Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week: Shining a light on Children’s Mental Health


From Monday 5th – Sunday 11th February Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week will be acknowledged. The week is used to raise awareness of children’s mental health. It sines a light on the importance of accessing the right support for those who need it. 


How we work with children and young people…

The children and young people who we work with at Future Living Hertford come from a range of backgrounds. Some have experienced past trauma or domestic abuse within their household. Others struggle with mental health conditions such as anxiety or low mood. Children who witness or are victims of domestic abuse are far more likely to suffer with poor mental health. They are also more likely to experience mental illness in childhood or adulthood. 


That is why our services for children and young people exist. To help children deal with the trauma they have faced and prevent their mental wellbeing from worsening. We know that for younger children in particular, standard talk therapy would not be appropriate. We are proud to offer a diverse range of therapies which include, drama, Lego, art and play therapy. 


Each of these therapies are creative. They encourage the child to express themselves through an activity such as play, which to them seems familiar and safe. It is a relaxed approach to tackling difficult and challenging emotions. 


Why do Children struggle with their mental health?…

It is not just children who have dealt with trauma that struggle with their mental health. A child’s mental health status can be completely unrelated to a traumatic event. It could be down to genetics or environmental factors. Statistics show that 1 in 6 children aged 5-17 were identified as having a mental health problem. A figure which has risen since 2017.  (statistic courtesy of YoungMinds)


What our Caseworker says about the work we do….

We have a dedicated team of caseworkers and therapists. Our team go into a local secondary school to deliver art therapy, talk therapy and caseworking sessions to students who need extra support. The need for these types of services can make all the difference to a young person’s mental health. We asked one of Future Living’s caseworkers how the work she does within a local secondary school makes a difference. Here is what she said:

The services offered to  Simon Balle Secondary School under contract from Future Living, help the young people I work with tremendously. I can offer support to help them in caseworking sessions. Counselling, and art therapy can also be offered in school to those who need more therapeutic services. As a family caseworker I work 1-1 with secondary school aged young people who have been referred for many reasons and are facing adversity. This includes depression, low mood, anxiety, suicidal ideation, gender identity, panic disorders, peer on peer abuse, domestic abuse within the home and self-harm to name but a few. Within the case working sessions I can provide students with tools to help them manage their difficulties at school, this includes grounding techniques, healthier coping strategies, dealing with difficult relationships, self care and strategies to help them to improve their self-confidence.


 The changes we see in Young people…

Some students arrange their own caseworking sessions and this is an achievement in itself, as they are identifying the need to speak with a family caseworker. Some of the improvements I have noticed from the young people I have worked with are more self-confidence, taking accountability for their own learning when this is identified as a problem, increased self care, better relationships, and generally more resilience.


It can be hard for young people to tell a stranger details about personal problems, and really difficult to admit they need support to overcome these adversities that they are facing, but the greatest privilege is that I have gained their trust and they are confident enough to talk to me, to enable me to provide support, resources and a safe environment. Growing up can be tough, but I am grateful to be able to make a difference and know these students have a family caseworker available at school to make their time that little bit easier.

Our clients share how therapy helps them:

“Art therapy has helped with my mental health massively. It gets me into school at the beginning of the week compared to last year when my attendance was lower.”


‘’It helps me to process things in my head by seeing what I’m thinking.’’


‘’I have been waiting so long for something to help me and now I finally have it, I’m holding on to it tightly. I’m  very lucky to have this opportunity.’’


 ‘’I get to talk about how I am feeling and I am benefitting from getting my feelings out.’’


‘’I am glad the school has given me this opportunity to have someone to speak to.’’


Helping to create a brighter future….

Being able to make a difference to the clients we work with is something that we are proud of as a charity. We fully appreciate the need for services like ours. Our hope is that we can prevent more young people dealing with poor mental health and support those who are struggling when they need it most.  We aim to expand our reach further into secondary schools to give more young people opportunities like those mentioned above. 

For more information about our service for children and young people, known as The Base – email: [email protected] or call 01992 537 344


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