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Children's Mental Health Week - My Voice Matters

08 Feb 24

The theme for this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is My Voice Matters.

My Voice Matters is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.​ Children who feel that their voices are heard and can make a difference typically find that this has a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

There are many reasons why it is important for children to speak up. If they are encouraged to talk more about how they are feeling and not wait until there is a serious problem, this can help to prevent worries from escalating. Speaking up in these situations can make children feel better as they no longer feel alone. Seeking advice from a trusted person can also help and they may find that others are also experiencing the same emotions too.

Speaking up and seeking early intervention means that children develop the confidence to care for their wellbeing and access help when they need it.

Our CAMHS service holds a support group for children and young people which encourages young people to socialise and communicate with like-minded people, reduces isolation and encourages friendships within a safe and nurturing place.

One of the young people attending the group explained why they felt their voice matters?

“Our voices matter in our care because we are going through our teenage years which can be difficult to manage on our own. So, voicing how we feel can help us to eventually deal with how we feel in a more manageable way. At our age we are getting ready for the next step of our lives which can be incredibly stressful. This along with the multitude of other problems we deal with can be emotionally and physically draining, so CAMHS as an outlet can be greatly beneficial for our young growing minds.”

The young person also said: “It gets me the support I need and helps me in the best way and lets people know how I feel”.

Children and young people may turn to different people in their lives for different types of support at different times.​ Speaking to somebody can offer a multitude of positive benefits including shared interests, emotional support, trust, respect, teamwork and understanding.

Steve Morris is the Young Persons Involvement Lead at HPFT. His role is to ensure that every child and young person has a voice and this can help to improve the services HPFT delivers.

Co-production is at the heart of the way we work at CAMHS. Every person we engage with has a wealth of information and experience that we can draw from to help us shape our services. In doing so we may be able to support more young people and their families understand and manage themselves and their recovery journey. We have a number of young people who work with us and we are always looking to include more.”

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