Happy New Year and welcome to our first bulletin of the year, topics for this month:
Children’s Mental Health Week
Children’s Mental Health Week is an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about children and young people’s mental health and will take place from 6-12 February 2023. This year’s theme is Let’s Connect.
Human beings thrive in communities, and this connection is vital for our wellbeing, and our survival. When we have healthy connections – to family, friends and others – this can support our mental health and our sense of wellbeing. And when our need for rewarding social connections is not met, we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely – which can have a negative impact on our mental health.
Let’s Connect is about making meaningful connections for all, during Children’s Mental Health Week – and beyond.
For more information and free resources to help you take part, checkout:
As parents and carers, you play an important role in your child’s mental health for more information and free resources checkout:
Safer Internet Day 2023
Safer Internet Day 2023 will take place on the 7th of February 2023, with celebrations and learning based around the theme ‘Want to talk about it? Making space for conversations about life online’.
Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, the celebration sees thousands of organisations get involved to promote the safe, responsible, and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.
In the UK, we are celebrating by putting children and young people’s voices at the heart of the day and encouraging them to shape the online safety support that they receive.
For this reason, the organisers of Safer Internet Day 2023 are asking parents, carers, teachers, government, policymakers, and the wider online safety industry to take time to listen to children and young people and make positive change together.
This year they are hoping to answer the following questions:
- What issues really matter to children and young people?
- What changes do they want to see?
- How can we all work together to advocate for them moving forward?
You can find out more about Safer Internet Day 2023 at https://saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/safer-internet-day-2023, plus the other work that UK Safer Internet Centre do in helping children and young people stay safe online.
Time to Talk
It is ‘Time to Talk’ awareness day on Thursday 2 February, run by Rethink Mental Illness and Mind.
One in four people will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, it is not as uncommon as you may think. Mental health is a state of psychological and emotional well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, which influences personal perception, behaviours, and how we think, feel and act.
That is why ‘Time to Talk’ was introduced to help end mental health discrimination.
Conversations have the power to change lives, they help to create supportive communities, where people can talk openly about mental health struggles and feel empowered to seek help when they need it.
What are the 5 symptoms of poor mental health?
-Excessive fears or worries
-Extreme feelings of guilt and hopelessness
-Significant mood changes of highs and lows
-Withdrawal from friends and routine activities
-Significant tiredness, low energy and or problems with sleeping
Five warning signs of mental illness that people miss…
-Constant fatigue, this should not come as a surprise but living with mental illness can be exhausting.
-Lack of emotion or awareness of actions
-Avoidance often with family and friends
If someone does open up about their mental health, we know it might not always feel easy to know what to say. But it doesn’t have to be awkward, and being there for someone can make a big difference.
There is no right way to talk about mental health; however, these tips can help make sure you’re approaching it in a helpful way.
1 Ask questions and listen.
Asking questions can give the person space to express how they’re feeling and what they’re going through, and it will help you to understand their experience better. Try to ask questions that are open and not leading or judgmental, like “how does that affect you?” or “what does it feel like?”
2 Think about the time and place
Sometimes it’s easier to talk side by side rather than face to face. So, if you do talk in person, you might want to chat while you are doing something else. You could start a conversation when you’re walking, cooking or stuck in traffic. However, don’t let the search for the perfect place put you off!
3 Don’t try and fix it
It can be hard to see someone you care about having a difficult time but try to resist the urge to offer quick fixes to what they’re going through. Learning to manage or recover from a mental health problem can be a long journey, and they’ve likely already considered lots of different tools and strategies. Just talking can be really powerful, so unless they’ve asked for advice directly, it might be best just to listen.
4 Treat them the same
When someone has a mental health problem, they’re still the same person as they were before. And that means when a friend or loved one opens up about mental health, they don’t want to be treated any differently. If you want to support them, keep it simple. Do the things you’d normally do.
5 Be patient
No matter how hard you try, some people might not be ready to talk about what they’re going through. That’s ok – the fact that you’ve tried to talk to them about it may make it easier for them to open up another time.
‘Rethink mental illness’ have a mission to deliver a better life for people affected by mental illness. On the Rethink website, https://www.rethink.org/ there is a tab you can click ‘help in your area’ where you can type in your postcode this will provide local /the nearest peer support groups, services, and advice lines to get you the support you need.
For more information please visit the website at Time to Talk Day (rethink.org)
The Rethink national helpline number is 0808 801 0525 open Monday-Friday 9.30-1pm (excluding Bank holidays)
You can also start your conversation on social media with #TimeToTalk
If you would prefer to email use email@example.com, they aim to respond within 3 working days.
Introduction of the new Protect Duty (Martyn’s Law)
On Monday 19 December, the Government announced details for the Protect Duty, now to be known as ‘Martyn’s Law’ in tribute of Martyn Hett, who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017.
How will it work?
The Bill will impose a duty on the owners and operators of certain locations to increase their preparedness for and protection from a terrorist attack by requiring them to take proportionate steps, depending on the size and nature of the activities that take place there.
Proportionality is a fundamental consideration for this legislation. It will therefore establish a tiered model, linked to the activity that takes place at a location and its capacity:
A standard tier will drive good preparedness outcomes. Duty holders will be required to undertake simple yet effective activities to improve protective security and preparedness. This will apply to qualifying locations with a maximum capacity of over 100. This could include larger retail stores, bars, or restaurants.
An enhanced tier will see additional requirements placed on high-capacity locations in recognition of the potential catastrophic consequences of a successful attack. This will apply to locations with a capacity of over 800 people at any time. This could include live music venues, theatres, and department stores.
Early indications are that JTM would be classed as a standard tier organisation.
What will the standard tier be asked to do?
Standard tier organisations will need to undertake easy and simple activities to meet their obligations. This will include completion of free training, awareness raising and cascading of information to staff and completion of a preparedness plan.
The aim is to ensure staff are better prepared to respond quickly to evolving situations, aware of what processes they should follow, able to make rapid decisions and carry out actions that will save lives. This could be as simple as locking doors to delay attackers progress and access whilst guiding staff and customers to alternative exits. It could also enable lifesaving treatment to be administered by staff whilst awaiting the arrival of emergency services.
How will Martyn’s Law be enforced?
An inspection capability will be established to seek to educate, advise, and ensure compliance with the Duty. Where necessary, the inspectorate will use a range of sanctions to ensure that breaches are effectively dealt with.
Why introduce this new legislation to replace the Prevent Duty?
The Manchester Arena Inquiry Volume One Report strongly recommended the introduction of a duty to improve the safety and security of public venues.
The London Bridge and Borough Market inquests also recommended the introduction of legislation which would govern the duties of public authorities regarding protective security.
When will this important legislation be introduced?
The Government will introduce the Protect Duty as soon as parliamentary time allows.
When will the Protect Duty become law?
It is not possible to give a date. There will be a lead in time allowing for those captured by the Duty to prepare for commencement, and as soon as the parliamentary timetable is known this will be set out.
On 6th February, the ADHD Foundation will run a webinar for parents/carers and grandparents of primary-aged children to help them help their children develop a love of reading for pleasure at home.
The webinars are free and will last no more than an hour.
Find out more here