Children’s Mental Health Week 2024

Hosted by national charity ‘Place2Be’, Children’s Mental Health Week launched in 2015 and takes place every February. This awareness-raising campaign aims to help equip and empower every child across the country while promoting positive mental health.

This year’s #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek focuses on the theme ‘My Voice Matters’. Alongside our third sector partners, we are proud to support and amplify this powerful message. It is our aim to help ensure that ‘all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, are able to say – and believe – ‘My Voice Matters’.

It’s not too late to take part in this year’s #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek. Place2Be have various materials and resources available here.

young child on swing

Children’s Voices in Scotland

Children’s Rights Update

Some much awaited news arrived in January when the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill was officially granted royal assent! After a lengthy journey, the UNCRC Bill became an official Act of Scottish Parliament, making it a legal obligation for children’s voices be listened to; respected; protected and valued. This is a huge step for children’s rights and amplifies that the voices of children and young people do, and always will, matter. Read more about Scotland’s journey to embedding UNCRC into Scottish law on the Together website:

Opportunities from GCVS

Join the Third Sector Children & Young People Mental Health Network

GCVS supports a number of networks open to the Third Sector, including the Third Sector Children and Young People’s Mental Health Network. The Network reports into the Children’s Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategic Group, via appointed third sector reps, and focus on issues surrounding Children’s Mental Health, on a local, citywide and national level.

Network members receive and share updates in relation to children’s mental health support, practice and funding opportunities during quarterly, online meetings and via regular email communication.

If you are interested in joining the network, or would like some more information, please contact policy.engagement@gcvs.org.uk

Image of women with her young daughter looking at a laptop together

Good practice: Valuing the voices of young people – The Glasgow Promise Project

Alongside our many third sector partners, we are committed to empowering, equipping and giving a voice to children and young people. The third sector appreciate the importance and value in including those with lived experience in decisions, which affect themselves and their families.

Last year, a number of Glasgow-based partners worked together to engage with a diverse range of children, young people and families about their lived experience and needs to co-design services for the people they are designed to support. With funding from The Promise, we formed the ‘Glasgow Promise Partnership’.

The first stage of the project was to consult with families on their experience of family support, before progressing to the co-design stage to develop their vision. We did this with help from third sector partners who conducted interviews with children, young people and adults who they support through their services.

Our next step was to host a series of co-design workshops to develop a vision for family support services in Glasgow. We held both daytime and evening co-design sessions, acknowledging and accommodating people’s varying needs and commitments. For example, the majority of young people attended evening sessions to work around school and college. Here is a snippet from our ‘Lessons Learned’ document about getting it right with young people and ensuring that their voices are included:

Engaging Young People The most important lesson we learned was in engaging young people in the process. Our first evening session had young people, parents and guardians together and we were able to clearly observe the young people disengaging. For the second sessions, the facilitators let the young people know that that had been a mistake, and a separate young person’s session was held in a separate area of the venue. The young people responded well to that honesty and modelling of taking responsibility for getting things wrong.

Co-Design Overview and Lessons Learned Guidance

By the end of the co-design sessions, participants created a detailed user-experience storyboard of how a family could find out about, engage with, and move on from services, with a focus on choice, communication and relationships. Interested in finding out more? Take a look at the GPP Storyboard ‘A Vision for Family Support’ here.

We aimed to create a comfortable and welcoming environment, where young people could speak out and feel valued:

“The way people acted made me feel comfortable and safe which made me feel open, and I wasn’t treated like a child and felt valued and heard. Also socialising made me able to express my opinions more, being surrounded by people who were my age”.

The Glasgow Promise Project demonstrates how to bring the voices of young people and adults into spaces where they matter most, but often excluded. We produced a range of documents with key learning points from the project, which are available here.

Trauma Informed Practice

Resilience and Paper Tigers Film Screenings

Adopting a trauma-informed approach when working with children and young people helps foster an environment where they feel safe and respected. Acknowledging young people’s past or present trauma, and encouraging them to talk and reflect, creates an opportunity for them to have their voice heard, listened to and valued.

In partnership with Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, GCVS are delivering a series of online screenings of film documentaries ‘Resilience’ (watch the trailer here) and ‘Paper Tigers’ (watch the trailer here) which focus on Adverse Childhood Experiences and the benefits of taking a trauma informed approach when working with children and young people.

Screenings are followed by a Q&A panel discussion with experienced professionals and practitioners working in children’s services. Last year, we delivered ten sessions including an evening session in August.

Work with children and young people and experienced in taking a trauma informed approach? Explore the opportunity to participate as a panel member! Contact leia.mckie@gcvs.org.uk for further information.

Screenings are open to anyone working with children, young people and families in Glasgow, from third sector to education to social work, everyone is welcome.

We are screening ‘Paper Tigers’ on Wednesday 28th February. Last few spaces remaining, get your tickets here: Film Screening – Paper Tigers Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

Looking for other materials and guidance around children’s mental health?  Have a browse at some of these useful resources:

Children’s Mental Health Resources

Visit the Children In Need Mental Health Hub

Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) Children and Young People resources – samh.org.uk/about-mental-health/children-and-young-people

Parent Club – Parenting teens partner resources – parentclub.scot/parenting-teens/partner-resources

Starcatchers – ‘A Practical Guide for Early Years Practitioners

Families Outside – Staying Connected Project – knowing your right to sibling contact

Children in Scotland – eLearning Hub Children in Scotland

Place2Be – support children with worries around schoolwork and exams – 6 ways to support children with worries around schoolwork and exams (childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk)

CDRS Glasgow ‘Compassionate Distress Response Service’ provided by Glasgow Association for Mental Health (gamh.org.uk)

Richmond’s Hope have developed a resource for parents and carers who are supporting bereaved children and young people here:

Kooth – Guide on how to support working parents 

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