CHILDLINE ADVICE: Calm Zone can offer ways to help a child’s mental health

Today is World Mental Health Day, and I’d like to look at what that means to our Childline counsellors.

“Deciding to go for a walk in the fresh air can be enough to improve a young person’s mood.”
“Deciding to go for a walk in the fresh air can be enough to improve a young person’s mood.”

One of the reasons we’re here, is so that hundreds of children have somewhere to share their worries, thoughts and concerns, every day - no matter how big or small.

Concerns about their mental health remains one of the most common reasons that young people get in touch with us, whether that’s over the telephone or it may be through our website.

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Of course, our counsellors are available around the clock to listen to children and offer support and guidance, but our website is also full of resources that can help.

One of the resources we recommend is The Calm Zone - it offers activities, tools, games, videos and breathing exercises that are easy to understand and can help improve your mental health.

Among the advice it offers young people is to write a letter to themselves on a day they’re feeling happy, then save it for when they’re feeling nervous, anxious or unhappy.

That simple act of remembering that they do have better days can be a massive help, as can including details of what they did to help themselves feel good.

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There’s no "one size fits all” response to mental health issues.

What works for one child won’t work for another.

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However, the Calm Zone has a variety of techniques to explore and see what works best for each child.

Other advice can be as simple as changing your surroundings to change the way they feel.

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It could be something as simple as moving from one room to look out of the window in another.

It could be deciding to go for a walk in the fresh air – this in itself can be enough to improve their mood.

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It’s important to remember that children might feel the same worries as adults, but may be unable to express them clearly, so it’s vital that we’re here to listen to and support them.

If you’re worried about a young person, the first step is asking if you can help.

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If not, you can always explore the Childline website and Calm Zone with them, and our counsellors are always here to support.