Children’s mental health

This year has been difficult for all of us. Young people and children’s mental health and wellbeing has never been so important.  

  • 1 in 8 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder – that’s roughly 3 children in every classroom – NHS Digital (2018) Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017 
  • 1 in 6 young people aged 16-24 has symptoms of a common mental disorder such as depression or an anxiety disorder. – NHS Digital (2017) Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey: Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, England, 2014. 
  • In 2017, suicide was the most common cause of death for both boys (16.2% of all deaths) and girls (13.3%) aged between 5 and 19 – Office for National Statistics (2017) ‘Deaths registered in England and Wales 

Last month Fair Ways fostering team took part in the #HelloYello, a campaign which is ran by young minds to help raise money and support young people’s mental health on World Mental Health Day. 

Starting a conversation with a child about how they are really feeling can be difficult. Below are ideas from young minds on ways to help start these conversations.  

  • If you could start today again, what would you do differently?  
  • What did you do today that you are most proud of? 
  • Do you want to talk about what’s going on?  
  • Is there anything that you need from me? Space, time to talk, time to do something fun…? 
  • I love you, nothing can ever change that 
  • You can talk to me, I’m here for you  
  • If you need to talk to someone else, that’s okay too  

Here at Fair Ways we have the Hub, which supports children and young people’s wellbeing.  

The Hub comprises a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians and associated professionals supporting the healthy development, wellbeing and relationships of children and young people within Fairways services.   

Fairways Participation service sits within the Hub, its purpose to encourage and facilitate opportunity for young people to give feedback, have a collective and individual identity and to help shape the development of Fairways services and those more widely for looked-after children and young people.  The Participation team compliments the work of the Hub, with its inclusive, relationship-focused approach and the combined experience and expertise of its staff.   

What does the Hub do? 

The Hub provides a therapeutic service that offers a sense of containment or ‘felt safety’ for people individually or in their relationships.  ‘Felt safety’ is important because in care practice, each situation is unique, complex and with potential to create uncertainty and in turn anxiety, a natural response in this respect.  However, anxiety can also be a vehicle for change and healthy risk-taking, based on increasing trust within key relationships.  Our ‘team around the relationship’ approach, is informed by the belief that if staff feel supported and contained, they can build relationships with young people and nurture this trust.  This is significant for the young people using Fairways services because they may have experienced relationships as a source of stress or fear and developed ways of coping as a result.  These are remarkable coping strategies when considered through the lens of trauma and attachment but can be less helpful in their current circumstance.    

Our approach is underpinned by the idea that relationships are both a huge source of information for the clinician to understand how to help, and that the relationship itself can be the most powerful tool to create hope and facilitate healing and change.   

More information can be found at  on how you can support young people and children with their wellbeing and mental health.  

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