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Children's Mental Health Week: Growing together as a whole school community

Children’s Mental Health Week, which is taking place 7 to 13 February, has the theme this year of ‘growing together’. During the week, schools across the UK will be exploring the concept of growing emotionally and thinking about ways to help each other grow.

The Anna Freud Centre is encouraging schools and FE colleges to focus on equity, diversity and inclusion so school communities can grow and be stronger together. The Centre’s Mentally Healthy Schools’ toolkit provides school staff in the UK with free, quality assured resources this Children’s Mental Health Week.

In this toolkit, there are mental health and wellbeing resources for primary and secondary school pupils themed around four different areas:

  1. Anti-racism
  2. LGBTQI+
  3. Girls and young women
  4. Disability and neurodiversity

Jaime Smith, Director of the Anna Freud Centre’s Schools Division, says: “To help children and young people to grow emotionally, and so that we can all grow together as a whole school community, it’s important that we embrace and celebrate diversity in all its forms so that no one feels excluded. It’s vital that pupils feel able to be their full authentic selves in the school environment. The trusted relationships which school staff develop with pupils, and with one another, have huge benefits for pupils’ emotional growth, wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.

“That is why we’re so excited to share these free and quality assured resources this Children’s Mental Health Week, helping schools across the UK to grow together and become mentally healthy.”

Events the Anna Freud Centre is speaking at in Children’s Mental Health Week:

On 9 February at 4pm, the Centre’s Vicky Saward and Monisha Jefcut will provide practical staff wellbeing strategies to be implemented by any school or college at We are Beyond’s mental health and wellbeing festival.

On 9 February, join us online for this
Speakers Collective Meaningful Conversation on the theme of Young People Early Intervention and Prevention.

On 10 February, the Centre’s Chief Executive Professor Peter Fonagy is speaking on “Trusting and learning: Nurturing relationships and the sense of belonging” at the
E-ACT Ideas Conference.

The Anna Freud Centre leads the National Centre for Family Hubs who are hosting
a youth and family hubs event on 10 February. This will explore how family hubs can be implemented to enable accessible and effective support to young people in the 8-18 age range (and up to 25 for young people with SEND).

The Centre in partnership with PESI will be speaking at the conference,
The developing mind: building trust, growth and resilience together, on 11 February. Speakers include Professor Peter Fonagy and Dr Dan Siegel who will share knowledge and insight on how we can help young people to grow and develop together.