Place2Be launches Children's Mental Health Week

Children's charity Place2Be has launched its second Children's Mental Health Week (8-14 February) with a special video message from its royal patron and new research revealing the need for professional mental health support in schools.

The organisation, which provides emotional and therapeutic services in primary and secondary schools, has chosen this year's theme to be 'building resilience' and teaching children to 'bounce forward' from life's challenges.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Place2Be's royal patron, recorded a special message to launch the week and a video shows children talking about the importance of being able to express their feelings and value of having Place2Be in their school.

The four children featured have benefited from Place2Be's 'whole school' approach to good mental health which includes a break-time service available to all children who want to talk about issues that might be troubling them.

Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be, said: "Place2Be's work in over 250 schools and our training for school staff focus on understanding a child's behaviour and helping them to manage their emotions in a positive way."

The awareness raising event comes as Place2Be publishes a survey of the National Association of Head Teachers' members which shows that two thirds of all primary schools in England do not have a counsellor in their schools, and the majority of those that do, provide counselling on-site for one day a week or less.

Nearly all schools who responded to the survey are engaging in activities to help support pupils' mental health. The survey revealed however that for those who did not already have a school-based counsellor, financial constraints were the most common barrier, followed by the lack of services or qualified professionals locally and the lack of physical space in the school. 

Read the Place2Be's report here