Place2Be Children’s Mental Health Week Image: Place 2 Be

Children’s Mental Health charity Place2Be launches Children’s Mental Health Week with new research

Place2Be has launched  Children’s Mental Health Week 2019 (4-10 February). Throughout the week, children, young people and adults throughout the UK will be taking steps to be ‘Healthy: Inside and Out’ and looking after their bodies and minds.

As part of the launch, Place2Be has released research exploring the relationship between sleep and wellbeing. 

Place2Be found that 56% of children and young people say they worry “all the time” about at least one thing to do with their school life, home life or themselves.

Children and young people who usually get less than the recommended 9 hours sleep on a school night are more likely to feel that worries get in the way of school work (32% vs 22%).

Those getting less sleep are also less able to cope with worries, saying they often don’t know what to do when they’re worried (22% vs 18%), and that once they start worrying, they cannot stop (36% vs 28%).

While most children say they get to sleep within 30 minutes of going to bed, for 20% it takes between one and two hours before they doze off and 8% take over two hours.

Launching Children’s Mental Health Week, Catherine Roche, ceo of Place2Be, said:

“At least three children in every class have a diagnosable mental health issue, and many more worry about everyday concerns from exams to family life.

“Place2Be is supporting teachers and parents with advice on how sensible sleep habits, eating well and exercise help children cope with daily worries.

“However, further research is needed to explore if children are lacking sleep because they worry, or worry because they aren’t getting enough sleep.”

Regardless of the child’s age there was a ‘link between reduced sleep and increased levels of worry

Place2Be surveyed 975 children and young people in Year 6 and Year 9 across 24 primary and secondary schools they work with in England, Scotland and Wales. Regardless of the age of the child, there was a link between reduced sleep and increased levels of worry.

The most common concerns among the respondents are: taking tests/exams (50%); friends (49%); family (42%); not doing well at school (42%); and bad things happening in the world (39%).

Breaking the research down by age, 13-14 year olds are more likely than 10-11 year olds to worry about taking tests/exams (54% vs 39%); the way they look (36% vs 17%); their friends (54% vs 39%); and doing well in school (48% vs 33%).

Whereas, 10-11 year olds are more likely than 13-14 year olds to worry about bad things happening in the world (34% vs 27%).​

Place2Be is encouraging everyone to think about the simple things we can do to improve our physical and mental wellbeing.

Resources for schools, young people and parents can be found at: https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/