HRH The Duchess of Cambridge Encourages Children to 'Express Themselves' - Children’s Mental Health Week 2021
We are almost halfway through ‘Children’s Mental Health Week 2021’: an awareness week launched by Place2Be in 2015 in an effort to ‘shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health’. Now in its seventh year, they hope to encourage more people than ever to get involved and spread the word. Sadly, around three children in every primary school class has a mental health problem and many more struggle with challenges from bullying to bereavement. Nobody should have to face mental health problems alone and it is hoped that greater awareness and understanding of children’s mental health along with approaches that foster positive well-being in schools and communities, will support them to find ways to positively express how they are feeling and seek support when needed.
This year's theme is 'Express Yourself'. Learning how to express themselves, who they really are, is critical to a child's mental, social, and emotional growth. Self-expression is a vital piece of the puzzle that is fulfillment in life; it allows us to be our best selves; reach our full potential, work effectively with others and make valuable contributions to the world we live in. There are many ways to effectively express yourself to others and enhance your self-expression skills. As with most skills, the best way to build or improve them is to practice! Finding ways to share your feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through activities such as writing and poetry, dance and drama, photography and film, art, and of course, music - are all excellent ways to engage your self-expression muscles and help you feel good about yourself.
Royal Patron HRH The Duchess of Cambridge’s video message to mark the start of the Children’s Mental Health Week
Music – it is well known – is an invaluable resource when it comes to maintaining and improving children’s mental health; it sparks creativity, inspires innovation, stimulates emotional response and development. Research has consistently demonstrated the positive impact of music and musical engagement on both mental health and child development. Likewise, the effects of exposure to green space, daylight, and fresh air on mental and physical wellbeing have been proven to be similarly crucial. Access, therefore, to outdoor musical instruments is sure to maximize the benefits of both time spent outdoors and musical participation to provide an active solution for the improvement and maintenance of children’s mental health.
Music can be a great way to express yourself even when you may not know how to. Outdoor musical instruments are perfect for children who fancy experimenting and expressing themselves through music without the humdrum of traditional scales, ideal for parents and teachers keen to introduce a child to the world of music while encouraging creativity and self-expression. Designed to kick-start the creative juices, their simple pentatonic scales ensure an instant and gratifying musical experience, with the focus on drawing out the inherent musical nature of all children (indeed all human beings) through play.
Music made on outdoor musical instruments - in the great outdoors - can give children a way to express themselves, to unleash their creativity, to be inspired and uplifted, to relax, and to relieve stress and tension.