would leave me worrying about whether I was making the right choices or not. Luckily I have an amazing family and close friends who gave me all the support I could wish for. Not everyone is as fortunate.

As an adult having to deal with such pressure is extremely difficult to navigate so I can’t imagine what it would be like for a child to feel anxious and stressed all the time. Yet I was surprised to learn this week that nearly two thirds of children say they worry all the time. Accordingly to a new survey published by children’s charity Place2Be 63% of children still at primary school say they worry “all the time” about at least one thing to do with their school life, home life or themselves.

He highlighted the work of charities in providing that support:

One in five children said they often don’t know what to do when they’re worried and 40% said that their worries get in the way of school work. Schools and families must play a role in making sure children know where to get help and how to look out for each other. The work that charities like Place2Be do is also crucial to ensuring young people get the support they need. They provide emotional and therapeutic services in primary and secondary schools, building children’s resilience through talking, creative work and play.

But there’s something we can all do:

I recently had to write an article reflecting on my time as a young boy and what I would say to myself now if I could. I would tell myself not to worry so much. This is what I encourage my three young boys to do but also to support each other and their friends to be able to live life in this way. The kindness they show to their friends is returned when they have needed it most.

This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and Place2Be are encouraging everyone to ‘spread a little kindness’ to others. When you next see someone who could benefit from support, spare a moment, and show you care. As one of the children who took part in the survey puts it best: “It would be kind if someone came up to me if I was upset because it would make me feel like a somebody.”

You can read the whole article here.

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