Last week, February 5 to 11, was Children’s Mental Health Week.

The spotlight is on the emotional well-being of our young people, the theme this year is 'My Voice Matters'.

The focus is on empowering children and young people to express themselves and feel heard.

This week is a great opportunity for us to understand the importance of having safe spaces where our children and teenagers can express themselves freely, where their thoughts and feelings are valued, and where 'My Voice Matters' isn’t just a slogan.

You may be wondering why this focus on child and youth mental health is so crucial? According to the National Health Service, one in ten children under 16 experiences a mental health problem, ranging from anxiety and depression to behavioural difficulties.

These challenges can significantly impact their learning, relationships, and overall development.

That’s why Children’s Mental Health Week serves as a vital platform to break down stigma, encourage open communication, and empower our young people to seek help when needed.

It’s a call to action for all of us – parents, educators, community leaders, and yes, even the kids themselves.

Creating these safe spaces four our youngsters could be something as simple as family dinners, casual chats during walks, or even dedicated “check-in” times.

Take the time to encourage children to express themselves through art, music, writing, or even play.

These activities can be powerful tools for processing emotions and building self-confidence. As adults, we could make a conscious effort to lead by example, demonstrating healthy ways of coping with stress and difficult emotions.

Showing our children that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Grandparents can play their part too, why not use this week as an opportunity to deepen the unique bond you share with your grandkids.

Beyond bedtime stories and shared laughs, actively listen to their worries and offer gentle guidance. Share your own experiences with overcoming challenges, reminding them that everyone needs help sometimes.

Encourage their creativity, whether it’s baking, building, or learning a new language, because creativity can be a powerful outlet for expressing emotions. Most importantly, remind them that you’re always there for them, a safe haven where 'My Voice Matters'.

There’s still time to get involved, or pick up more tips, see the website

Whilst we’re on the subject of getting involved, if you run any type of mental health support or well-being group in and around the area, please get in touch, so I can include details in a further issue.

Martin Furber is a therapist qualified in various modalities. Email