Children’s Commissioner
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World Mental Health Day

The 10th of October marks The World Health Organisation’s ‘World Mental Health Day’, to mobilise efforts around the world in support of mental health.

Children have told me how much they care about their mental health and wellbeing. They speak about mental health more fluently and more confidently than many adults. The Big Ask, the largest ever survey of children in England highlighted that while most children were happy or fine with their mental health, 20% were worried about their mental health and it was children’s biggest worry overall. That’s why I want to mark World Mental Health Day by representing children’s voices and highlighting what children have told us they need.

This year, based on what children said in The Big Ask, my office have developed flyers for primary school pupils and secondary school students to help them talk about their feelings and find out how to get support if needed. My office also publishes the Children’s Mental Health Briefing annually with new data from the NHS, which helps to continue shining a light on this important area.

In July, I published ‘A Head Start: Early support for children’s mental health’, which describes six ambitions for early mental health support for children. These are based on the ideas that children have shared with me.

The ambitions set out to ensure we provide ‘whole childhood support’, from birth to adulthood. Starting with support for families before a child is even born, and through the early years, we set out the need to build strong foundations for good mental health. In order to prevent problems building up, children need to have time and space to have fun safely online and in the real world. If problems do emerge, children need access to early help in school, online or in the community. When specialist help is needed, it should be easy for children to access, with no child turned away.

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