From 2017 to 2020 the number of children suffering from mental illness has increased from 1 in 9 to 1 in 6. These numbers are based on a survey carried out for the NHS by the national statistics office. Children were surveyed between the ages of 5 -16 years old. What is even more staggering is that the figures for 17- to 22-year-olds in 2020 with 27% of females and 13% of males suffering from mental illness. *
These figures are shocking, and the mental wellbeing of the younger generation has never been more important than it is during these difficult times. Practicing simple mental wellbeing exercises at home from a young age enables our children to grow into adults who will be able recognise the best possible ways in which to look after their mental health.
I have long been an advocate for teaching our children from as young an age as possible the coping mechanisms to put into place to keep them happy and mentally healthy. This said it is a difficult time for us all and it is important that not only our children are well but also the adults.
As parents we are responsible for teaching our children that it is okay to discuss feelings and thoughts. To practice mindfulness in each day. We lead by example and our children look to us to navigate the world around them. Take a moment, now. Ask yourself one question.
What have I done this week to help my own mental health?
As parents we are under more pressure than ever. We are juggling various roles, teacher, mother, wife, carer, and whatever roles we do at work. So many parents I speak with are struggling right now. I am asked how parents can help their children with mental wellbeing. My first answer will always be
“Ensure your own”
Below are some helpful tips for the whole family to become mindful, to stay in a mentally healthy place. This week I will be writing further posts to help the mental wellbeing of the whole family. Like my page and share with friends.
1) Walking Bingo – A wonderful mindfulness exercise. This is fun for the whole family, make a list of things that you may encounter on a walk. This can be pictures or words whatever works best for your family. As you take your daily exercise mark off items on your “bingo” board. It is great to be in the moment, the mind completely focused on the here and now. Not worrying about the past of the future.
2) Another great mindfulness technique when walking is to stop at intervals and with eyes closed ask everyone, what can they hear, what can they smell. Really become engrossed in your surroundings and step into the moment.
Check back tomorrow for more tips!!
*Statistics from NHS digital news