We know many young people are struggling with their mental health wellbeing at the moment, so we were excited to hear about the launch of the #SelfcareSummer campaign and new resources from the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. Here they tell us more about their plans for #SelfcareSummer and how self-care can support mental health and wellbeing.
July sees the launch of the Anna Freud Centre’s #Self-Care Summer. As part of this year’s campaign, the Centre has created #SelfcareSummer packs for Primary and Secondary schools. With a range of creative activities, the #SelfcareSummer Primary pack aims to help children identify strategies that help them should they feel low or anxious. The #SelfcareSummer Secondary pack aims to help young people create their own individual self-care plan for the summer holidays based on strategies other young people have identified as helpful. Both packs also signpost young people and their families to additional support and the AFC crisis messenger text service – should they find themselves struggling over the summer period.
The #SelfcareSummer campaign highlights various self-care strategies young people have told us help them when they are feeling low or anxious. These strategies are taken from the Anna Freud Centre’s self-care page, which includes over 90 self-care strategies. The campaign will feature a range of voices including the Centre’s Young Champions, Parent Champions and clinicians.
The campaign includes ‘Challenge Tuesdays’ where young people can share their artwork, photography, poems, crafts or activities that are helping them stay mentally healthy over the summer.
Jaime Smith, Director of the Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools Programme at the Anna Freud Centre says:
“The last few months of lockdown have been tough for most of us, and for many, Summer holidays and other plans may have been cancelled as we continue to live with uncertainty.
“Just as we look after our physical health, it’s important to look after our mental health. There are a lot of things you can do to look after yourself. So we really encourage children, young people and their parents and carers to focus on self-care over the Summer, and Primary and Secondary schools to use the #SelfcareSummer packs with their pupils.
“Young people tell us that self-care can really help them when they’re struggling, not as a substitute for seeing a mental health professional, but as a way of helping to find strategies that work for them. Everyone’s approach to self-care is different, and what works for some young people might not work for others. So put aside some time every day for yourself and say what you will do to look after your mental health.”