Children in Care & Mental Health #MHAW17

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It is Mental health awareness week #MHAW17 and this week is all about breaking down the taboos and stereotypes that people have in regards to mental health.

As someone who has dealt with it themselves, I emphasise the importance of looking after your mental health just as you would look after your physical health.

I attended CLAMHS (Children Looked After Mental Health Services) a few times through out my childhood. It was a relief to be in an environment, where my feelings of concerns, anger and fear were a priority and the aim was to understand why I was feeling that way and how to mange it.

Today, I still carry those tips and trick with me. Sometimes I still have difficult days but I’ve learnt how to keep on top of it to prevent me from completely drowning and it’s the skills I learnt whilst at CLAMHS that keep me afloat.

imageDid you know that children in care are 4 times more likely than their peers to have mental health difficulty.

Actions for change should include the following:

1. All Professionals in the system should obtain the skills and knowledge to recognise & understand how they can support a child with mental health.

2. Proactive & Preventative work is important action to give the child or young person the help that is required.

3. Give children and young people a voice ie: through care councils or forums to give the opportunity for them to decide what changes needs to be made in the system as service users.

4. Support & sustain relationships between child or young person and any adult of professional that maybe involved in their lives. Providing the correct training.

5. Support for care leavers. Equipping them with the knowledge, skills and essential relationships for independent living.

To anyone that feels as though they maybe suffering from mental health issues, but aren’t getting the help they need. Please do not hesitate to speak to someone appropriate that will be able to get you the correct support.

Sometimes you need someone to just talk to and my door is always open.

Lots of love,

Akira-Kay

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