The latest survey in 2017, which was funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, commissioned by NHS Digital, and carried out by the National Centre for Social Research, the Office for National Statistics and Youth in mind shows that
- One in eight (12.8%) 5 to 19-year-olds had at least one mental disorder when assessed in 2017
- Specific mental disorders were grouped into four broad categories: emotional, behavioural, hyperactivity and other less common disorders. Emotional disorders were the most prevalent type of disorder experienced by 5 to 19-year-olds in 2017 (8.1%)
- Rates of mental disorders increased with age. 5.5% of 2 to 4-year-old children experienced a mental disorder, compared to 16.9% of 17 to 19-year-olds.
- Emotional disorders have become more common in five to 15 year-olds – going from 4.3% in 1999 and 3.9% in 2004 to 5.8% in 2017.
Basically, the evidence shows that there are more children being identified as going through the CAMHS system to be reviewed for mental health disorders including anxiety.
Due to long waiting times which stats show can be 2 weeks for emergency cases and up to 6 and a half months for less severe cases.
There is a lack of understanding of the signs and symptoms of children’s mental health. With children ‘acting out’ being stereotyped and judged as a naughty child. When in fact a lot of children have an underlying cause and are going without help and support. Which, potentially could lead to mental health issues in the future, if they are not given the tools to be able to cope with and manage their anxiety.
This is one of the many reasons that I trained to be a Relax Kids Coach
I have 2 children who struggle with anxiety. So as a parent I 100% understand your concerns and the need to want to help your child.
I have put together a Calm Down Tool Kit for my own children for those times that they may be struggling or feel that they need to take time out to calm down.
How To Make A Calm Down Tool Kit For Anxious Children
Firstly, find a box or bag. It could be a shoe box or backpack. Something that your child can call their own. It’s their special little box/bag. You could even let them decorate it to make it more personal to them.
Now it’s time to fill the box or bag with things that are going to distract, help regulate your child emotions and calm the senses.
I highly recommend YOUNG & MIGHTY Mighty Cards
Young and Mighty Mighty cards empower kids to manage tricky feelings. With 36 cards in 3 categories Create, Move and Breathe giving activities to help regulate feelings and develop emotional literacy.
Helping your child to relieve tension and stress, increase focus, enhance self esteem, practice self compassion and promote positive emotions.
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Fidget toys are a great way to distract your child. Did you know that Fidget toys can also reduce anxiety and stress, enhance dexterity, improve coordination and fine motor skills and assist in the development of muscles of small hands? Scented playdough is a fantastic addition to the Calm Down Tool Kit.
The sense of smell can be used to reduce tension and stress. That is why there is a relaxing, stress-reducing type of spa treatment called aromatherapy, much like massage therapy, but using pleasant scents to arrive at the same goal. Scents can help you recall memories and associate them with feelings.
Lavender is our favourite for relaxation. Lavender is thought to calm anxiety by impacting the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions.
Being creative stimulates, engages and focuses the mind on the task at hand. Distracting from feelings of stress and anxiety. When you create, you invoke your imagination, which is a productive and constructive use of your mind.
I’ve found adding mindful colouring books, a notebook and a variety of pencils and pens allows my children to draw, and write is a fantastic resource to have in your Calm Down Tool Kit. Especially the scented stationery.
There are lots of mental health journals available to children. One being the Happy Confident Me Journal Review :: AD. Journaling is a great way to reflect and to learn skills to change your way of thinking. Teaching new coping techniques. Promoting and developing self-awareness and positive habits.
Here are some of our favourites.
Breathing techniques can help aid relaxation as they make your body feel like it does when you are already relaxed. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. Making children aware of their breathing can be a valuable skill when it comes to anxiety.
Add props such as feathers, balloons, mini windmills, cotton wool balls and straws to encourage your child to be conscious of their breathing.
Check Out Our With You In Mind Instagram Account For More Breathing Techniques
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